Sports have long been a part of people’s lives, whether they are athletes or not. This week, one of the most famous tennis tournaments in the world just concluded. We are either obsessing a sport, are supporting a team, or belonging in one. But what are the benefits of being involved in a sport, for our bodies and our minds? This video by Leah Lagos and Jaspal Ricky Singh, with animation from Kozmonot Animation Studio, tells us.
Sports is the next level of exercise.
It is an established fact that there are all sorts of benefits in exercise for our health and our mental well-being. As we exercise, our bodies become stronger, our metabolism works better, and the physical activity helps our bodies fight off all sorts of illnesses and diseases. It builds up our bodies, trains our lungs to breathe better, helps our hearts become stronger, and all kinds of good things for our functioning body.
In addition, the brain lets out all sorts of feel-good chemicals and releases them into our bodies as we exercise. These neurotransmitters help relieve stress and anxiety. What’s known as “runners’ high”, that feeling of euphoria when we exert physical activity, is what happens when our brain releases these natural hormones called endorphins. These help relieve pain, improve a person’s mood, and strengthen their memory and focus. The brain also releases other neurotransmitters that are helpful in regulating the mood. These neurotransmitters called serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine, affects a person’s appetite and sleep cycles.
But even as exercise alone helps us achieve these things, studies also show that joining a team sport also has significant psychological benefits for short term and the long term, especially when we find a sport that we are good at and a team that we like.
Team sport can teach us about relationships and support.
Have you ever wondered how playing in a team, like football or volleyball, is a whole lot different in doing an individual exercise? There is a lot of pressure in playing sports, but the composition of a team helps with the pressure. There are several psychological benefits of playing a team sport, which we can take a look at below.
Team sports help you depend on others and trust them.
The saying is true, “There’s no ‘I’ in TEAM!” Team sports divides the pressure among the players and the supporting groups such as the coach, etc. Team sports help the individual to learn not to carry the weight on his or her own. It allows one to know when to step back and when to do their job as a player, and to let their teammates act according to the tasks they have.
This also fosters the thought that you absolutely can’t do everything on your own. One person can’t carry the weight of a team by him or herself, or let others carry the weight for them. It lets others shine, and as the team works toward winning the goal, it allows the whole team to shine as well.
Team sports help you learn how to accept help and give help.
Belonging to a team teaches you to support each other and allow others to support you. Perhaps you’re not very skilled at a particular technique, or even that you can’t do curl-ups by yourself. That’s why your teammates are there – you let them help you and you’re allowed to help them! No one person is good at everything on the team. Like in football, nobody can do all positions at once – there would be chaos! Team sport helps people understand that they have a role to play, and to play that one role well.
Team sports help you and your teammates work together towards a common goal.
Ever thought about how hard it is to start or continue a fitness regimen all by yourself, but once you find a buddy to do it with, you’re almost always raring to go? Sports help you have that mindset, as you perform in a team and move towards a goal. Even as you learn new skills and do warm-ups, the team helps each member because each member’s performance get the whole team their victory. It also means that failure in a team is not only one member’s fault; the whole team factors in on their wins and losses.
Other psychological benefits
Sports activities can help reduce the risk of suffering depression for those who participate in school sports, according to the video. You get a boost of confidence and your self-esteem goes higher. A person can develop a growth mindset just by training at a new skill. If the team and the coach is supportive, the member does not mind instant results. It reinforces the belief that doing something again and again can get the desired results after some time with continuous training.
One of the benefits of sports is also coming to terms with failure. It builds a person’s resilience and helps them manage other hurdles in their life. These benefits that play into all areas of a person’s life and necessary to nurture their mind.
Sports are not only fun, but it can help you develop well to overcome other challenges and build up your mind and your body for a healthy life!
Watch the whole video here: