Engagement in physical activity is essential for maintaining our health and wellbeing. It is recommended that we exercise for at least 30 minutes each day. Finding the motivation to do this can sometimes be overwhelming! One of the best ways to increase your motivation to engage in physical activity is by surrounding yourself with like-minded people. This might mean joining a group fitness club, signing up for an 8-week challenge where you are supported by a whole team of people, or simply starting up a team sport! Team sports are a great replacement for conventional exercise!
The Health Benefits of Sports
There are so many health benefits associated with team sports, for both adults and children:
When kids play team sports they develop:
- Physical skills
- Social skills
- Respect for rules and disciplines
When adults play team sports they benefit from:
- Reduced stress
- Increased fitness
- New social interactions/ Friendships
- Increased motivation
- Commitment and self-worth
Individual VS Team Sports
Although there are a number of benefits of participating in team sports for your child’s development, there are a number of factors that make it difficult to decide whether to encourage your child to play a team sport or an individual sport. When making this decision, keep in mind that both types of sport are equally important and play a role in developing different skills. As your child develops, so will their individual preference to play sport. I would recommend introducing them to a variety of sports – both team and individual (within reason). Depending on your child’s personality they will most likely develop a preference – let them choose.
For children and adults alike, it can be difficult to get started in a new team sport. Here are three key tips that might be helpful for training and skill development:
- Most important tip! – Don’t overdo it, keep it fun.
- Show interest – play footy in the backyard with your kids or your mates and maybe get involved in the management of the team.
- Keep focused on individual progression – don’t compare yourself or your child to other players or the scoreboard. Remember and teach the importance of training, hard-work and commitment (again within reason). Follow the role models in the sport you or your child are playing.
Reduce Injury by Warming Up
Finally, in order to keep it fun, it’s a good idea to reduce the chances of injury. For any age, gender and sport the most important injury prevention advice is WARM UP! It is that simple! Make the warm up specific to the sport you are playing. Before completing training or a game you want to increase your core temperature by completing dynamic stretches/movements. To ensure you are completing an adequate warm-up, you are best to consult with an Exercise Scientist, Exercise Physiologist or a Sports Performance Coach to ensure you stay injury free!
For more information on the health benefits of sports or for help with injury prevention and management from our Accredited Exercise Physiologist, Matthew Brozovich, don’t hesitate to contact us. You can also book a consultation with him here.