What Is a Team Sport?
Team sport is a common term that refers to any type of sporting activity in which individuals on a team work together to reach a shared goal. There are many different types of team sports, and each one varies in terms of rules and equipment.
Individuals who join a team sport must commit to working hard and being good teammates in order to succeed. They are required to set goals, make decisions, communicate, and cooperate with their teammates to achieve the objectives of the team.
Athletes must also learn how to manage conflict and resolve problems in a supportive and trusting environment, which is an important skill for life and work. Aside from physical fitness and health benefits, playing a sport is often a fun way to meet new people.
The most distinguishing characteristic of team sports is the simultaneous presence of competition and cooperation among their members. This is particularly true in team sports where each member must compete to be selected for starting positions and play time, as well as cooperate with other members of the team to coordinate their activities for performance success.
Competitive, field-based team sports are distinguished from individual sports in that the demands on a team athlete to compete are much greater and more frequent than those of an individual athlete. In fact, team athletes may have to perform more than 150 brief, intense, and repeated action segments in a single game.
For example, during a basketball match, each player must be ready to run a few seconds before the ball comes to them and they may have to do this over and over again as the ball moves from one side of the court to the other. Athletes in team sports are required to perform these actions at a high intensity, with their heart rates and oxygen uptake recording as high as 80-90% of their maximum heart rate and peak aerobic power.
Moreover, the demands on a team athlete to collaborate with their teammates are much greater than those of an individual athlete. This is because the team must be able to outperform their opponents in order to win. For example, if two swimmers swim different strokes, they must be able to support and motivate each other to achieve their team goal.
This type of cooperation requires a strong sense of social identification and self-efficacy. This is especially true in youth who are less accustomed to social interaction (Smith, Mellano, & Ullrich-French, 2019).
Athletes that are not able to identify with their teammates and do not feel confident in their abilities can have a difficult time succeeding as a team sport athlete. This can negatively impact performance and may lead to negative self-perceptions such as low confidence, anger, and dissatisfaction with their performance.
This is why it is important to coach athletes how to be a good teammate and encourage them to think of themselves as part of a whole rather than an individual. In addition, team coaches must provide clear guidelines about what is expected of their team. If they do not provide this guidance, then their players will not be able to achieve the desired team-sport outcomes.