Is there an I in team? | Knutsford Times

Is there an I in team?

By on May 29, 2009

I like many others moved to Knutsford many moons ago in order to enrich career and opportunities. It was very daunting at first as I knew very few people in the area and struggled to get to know anyone due to working commitments.

If like your career you have chosen primarily a personal path to fitness and leisure you may want to reconsider the enriching role the team can play in your life.

In Work are you a lone wolf? Does the thrill come when it’s you against the world? Do you prefer beating the clock, going the distance, and finding your limits on your own? Many of us are drawn to personal challenges more than team efforts. However, if we habitually limit ourselves to individual sporting success, we miss out on some great payoffs not only in sport but through life skills. Team sports with the Knutsford community such as rugby, football and hockey can not only offer the same exercise benefits as individual sports, but they have other value-added benefits.

In addition to the obvious socialization that team sports nurture, they raise people to a new level of fitness and performance, often surprising even the fittest of individuals. They develop positive attitudes and instil values that contribute to a person’s overall satisfaction and success in life. From personal experience as a Personal Trainer I would have to say that only through sharing an achievement in a team environment did I fully appreciate success.

Our personal values have a direct effect on the lifestyle we lead and have been shaped to a large extent by the interaction we have with others. The sports that we choose reflect those values and traits. Not surprisingly, then, social sciences have discovered that individuals who participate in team sports reflect different values than those who prefer individual sports such as biking, running, or squash.

Not only do certain types of sports attract certain personality types, but the sports themselves engender and nurture those traits. So, if you are the type that prefers individual sports but you want to grow personally, you may want to consider joining a team on the court or playing field within Knutsford. As an added benefit, joining a team will likely take your physical fitness beyond the extent that you have been able to reach on your own.

Profilers discovered that those who take part in team sports are particularly distinguished by their strong sense of belonging. They feel closely bound to their team and share values with others. By contrast, enthusiasts of individual sports are more self-centred and show less openness to others.

Team members have a strong desire to share experiences with others and distinguish themselves by their openness and their willingness to get involved in their community. They tend to show an interest in other cultures, are attracted by diversity and are passionate about social and environmental issues. Those who participate only in individual sports display less interest in these factors.

Team sports help keep one’s ego in check. When part of a team where everyone gets a chance to play, members relax in the face of the challenge at hand, realizing that not everything depends on one person. Team members celebrate the success of others easily and willingly. What is more, they are able to handle defeat and disappointment better without internalizing failure or blaming others.

When part of a team, people learn to take direction from others. Whether the team has a coach or not, team members realize the value of mentors. This attitude of `teachability’ leads to success in other areas of life. Team members will continue to seek out and learn from mentors who can help them with any task at hand.

So, do not let the lone wolf in you choose all of your sports; consider joining the pack once in a while. There are benefits unique to both individual and team sports and together both venues enrich our health and lives more than one can. Striking a balance in our leisure and exercise time between solitary and community activities ensures that we can live up to our potential and enjoy life to its fullest.

So why not give your local Knutsford sports teams a call…

About Tom Irvine

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