Team vs. Individual Sports for Your Daughter

Team vs Individual Sports for Your Daughter

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I am a big Olympic sports fan. I have tried to watch as many hours as possible and even though I missed the gymnastics and swimming competitions I’ve been able to watch many other events, especially volleyball and water polo.

And as I have watched all these elite athletes competing I have remembered how much my daughter Hayley enjoyed her years playing basketball. Being part of school and select teams helped her gain confidence in herself, built skills for working in a team environment and kept her in shape. Which got me to thinking about whether it is better to participate in a team or individual sport.

Certainly both have their advantages. Team sports require constant communication during play which can especially help an introverted girl. Team play also fosters a sense of belonging, a ready group of friends, and a shared experience. If there are personality conflicts between players, the conflicts have to be worked out or set aside for the team to succeed, which teaches so many lessons about dealing with life’s adversities in order to reach a goal.

Individual sports requires a commitment that always amazes me. To watch Gabby Douglas or Missy Franklin excel means admiring all the many hours that they put into training because they themselves wanted to succeed. There was no team to lift them up when they were down, no one to disappoint if they didn’t show up to practice one day. They relied on themselves to achieve their goals. Of course, they had coaches and trainers and family members to support them. But when it came time to compete, they were alone on the floor or in the pool.

Both individual and team sports have their advantages depending on what suits your daughter’s personality.  And as a parent, I was just glad to have my daughter interested in something that inspired her and let her have fun.  In the end, that is most important, whether it be sports, music, art or other activities.