Places Pointer: The Benefits of Team Sports

The more the merrier!

Many of us look at exercise as something to practice alone, but there’s a lot to be gained from switching things up and keeping fit within a team. You get the buzz from social connections, plus the positive benefits of being active.

Whether it’s a group boxing class or a game of badminton, there’s strength in numbers!

Research has shown that team sports can contribute to the following:

Encouraging discipline and perseverance

Once your workout class or plan with a friend is scheduled in the calendar, it becomes harder to hit the snooze button as you have people relying on you to show up. Group workouts are also full of encouragement and motivation, which create positive feedback loops that keep you pushing!

Boosting problem-solving skills

There are many challenges that pop up during team sports that require us to think quick and make decisions fast. Reacting positively to these challenges isn’t only valuable in a team sport environment, but it’s also something many of us can apply in the world of work, or other situations where difficulties arise.

Aiding stress reduction

We all know that regular physical activity releases endorphins, the type of hormones that make us happy. Paired with the physical benefits, team sports are a win-win for the body and the brain. Evie, one of our Fitness Instructors at Wokingham Leisure Centre who also plays for Portsmouth F.C Women, also agrees. “Team sports have many benefits, through football I have met some of my closest friends, who I regularly spend time with both in and outside of football. My football family have helped my mental health massively by giving me a distraction and purpose.”

Having fun!

Along with keeping fit, team sports also provide a lot of fun. Positive coaching, being unafraid to try and fail, and getting together outside of training are good places to start. This element of fun might also be just what you need to make a fitness habit stick.

Empowering people to feel more involved in sports, whether it’s something you do by yourself or in a team, is something we hold close to us at Places Leisure.

Research from Women in Sport shows that just over one million girls are disengaging from sport activities after primary school, with 50% lacking self-belief when taking part in sports.

That’s why we partnered with Women in Sport and Hey Girls to introduce the Big Sister project, a programme that provided free gym memberships, support, and advice to encourage thousands of girls across the country to find a place in sports.

You can learn more about the partnership and its impact here.

Sources: More ‘sporty’ girls now dream of reaching the top in sport (Women in Sport) | Big Sister: breaking down barriers to activity for teen girls (Women in Sport) | Aerobic Exercise Is Promoted when Individual Performance Affects the Group: A Test of the Kohler Motivation Gain Effect (Springer Link) | Dread the Gym? Exercise with Friends Puts People in a Better Mood (Live Science) | Six Reasons Why Team Sports Are Good For Your Health (Forbes) | Ways Sport Can Help Struggling Students (Auralcrave)

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