THE MANY BENEFITS OF BEING ON A TEAM
Often when you think of a team and kids, you think of competition. In fact, when I looked up the definition of “team” I got this: “a group of players forming one side in a competitive game or sport.” When you think of BOKS – it is a place where we focus not only on making physical activity fun, but it’s where non-competitive skills are paramount. Yet, both of these environments cultivate the benefits of being a part of a team.
At this time of year, many people are following and/or participating in football playoffs, basketball or hockey games. On media sources, it is hard to ignore several learnings on how a team works. Teams that tend to work well together and respect one another seem to have winning records. Teammates learn to work together to achieve a common goal – winning the game. The saying “we are only as strong as our weakest link” rings true in these situations as everyone needs to perform for the group to be successful.
Even individual sports reap the benefits of being part of a team. Striving to get your individual best helps raise up the entire team. Winning a race is not just a win for the individual, but for the team as a whole. Practicing for an individual race, whether it be a cross-country run, a 500m swim, or a ski slalom, you aren’t practicing alone, but with a group of people who share your same passion and will share not only your success but also your challenges.
BOKS, on the other hand, is not focused on winning, but the many benefits of teamwork still thrive. I found another definition of team which was created by Northwestern Kellogg School of Business. It states that a “team is a group of individuals working together to achieve their goal.” So many of our games and skill work are based on teamwork. Kids involved with BOKS will often have the opportunity to work with a team that includes different ages and sizes. These teams must work together to complete a skill or activity. There is one game we play called “OVER UNDER”. In this game, we have “teams” of about five kids each that will form lines. The first kid will have a small object that they are going to pass over their head to the kid behind them, then that second child will pass the object between their legs to the kid behind them and so on and so on, until all kids have passed the object. In respect to teamwork, kids get to figure out that they will have to work together to make this game a success. The smaller, younger kids on the team may have trouble passing the object overhead, but are quite skilled at getting the object through their legs. The older kids need to figure a way to make the younger kids feel comfortable enough to listen to their directions on which way the object should go. Encouraging one another on this team is another key to a successful completion of this game.
Our Five Favorite Teamwork Benefits at BOKS:
Confidence – Through sport and programs such as BOKS, kids develop a sense of confidence in themselves and trust in others. When kids feel confident and secure, they are more likely to succeed in school and achieve personal goals. Having a positive self-image helps kids feel happy and capable.
Community – The feeling of community is built in the BOKS program (and on teams), as kids share common interests, goals and attitudes. This feeling of belonging is created through a supportive, positive, environment that helps kids tackle challenges and thrive.
Friendship – We have seen kids in BOKS develop lifelong friendships through being a part of this program. These friendships help kids develop important life skills like getting along with others and dealing with conflicts and problems. Kids who develop friendships early in life are less likely to have social and emotional difficulties later in life.
Cooperation – Cooperation is the process of working together to the same end. This skill is needed to be able to work together and be successful. Kids in BOKS gain positive social interactions and develop positive friendships through the experience of cooperation.
Collaboration – As teachers and BOKS trainers we want to help kids improve their outcomes of any activity that they do. Having kids collaborate forces them to debate, plan and solve problems together. These skills translate to a respectful and supportive learning environment.