PBS Kids GO! It's My Life
Team Sports: From The Mentors

From Danielle
Being involved in a team sport is not only fun, it's a great way to meet new friends and learn new things. When I was younger, I played basketball and soccer, ice-skated, performed gymnastics, played piano, and danced, every week. One of my best friends is a girl who I met while playing basketball, and most of my fondest memories come from being involved in those activities. Though I was never really the best at any of those activities, I always had fun. The first year I played basketball I was on a team of all boys. The ball was rarely passed to me, but I learned a bunch of new techniques and I learned to love basketball much more!! Sometimes, if you're on a team sport you may feel self-conscious, but remember that everyone probably feels the same way as you!!! Hopefully you all will learn to appreciate the value of team sports as much as I did. GO TEAM!!!

From Jordan
I've been playing on a competitive soccer team for seven years now. Honestly, my soccer team is my family. We have a great bond and I have, without a doubt, become a better person and player because of my teammates. When we started as a club team seven years ago, we were horrible! We were one of the worst teams. But we worked for each other and pushed each other, and now seven years later, we are in the highest soccer league in the country. We owe it all to each other and the hard work we all put in. Being a part of this team is one of the greatest things I have experienced so far. For anyone worried about being on a team because they're not athletic enough, I'll tell you that I was by far the worst player on my team. But being part of a team helps you improve and grow, and if you really love it, push to improve yourself on your own for the good of your team. I strongly encourage anyone debating whether or not to join a team to definitely give it a try.

From Tiffany
I don't participate in any team sport leagues, but I do participate in games between friends, like softball, football, and volleyball. I like playing team sports because of the satisfaction I get when my team wins or even if my team loses, knowing we put up a good effort. Either way, I just like playing with friends, because after the game it gives us something to talk about. People who participate in teamwork learn great tools for working with other people and key strategies that they can use in future situations. I think if you have the will power to try out for a sport, then you should. You'll either make the team or you won't, and either way it's okay. If you make the team, as long as you give your best during practice and games, your team and coach will respect you as a valuable player. It's all about your attitude.

From Mikey
I do cross country, soccer, and track. What I like the most about them is that they are not just team sports and not just solo sports. In cross-country and track, you depend on yourself; you need the team to do well in order to win a meet. In soccer, on the other hand, it's much more gratifying to win as a team and the only self-gratification you get is by knowing that you tried your hardest. What do I think you can gain from being a member of a team? First of all, friends. By striving for a common goal and appreciating the skills that each member brings to the team, you're almost always going to gain friends. Secondly, you're learning lifelong lessons. Learning to cooperate with a bunch of your peers teaches you about personalities and just people in general. If you're someone who's afraid of letting the team down: it doesn't hurt to try. Not only are there tons of kids just like you, but there are always leagues and places where you can find people of the same level of play as you. However, I always find that if I play sports with people who are better than I am, I get better and play better. Personally, I enjoy playing with people who are not athletic but give a lot of heart, rather than someone who is very gifted but not willing to play with the team.

From Joyce
I play tennis every week, but not on a competitive level. I've been playing tennis for 5 years because I love the quick interaction between players, you know, like sending the yellow ball back and forth. I usually can find enough friends to play mixed doubles and that's the coolest part of tennis. Two people is a pretty small team but if we work together well, we can accomplish a lot! I'm left-handed so I usually work with a right-handed boy, and it's funny how in the beginning, when the ball comes in the middle, either nobody goes for it or both of us go for it. But somehow we get to cooperate better as the match goes on. What's good about team sports in general is that people of different talents have to work together in order to make up a good team. When everybody in the team has worked hard together, winning and losing don't mean so much anymore.

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