Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Team sports and Individual sports

Again, the essay wasn't timed. I tried to do it in the afternoon, but I had too many things to take care of (laundry, cleaning & stuff) and when I started I saw it was time to give up. So, once more my essay was not timed and maybe that's why it's so long.


Discuss advantages of individual and team sports. Express your preference.

Since we are really young, our parents and our teachers talk us into practicing any kind of sports. It is important, though, that we experience both individual and team sports because these two kinds teach us very different values and rules that are fundamental not only in the sport world, as well as in life.

Learning how to play a team sport has a lot of advantages. The first we can think of are related to the interaction among the members of the team. It might seem fun and easy to play in teams, but it is not so simple. In fact, it takes time and training to develop those skills that we need to join in a team. Practicing team sports can effectively teach you a very important lesson: how to work together to reach the same goal. This means that, to be in a team, you need to know how to rely and trust your team mates, how to accept their mistakes and praise their efforts and how to keep a healthy relationship with them no matter what. Practicing a sport team will surely help you acquire these skills that are going to help you throughout life. Furthermore, team sports have another great advantage: they can be played for fun among friends just to spend some time together. It is very common to see a group of friends playing soccer or volleyball on the beach, when they are spending a nice time together. Finally, I believe that team sports can be played for fun because the pressure and competition are not concentrated on one single person, but spread into all the members of the team. This means that, in case of victory, everybody is happy and cheers together; in case of loss, instead, they can console each other.

In individual sports, instead, the pressure to win is generally high, especially at high levels of competition. However, there still is the advantage to practice an individual sport for fun. For example, I started taking ice-skating classes a few months ago with the only goal of learning how to ice-skate. Therefore, during the classes I do not feel any sort of pressure to win or to be better than the others. What I really feel when I am practicing is a full awareness of my successes and my failures. When I am successful in any sort of exercise, I feel rather proud of myself and know that I deserve all the credit for that; when I fail, instead, I feel a deep frustration because I know the failure is due to my own limitations. For as much frustrated as I feel, I still believe that learning how to be aware of one’s own successes and failures is something very important, thus I would list this as one more advantage of individual sports. Finally, in individual sports you have the advantage of not having to deal with other members of the team. Even though I believe this is a very important lesson we learn in team sports, it is good sometimes not to go through all this and being focused in doing what we want rather than what others want us to do.

Personally, when I was really young, I always went to gymnastics, which is an individual sport. Because of that, I believe I didn’t learn a lot of the values that I would have learned practicing a team sport, and this made things difficult when I tried to join in teams afterwards. Up to now, I still prefer individual sports to team sports because of my difficulties in fitting in a team. Nevertheless, I consider this a fault in my uprising, and I strongly believe people should have experience in both individual and team sports so that they can learn two different kinds of important lessons for their lives.

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