The value of team sports

Bethany Kratochvil, Sports Editor

I know what you’re thinking. Sports might not even be on your radar of interests or something you might consider taking part in, but before you completely eliminate the possibility of ever joining a team, here’s some food for thought:

According to Foundations of Sport and Exercise Psychology, “studies have shown that in general, varsity athletes have higher GPAs and higher educational aspirations than those who do not.” Psychologists have done specific studies on this exact subject, showing that many students who decide to join a sport tend to perform better in their academic lives, leading into more successful futures. Sometimes, it can be hard to just pick up a new sport that you’ve had no prior practice in, but this likely will promote hard work and dedication for those willing to fight for it.

But maybe you don’t want to expend your physical energy just for a better grade. So consider this. U.S.A. Hockey Olympian Hilary Knight has plenty to say about the gains she’s received from taking part in a team sport. In an interview with U.S.A. Hockey, she said that “hockey’s helped me develop as a person in many aspects of my life from structure, to the team dynamics, and learning how to live, cooperate, and work together. . . also dealing with disappointments and setbacks.” So what does this mean? It’s simple. Joining a team sport forces you to collaborate with other people, which is something everyone has to do in life. But not only are you collaborating with these people, you are also building relationships and learning how to support others and stay positive. The structure of each different game gives you a guideline for your own life, helping you to organize yourself far better than you ever thought you could.

And of course, you’ll experience crushing losses if you join a sport. But don’t let that turn you away from a great experience. In everyone’s life, as Knight said, you will experience disappointments. It’s inevitable. But joining a team sport allows you to go through these losses with people who you care about, and people who mutually care about you, so that you can move passed it and take on the next game like you are all the best players in the world.

So, is it starting to sound good now? Think about doing some research. Find out if there are any training camps nearby for rookies. Talk to the coaches here at Lincoln Way. They’d be glad to talk to about your interest in the sport, and I’m sure they’ll tell you all about how many benefits you can reap from joining the team. There’s always time to join an activity that could change your life; all you have to do is ask.