Playing sports is a good thing in general. As both adults and children, being involved in sport is fun, exciting, and good for our health – both physical and mental. But when it comes to choosing whether to pursue a team sport, such as hockey or soccer, or an individual sport like martial arts or golf, which is best?
Although both have their pros and cons, playing an individual sport does have a wide range of different advantages. Read on to find out what they are so you can look into the different options open to you.
Not Afraid To Fail
When you are playing a team sport, you have the weight of that team behind you. If you do well, you’ll be celebrated, but if you make a mistake – as we all do from time to time – you’ll be held accountable. This is not always a positive thing and can even lead to disputes and major upsets. After this, you might be afraid to try too hard or push yourself because, although this might make you great, it could also cause another error, and that’s the last thing you’ll want to do after what happened the last time. Instead, you sit back and do the minimum required.
In individual sports, this can’t happen. There is no team to ‘disappoint’, and winning or losing is down to you. Therefore, if you feel you can push yourself and it doesn’t work out, the only person who will be annoyed is you – and you’ll use that lesson to be better next time. In other words, you won’t have the same fear of failure that you would have in a similar situation in a team sport.
You Can Play Any Time
If you play sports in a team, you’ll need that team around you whenever you want to play. That’s not always something that’s easy to arrange, especially if you play as a hobby and you all work or have other responsibilities. Perhaps you have to travel to play in a certain place, and it’s not always possible to go there when other people have free time.
The great thing about individual sports is that you are in control. You can choose when (and to some extent, where) you play, and you don’t have to check in with anyone else to do so. Perhaps you fancy heading to an open driving range to enhance your golf skills, or maybe it’s a lovely day so you want to go for a bike ride during your lunch hour. With these individual sports, you can do precisely what you want.
Go At Your Own Pace
No one is born knowing everything there is to know about a certain sport. Even people who seem to have a natural aptitude for something have to learn the rules and the best ways to play. You might be an excellent striker, but if you don’t understand the offside rule or you need to improve your speed, your soccer skills will still be lacking. No matter what sport you name, there are always going to be rules, regulations, and techniques that have to be learned in order to be the best you can be. In this regard, team sports and individual sports are the same.
However, this idea also makes them rather different. When you’re learning in a team, you have no choice but to try to keep up with everyone. If one member of the team doesn’t understand how to do something, that will hold everyone back and could produce some poor results. When you play individual sports, you can learn at your own pace. If there is something you don’t understand or you’re not great at, you can keep going over it until you do understand and you are great at it. You won’t have to worry about holding anyone back or being the weakest link; you can learn in the best way for you and feel comfortable about it.
Many people say that team sports are good because one of the benefits is that your entire team will motivate you. If you don’t feel like playing, you’ll still need to turn up because others are relying on you. If you’re not learning fast enough, you’ll need to put in the extra effort.
However, what this demonstrates is that in team sports, there are others there to give you that motivation, whereas in individual sports, with that additional outside motivation lacking, you have to be your own motivation. This is obviously much harder, but it’s also much more beneficial. If you can motivate yourself to play even when you don’t want to, you can motivate yourself to do anything; this is a skill that will help you greatly in life as well as sport.