Despite the fact that famous athletes are constantly involved in scandals concerning violence or drug abuse, media keep highlighting team sports as a perfect activity for kids. They help teenagers and younger children to stay physically fit and build a strong character. Being a good team player gives one a credit in the workplace and helps coordinate relations with other people. But these benefits do not come automatically to kids playing on a school team. Taking advantage greatly depends on coaches, parents, and children themselves.
It is true that football, basketball, rugby, soccer, and other team sports teach kids to cooperate, work for a common goal, and increase their resilience in challenging situations. Being a part of a team, kids realize when they need to be softer or tougher to make the group hold together. But children also need a good coaching for these behaviors to occur on time. Naturally, team sports facilitate acting on impulse which undermines patience and humility. Young children shall be taught how to work in team effectively not to cause any distress to themselves or peers. So it is important for a coach to raise fair, ethical, and humane team players but not tough personalities aimed to crush everyone else with their authority.
It is important to remember that character is a versatile notion that is not limited to will power or courage. Children need ethical coaches aware of a child’s psychology to fully benefit from team sports. It is also important for parents to see child’s inclinations and not to push them into the sports kids do not like.