3 Surprising Mental Health Benefits of Team Sports

3 Surprising Mental Health Benefits of Team Sports

We all know that playing team sports is good for our bodies, improving everything from lung capacity to muscle mass. What you might not have realized, though, is how good this form of physical exercise is for your mental health too.

Nowadays, more and more people are motivated to take up activities such as running, boxing, and aerobics for the endorphin hit a good workout can give you. But the benefits of team sports, with their added social element, can far outweigh the boost of feel-good hormones a solo workout will give you.

Want to know how playing team sports can benefit your mental health? Keep reading to find out!

  1. Increased Self-Esteem and Confidence

As any member of these basketball teams would tell you, team sports are great for improving feelings of self-worth. Sports require you to set targets, coordinate with team members, and work together towards achieving these goals.

As well as being rewarding, this process shows you how capable you are at achieving what you set your mind to. In turn, you’ll experience an increase in your self-esteem, becoming more confident and self-assured with every game and every new accomplishment.

It’s not necessarily about being the best on the team or winning every game. The collaborative process of team sports is more than enough to make you feel like a winner even when your team loses. And in fact, learning to handle defeat can also boost your inner confidence by showing you how much more important it is to focus on the positives, such as having fun and working together.

  1. Reduced Feelings of Loneliness and Depression

No matter how strong you are or how fast you can run, your mental health will suffer if you’re experiencing feelings of loneliness. Loneliness and a lack of social support and contact can even end up having a detrimental effect on your physical health as you get older. Likewise, depression has a long-lasting negative impact on both your mental and physical health and can cut your lifespan by as many as five years.

The social aspect of playing team sports is a great way to fight loneliness as you’ll train and play together regularly. This means less time alone and more opportunities to meet like-minded people as you work together at something you all enjoy. And, although your shared interests might start as basketball or football, you’re sure to find teammates you can connect with in other ways.

All forms of physical exercise can play the role of natural antidepressants. This happens as a result of the release of endorphins, which then reduces the body’s cortisol levels to reduce stress and anxiety.

Team sports also help counteract the associated symptoms of depression and side effects of depression medication, such as lethargy and a general lack of interest. And, working as part of a team also helps your worries seem less important as you start to see the bigger picture and feel more connected to the world and people around you.

  1. Improved Focus and Concentration

It’s not all having fun and running around when it comes to playing team sports. Both your mind and body need to be engaged and ready to go at all times. Demanding and fast-paced team sports require fast reaction times and the ability to consider the possible outcomes of a certain play or move.

This kind of intense mental focus improves cognitive skills such as critical thinking, concentration, and attention span. And the more sports you play, the more you’ll see your concentration and focus improve. Being able to focus on a set task is an invaluable life skill that will make everything from relationships to work projects a lot easier to devote your time and attention to. And all it takes is an hour or so of team sports twice a week to help you see things more clearly in all areas of your life.

Choosing the Right Team Sport for You

Obviously, to reap these mental health benefits, it’s vital to choose a team sport that you enjoy. No matter how good a sport is meant to be for your mental and physical health, anything that becomes a chore rather than a pleasure won’t have the desired effect.

That said, it can be tough to choose between the many options out there. While most team sports involve two competing groups of people and a ball, that doesn’t mean that you will find every team sport engaging. It’s also not that easy to try your hand at a bunch of different sports unless there are established teams or clubs you can join in your local area.

When it comes to choosing a sport, the best way to find out what you like is to get out there and play. But first, go and watch a few games to see what inspires you the most. You might never have considered field hockey or volleyball, but watching live could be enough to convince you that you’ve found your new passion.

Start Reaping the Benefits of Team Sports Today

If these mental health benefits of team sports aren’t enough to get you signing up to your local team, we don’t know what will!

In all seriousness, team sports aren’t for everyone. But don’t assume that they’re not for you just because you weren’t the star of your college basketball team or didn’t make the try-outs for your school football team. There’s a team and a sport for everyone who wants to play, so make sure you don’t sit this one out. After all, you don’t want to miss the chance to reap these awesome mental health benefits!

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Marisa Lascala

Marisa Lascala is a admin of https://meregate.com/. She is a blogger, writer, managing director, and SEO executive. She loves to express her ideas and thoughts through her writings. She loves to get engaged with the readers who are seeking informative content on various niches over the internet. meregateofficial@gmail.com