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Team Sports Make People Gain Interpersonal Life Skills

     It is often said there is a lot of relationships between playing team sports and life skills that are defined the psychosocial abilities and behavior that enable individuals to deal effectively with the demands and challenges of everyday life. Danish (1997) also said “sport psychology involves the use of sport to enhance competence and promote human development throughout the life span.” Life skills are largely separated to two parts, intrapersonal life skills that is for individual and interpersonal skills that is for personal relationships (Daniel & Sarah, 2008). Interpersonal life skills include leadership, cooperation skills, interpersonal manners, and intrapersonal life skills include resilience, setting goals, controlling emotions. Playing team sports gives both of them, but it is said that people can gain more interpersonal life skills than intrapersonal life skills through playing team sports. This essay is focusing on three interpersonal life skills, leadership, cooperation skills, and interpersonal manners that can gain from playing team sports.

     Leadership is one of the most popular topics when we talk about sports. It is defined the ability to organize a group of people to achieve a common goal. Leadership will be seen throughout people who experiences team sports. The research (Shimamoto, 2008) shows leadership can get through playing sports. There are some factors to explain how they gain leadership. Playing team sports makes a lot of relationships among members. Members have to express their own thought to get team unity. In addition, they have to tolerate hard practice, in that time; they have to support each other. These factors lead the members to feel leadership.

     Second, team sports will enhance cooperation skills. Ueno (2007) shows the research to get the cooperation skills can be seen from participating the club sports. The reason why they can get cooperation skills is that playing team sports could force athletes to cooperate with members as they show their individual personality. Cooperating with members in sports will enhance the cooperation skills in their life.  Tokunaga, Hashimoto, Takayanagi (1994) also said that athletes who belongs to the team have more cooperation skills than others.  On contrary, Ishiguro said that top athletes have higher cooperation skills, but it depends on the situation whether the sports field or not.

     Interpersonal manner is being polite or well-bred to others. Isogai (2000) said that most athletes belong to the team, and they have to have good relationships with coaches and teammates. Also, they have to act according to the morals or rules of sports teams. These lead athletes have interpersonal manners. In addition, Interpersonal manners are one of the most important factors to play in team sports. They have to deal with judges in the games. If athletes are not polite, the judge impression will be very bad and they will have prejudice to the teams. Athletes have to be polite to the judges, and interpersonal manners will improve in sports scene, and in their daily life.

     In summary, interpersonal life skills such as leadership, communication skills and interpersonal life skills can be gained through playing team sports. It is because team is the group, and they have to make good relationships with others, then they can get interpersonal life skills through dealing with other person.


Teresa Fletcher, James Benshoff, Melanie Richburg (2008) A Systems Approach to Understanding and Counseling College Student-Athletes. 2003

Kohei Ueno. Experiences in Athletic Clubs in Adolescence –Discussions from a Perspective of Life-Span Development-


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