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How Team Sports Can Be Better Than Individual Sports for Children


Sports are always said to be good for both our mental and physical health. But is it? New Research about sports found out that not all sports are for mental health. They found that team sports are better for mental health compared to individual sports.

Related: Unlocking the Untapped Potential of Mental Imagery in Sports

  • Researchers found that team sports are more beneficial than individual sports for children’s mental health
  • Research says that participating in individual sports itself brings greater mental health issues than playing no sports at all.
  • However, some experts say individual sports have cons as well as pros.
  • Children with attention difficulties like to play individual sports which are beneficial for their mental health.

The research results revealed that children who play teams are less likely to show signs of depression, anxiety, withdrawal, attention issues or social problems. Whereas, children who play individual games have shown high signs of mental health issues, more than children who do not even play sports.

Read More: Growing Strong: Mental Health Promotion for Children and Teens

Researchers say that social components are important while playing sports. Children who play team sports are likely to have interactions and experience closeness and belongingness with their teammates. This also helps them to learn social skills. As in individual sports, children have no chance to interact with others. This leads them into isolation which causes mental health issues. As we are social creatures, we need regular interactions and contact with human beings for our mental well-being.

Related: Psychology Behind Teamwork

Participating in team sports is better than playing individual sports, according to a new study in the United States. In addition to this, research also finds that individual sports like tennis and wrestling are associated with greater mental health difficulties and no sports. These findings are reversed to what was once said that participating in any sports helps the children against mental health issues.

Related: Understanding the Crucial Bond Between Mental and Physical Health

Not only researchers look at individual and team sports. They are considered other Factors such as household income, physical activity, and the involvement of the children in sports. After analysing all these factors, researchers state that children who play team sports have fewer symptoms of anxiety, attention difficulties, social problems, withdrawal, and Depression. Female athletes playing both individual and team sports were associated with lower levels of rule-breaking behaviour than those who did not play sports.

The researchers agree that they need more research in this area. In general, sports allow people to learn problem-solving skills, gain confidence, strengthen their bodies, and live a healthy lifestyle. While team sports provide chances to work together as a team together and interact with colleagues, they are not necessarily superior to solitary sports. Individual sports like horse riding, skating, swimming, and martial arts, according to a Researcher,” still include collaborative elements.

It also depends on personal choices and interests. Being good at something doesn’t imply that you love it. One important aspect of participating in any type of physical activity that should never be disregarded is the enjoyment factor. A sport ought to be enjoyable. It should be something that the individual considers to be a good thing in their lives.”

She said that “pressure comes in a variety of forms. The pressure of a team, or the pressure to succeed well for a team, is similar to the pressure to perform for one’s feeling of fulfilment. We are all driven by and for different things, which is again a matter of personal taste and personality attributes.” The benefits, according to a therapist, in New Jersey, can vary depending on the child. Individual sports are best as a therapist for autistic children and youngsters with anxiety.

Read More: Parenting with Neurodiversity: Nurturing Diverse Minds

Due to their views of the sport, their colleagues, social expectations, and other factors, neurodiverse youngsters frequently suffer in team sports. Individual activities like track, tennis, swimming, and karate will be recommended by therapists for adolescents who have neurodevelopmental problems that prevent them from participating in sports. Kids who have a low tolerance for dissatisfaction from teammates, and youth who are afraid of performing in front of others or letting their team down. Even sensory issues in team sports, such as noisy audiences and teammates shouting, can make it difficult for youngsters to engage.

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