Participation in Team Sports is Literacy By diana garcilaZo

Participating in team sports is something very important in our community. Many people participate in team sports throughout their life because it brings enjoyment, they get involve with the community, it’s a fun way to stay healthy, many valuable things are learned, and for many more reasons. Some may argue that participating in team’s sports can be risky because the participants can easily get injured. They may also argue that it can be a waste of time. It’s true that sometimes participating in physical team sports can cause bad injures and use a lot of the individual’s time, but the positive effects easily outweighs the negative.

Umatilla Vikings showing their sportsmanship after defeating Corbett, Oregon.

My personal experience

Some of the metals I have received throughout my high school experience.

Everyone who knows me is aware of how much sports mean to me. They know that I always watch them, talk about them, and most importantly, participate in them. I am very literate in team sports because I have participated for many years in them and have been able to gain a lot of knowledge in that area. I have been participating in soccer for more than nine years. I have also participated in other team sports such as volleyball and track and field throughout my middle school and high school years. All my literacy comes from soccer because of the years I’ve participated in it. Not only was I able to learn the basic knowledge of the sport such as the language, rules, plays, and safety, I was also able to improve many other skills. Some of those skills is my communication, self-discipline, leadership, teamwork, and have been able to make life lasting friendships.


Literacy is any knowledge pertaining to a specific area. In fact, people possess literacy in many areas without even realizing it. People can be literate in their community in many different ways. One of those ways is participation in team sports. Sports literacy is when an individual gains the knowledge it takes to know the language well, know the plays, know the rules, and the safety of that particular sport. Sports literacy also builds positive attributes such as communication, teamwork, respect, leadership, dedication, and motivation and responsibility.

Understanding the specific language

Sports literacy involves the ability to know the specific language that is used for that particular sport. Rules and plays incorporate a big part of language. In order for the player to play the sport he/she has to know the rules. They have to know what is allowed and what isn’t. For example, in soccer the player has to know how many people should be on the field, what part of the body can touch the ball, what type of fouls there are, and how long the games last. Knowing the plays is another aspect of language. The player has to know how to read the plays, because the coach communicates the play on a whiteboard. He/she also has to be able to visually read the plays out on the field. For instance, they have to know the difference between plays because each play requires different techniques. The player has to know how to use the right equipment and skills to stay safe and reduce the chance of getting hurt.

Active communication

Active communication among teammates is one of the most important aspects of sports literacy. Communication is what makes a team successful. Successful communication involves multiple players talking throughout the game not only with words, but also with body language and hand signals.

body language

Body language allows you to tell whether the player is ready for a play, whether he/she is paying attention, trying their hardest, or even when they’re tired. For example in this picture the player’s body language show they are prepared for the play to go on, they are all paying attention.

Teamwork, Dedication, Motivation and Responsibility

Participating in a team sport will build up the individual’s ability to work well with others. In the article An Overview Of How Sports, Out-Of-School Time, And Youth Well-Being Can And Do Intersect, a group of researchers did a study on how participation in sports affected the children/teen well-being. They concluded that “those who participation is team sports develop sportsmanship, team work, leadership as well as promoting competence, confidence, connection, compassion, and caring for others” (Le Menestrel). This article showed that participation can help an individual develop valuable skills he/she can use to improve their friendships and self-esteem. Individuals who participate also build up positive aspects such as dedication, motivation, and responsibility. Sport and Child Development, an academic article talks about a study done on children who participate in sports clubs. The study was done to demonstrate that participation may help the development of children’s motivation to achieve goals they set for themselves. As well as demonstrate the development of characteristics such as: responsibility, loyalty, empathy, intimacy, self-control, team-spirit, curiosity, self-assessment, time/stress management, effort and perseverance. The researchers mention that, “physically active children score significantly lower in the strength and difficulties questionnaire” (Felfe). This means that they have less problems with their peers, emotions and behavioral or conduct problems.


