Team sport is any activity in which a group of people work together to achieve an ultimate goal. The members of a team set goals, make decisions, communicate, handle conflict and solve problems in a supportive and trusting environment.
Athletes often develop relationships with their teammates and coaches which can be important in their sporting life later on. These mentors can provide positive role models, encouragement and support when it is needed most.
They also teach children about commitment, training and setting goals which can help with their mental health and social well-being in the long run. They can learn to put winning in perspective, as well as coping with losses and not dwelling on them.
The physical demands of the game require the athletes to be physically active in a wide range of different ways at all times. In rugby, for example, 85% of the time the players are engaged in low-intensity activities such as running and about 15% is spent in high-intensity activities such as tackling and wrestling for ball possession (Duthie et al., 2003).
In sports that involve a large number of substitutions (such as American football) this may be especially true as players can be playing different roles at the same time. This can result in changes in pace and direction of play that increase energy expenditure as the athlete tries to maintain a consistent rate of speed and movement.
This is important in helping to build resilience and flexibility for the athlete in the long term. Developing and maintaining resilience and flexibility is particularly vital in elite sports as these games can be extremely demanding. These high demands can lead to fatigue and a number of other issues such as overuse injuries, emotional disturbances and eating disorders.