Social development and team sports

It’s not uncommon to see children and teenagers all across the world engaging in organised sport. Not unlike puppies and kittens (or any other baby mammal), humans learn best when we are young through playing. Partly, it’s a good way for children and teenagers to use all that (enviable but sometimes infuriating) energy that they have, and more importantly it’s an vital and natural way for them to learn about their bodies. As we spend our entire lives in our bodies, it’s a wonderful thing knowing how to exist inside it, if you know what I mean.
It’s generally agreed by experts, parents, and children alike that doing sports as a teenager or child is a healthy practice and a generally fun way to stay in shape. The only difference of course is choosing a sport, and that varies country to country and even region to region. One factor that is sometimes not discussed as much as it perhaps should be is the social element of sports, especially team sports.
Football is undeniably the most popular sport across the world (though of course cricket ranks highly in Pakistan, India, Australia and the UK, American football is most popular in the United States and in the Philippines everyone loves basketball, to name a couple of exceptions). Despite its international appeal, I think one of the thinks that makes that sport so compelling in playing on a squad.
While the social dynamic is a relevant one on all team sports, I think that it’s especially powerful on a football squad in which the team, if it comes together well, can be better than all the individual players. In other worlds, there are the abilities of the athletes on the team, but also the team’s ability when all those athletes come together for a match.
For children perhaps, but certainly for teenagers, I personally feel that seeing many people work together as a team in order to achieve a common goal is an important life lesson because it teaches young people the power of and desire to work together.