A team sport is an athletic activity that requires the cooperation and participation of multiple individuals working as a team to perform it. It is inherently impossible or highly impractical to execute the sport as a single-player endeavor, and the outcome of the competition relies on the performance of the entire team throughout the course of the match. Examples include basketball, football and lacrosse. Some individual sports, such as gymnastics and figure skating, also feature teams in their competitions, but the success of the individual competitor is not dependent on team dynamics.
The uniqueness of a team sport lies in the fact that it is heavily regulated by external authorities, including leagues and school boards. For example, the National Collegiate Athletic Association stipulates how many athletes a team can have and when it can begin practicing, among other things. In addition, the school board may set scholastic requirements for students to be eligible to participate on the team. This extensive external control of internal processes distinguishes a sport team from traditional groups and allows the team to establish and enforce group norms.
Group norms are a vital element in any group and they define the boundaries of appropriate behavior in a particular situation. They serve to regulate a group’s behaviors and are one of the key features that distinguish a group from a random collection of individuals (Borgatta and Cottrell, 1957; Carron, 1988). In team sports, norms emerge around the expected levels of effort during practice and competition. Athletes are encouraged to strive for excellence in both facets of the game, resulting in an overall high level of effort by the entire group.
During practice, coaches and fellow teammates can have as much of an influence on children as parents or teachers. They can teach important lessons about continued focus, delayed gratifications and dedication to an end goal. Team sports can also help to foster a sense of community early on in children’s lives, allowing them to bond with a group of people they can turn to for support.
Aside from the physical benefits of a team sport, such as increased blood flow and heart health, it can also be a good way to relieve stress. Being part of a tight-knit team can boost your mood and make you feel more confident about yourself. Team sports can also teach you how to cooperate with others and how to be a good leader. In addition, they can increase your social life and help you find new friends. They can even help you maintain a healthy weight, which is essential for your overall well-being. All in all, a team sport is a great option for any child or adult!