Team Or Individual Sports: Which Is Better For Kids?

Watching the Olympics, I got to wondering which is better for kids.

Team sports (Basketball, Soccer, Baseball, Football etc) have their advantages in that it shows teamwork and skill. Win or lose, you have a team of friends to share your feelings with. However, if you are not the best on the team, inferiority complex would come into play. And god forbid you should be the one to screw up that final play of the game! Then again, hallelujah if you are the one who makes that last winning play!

Individual sports (Gymnastics, Swimming, Judo, Fencing, Wrestling, etc) even though you sometimes compete as “teams”, seem to stress individual talent. You can’t really blame the team if you screw up, but when you do well, you can feel good about yourself and I can imagine it builds self-esteem.

So in your humble opinion – which type of sport is better for kids?

The sport, if any, that they enjoy. If they like the activity, and have fun at it, let them play. If they no longer enjoy it, allow them to switch to something else.

As long as they are doing something active for a reasonable amount of time per week, that’s all that really matters as far as “good for them” is concerned.

I agree with BrotherCadfael. The most important thing is for your child to have fun. But, if he/she gets stressed out easily, I personally advise a team sport to decrease some of the stress. I prefer to play team sports for that very reason.

I also agree. Let the kids decide what they like. And for sure there is no correct answer. For Andy Roddick the answer was individual. For LeBron James it was team. For Tim Duncan it was both (he used to be a competitive swimmer).