Opinion: The benefits of team sports

When students enter the upper school at Seabury Hall, they are aware that they are required to do some form of physical activity. Students are given the choice to either participate on a team through Seabury Hall’s athletic department or use their free block time to take a physical education class.

Students should participate in team sports. Team sports help students mix with students from other grades and spend time with friends who they usually do not see outside of school. Even if they cannot participate in a team sport every trimester, students should try to be on at least one team a year.

Seabury Hall has 14 team sports teams, as well as dance classes and independent or off-season options for students. Therefore, there are many options to be a part of a team or group in whatever sport you find interesting or entertaining.

Juniors and seniors can do Independent PE, which is great if you are affiliated with a club or studio outside of Seabury Hall. If a student has been swimming, dancing, paddling, etc. with a club that they are happy with for a while, then they should not have to stop to play a different sport or give up a much needed free block because the school requires it.

“I’m just not good in team situations” is a phrase I often hear when someone is asked why he or she does not play a team sport. While there are physical benefits to playing a team sport, being on a team improves your ability to work and communicate with others. This is important because, like it or not, almost everyone will have to work with others at some point in their life.

For example, I played inline hockey for about four years of my life, and while I stopped in eighth grade, playing this team sport affected me positively today. I learned about the ability to continuously correct yourself for the ever-changing environment of the game you are playing. I also learned to work with other people towards a common goal, even if that common goal was simply passing a red hunk of plastic.

Being a part of a team does not mean you need to compete with the team; sports like golf and diving have individual competitions. But they can be considered team sports as well because you still see your teammates every day for practice. It just means you can cheer them on from the side, and they can do the same for you.

Doing sports helps to improve physical fitness and with that comes self confidence. Having self confidence does not mean that you have a “hot bod,” but that you feel great because of working out your body. Not only does exercising improve physical fitness but it also promotes brain activity.

There are many different opportunities for students to be physically active. I understand that some students do not have the time or have other requirements that make them ineligible to go to practices or games. But something needs to change to make team sports required or monitor each student’s participation in teams outside of school.