Physical, psychological, and social health are all positively affected by sports participation. Above any other physical activity, team sports have the higher benefit in these areas. According to the article, A Systematic Review Of The Psychological And Social Benefits Of Participation In Sport For Children And Adolescents: Informing Development Of A Conceptual Model Of Health Through Sport, “ Participation in team sports benefits the social skills such as positive relationships with peers, coaches and developing teamwork skills. It also reduces the chance of having mental health problems. It reduces the feelings of hopelessness and suicidal behavior” (Emie). Participating in sports gives you the opportunity to interact with different individuals and make long lasting friendship connections. Also, playing sports could be a stress release, anger and different emotions which play an important role in mental health.

Throughout the game the players demonstrated their literacy in this specific sport. For example, they showed their knowledge of the rules when a player commits a foul and the opponent player gets a free kick. This part also shows their knowledge of safety because the players were aware of their actions after the foul and they tried to avoid a similar situation on happening again. The players also demonstrated skills such as communication, teamwork and dedication. They were able to communicate with one another, they worked together to gain control of the game and never gave up.

The players were able to visually reading the plays. For instance, they made sure each player was guarding someone which allowed the opponent team to struggle for a point. The players knew what play they were using and were able to be in the right spot and time for the next move. Also, all players practiced their communication and teamwork skills throughout the scrimmage.

A way I make sure I am safe on the field is by making sure I have the appropriate cleats, shin guards, not wearing any jewelry that can cause injuries. I also have to know the proper technique on the moves I will use. For example, when it comes to keeping control of the ball I have to be aware of my surroundings, but most importantly I have to be aware of the opponent player moves to make sure they won’t kick or injure me. I use active communication when I am out on the field I am able to communicate with my teammates using words, body language and hand signals. For example, when I am defending I make sure my teammates know who I am marking. I let them know who I am marking by saying player’s jersey number, staying close to the player or pointing at the player. By doing any of those things other teammates are aware who I have.

Being part of a team has helped me improved my sportsmanship, the way I work with others, and the respect I have for others. Overall it has helped improve my leadership skills. I had the opportunity to show my leadership skills being team captain for 3 years of high school and 4 other years in city league soccer. Because of that I am comfortable enough to step up in school projects and make sure everything gets done as well as help those who need it. I am also able to keep practicing these skills at work; I am able to work well with my coworkers, show my confidence in the work I do, and care for others.

benefits in academic situations

In regards to an academic situation having literacy in team sports can benefit the individual education. Since the individual is used to using skills such as: visually movement reading, communication, teamwork, respect, leadership, dedication and responsibility on the sport field it makes it easier for them to communicate with their teacher as well as their peers. Sport literacy can also help the student realized the responsibility and importance of being punctual to every class as well as in each assignment. All the skills developed throughout the participation can benefit the children’s education and benefits them later in life when they enter the work force.

My community helps me sustain and use my literacy on the daily basis. I practice my knowledge in school and work. For example, in school I am more motivated to achieve the goals I set up for myself in every class by putting effort in my assignments, being on time, following instructions and paying attention. At work, I also practice my knowledge by using my communication and teamwork skills I developed in sports. I plan to continue to practice and improve all my sport knowledge throughout my life because it is very beneficial.

Works cited

Eime, Rochelle M., et al. "A Systematic Review Of The Psychological And Social Benefits Of Participation In Sport For Children And Adolescents: Informing Development Of A Conceptual Model Of Health Through Sport." International Journal Of Behavioral Nutrition & Physical Activity 10. (2013): 98-118. Academic Search Complete. Web. 24 Oct. 2016.

Felfe, Christina, Michael Lechner, and Andreas Steinmayr. "Sports And Child Development." Plos ONE 11.5 (2016): 1-23. Academic Search Complete. Web. 27 Oct. 2016.

Le Menestrel, Suzanne, and Daniel F. Perkins. "An Overview Of How Sports, Out-Of-School Time, And Youth Well-Being Can And Do Intersect." New Directions For Youth Development 2007.115 (2007): 13-25. Academic Search Complete. Web. 27 Oct. 2016.

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