Weary of warrior posing? Bored with boot camping? Restless with running? Maybe trying a team sport is one way to get your mama mojo back. If you’re interested in playing ultimate Frisbee or getting your dodgeball on, here are six benefits of being a team player.
You’ll Have A Purpose: “I’ve gone to the gym, but I get bored and needed something to challenge myself,” says Shawna Clouthier, a Peterborough, Ont.-based mom who plays indoor and outdoor soccer. She found the challenge involved in thinking through a game galvanized her in a new way. “It’s a different dynamic in exercise when you’re out there doing a team-based sport. You’re all focused together as a team on an end goal rather than trudging along solo on the treadmill. I find having a goal of being able to run that field up and down and improve and play well is something I strive towards.”
You’ll Be a Role Model: As parents playing sports, we’re modelling healthy active lifestyles,” says Kristi Herold, founder and director of the Toronto Sport & Social Club, an organization coordinating recreational sports. Kristi herself plays a variety of sports including ultimate Frisbee and European handball games. “We’re not at home in front of our phones or TV, but at least one night a week if not more, we’re out and showing kids that health and activity is important and what better way to do it than through team sports,” she says.
You’ll Be a Role Model PART II: Playing sports also gives you a chance to show your child early on the value of good sportsmanship and sports etiquette. Kristi often brought her kids to games and even had them participate on the field with her team. “I gave my kids pens and paper and get them to keep score or they were out helping me warm up, or they were always part of the handshake at the end of the game and the cheers in the beginning of the game,” she says.
You’ll Improve Your Mental Health: “I had focused so much on the past year to year-and-a-half on my children and my family that I really had lost myself,” says Jacinta Kennedy, an Ottawa-based mom of 14-month-old twin boys, who plays beach volleyball and soccer. “I’m the kind of person that if I’m not actively involved with a sport or activity, I get kind of depressed. I needed to get back out there and live life again. My family is very important to me, but I needed something for myself.”
You’ll Get In Better Shape: Jacinta was on bed rest for much of her pregnancy, which she found a shock to her body once she headed back out onto the soccer pitch. “I thought I was in a lot better shape, but I wasn’t actually,” she says. “Now when I play my regular games throughout the week, I sleep better and I’m in a better mood. My boys are busy at this age and I’m able to keep up without breaking a sweat.”
You’ll Make Friends:Team sports are social by nature. Shawna had started playing soccer with a group of moms in Hamilton, Ont. So when she and her family moved to Peterborough, Ont. she turned to sports to socialize. “As you get older, it can be harder to make friends unless you’re doing baby-type stuff and meeting new moms,” she says. “So when we moved to Peterborough, I signed up for soccer to get out there and get active and meet people in the community.