Delving Deeper Into the Mental, Emotional, Social, and Physical Benefits of Sport
What does sport mean to you? Is sport the adventure of reaching the podium, the rush of coaching your team to playoffs, or the sense of camaraderie with your teammates?
Maybe it’s the joy you feel when you watch your child play, or the rewarding feeling of giving back as an official or volunteer. Sport might be how you connect to the people and places around you and be a way to stay active and have fun.
Sport has the power to have a profound impact on your life in all kinds of ways – and that’s valuable now more than ever.
The Way You Play
The physical benefits of sport are perhaps the most obvious.
“Health, fitness and sport performance are all tied together closely,” said Sport Performance Specialist Neal Prokop, who has worked with many Team Manitoba athletes at Sport Manitoba Performance. “With so many individuals spending more time sitting and living a sedentary lifestyle, sport and competition can be a fun way to meet these physical activity guidelines.”
The Way You Think
Have you overcome a challenge you thought you couldn’t? It probably felt fulfilling when you made it to the finish line.
“When you think of sport, it’s very much an opportunity to challenge yourself,” said Dr. Adrienne Leslie-Toogood, owner of Toogood Consulting and Director of Sport Psychology at Canadian Sport Centre Manitoba.
“To try and get better at something, you learn a lot of life lessons out of it in terms of, you know, there might be an area you struggle in, you might not be successful at something, and you learn how to do it,” said Dr. Leslie-Toogood.
The Way You Feel
It’s not just athletes, coaches and officials — the positive emotional and social benefits extend to parents, volunteers, spectators, and sport staff.
“I think people get a ton of emotional benefit from their sport, whatever they choose to do. Each sport has unique challenges, but again, the sense of community and connection [and] camaraderie is so powerful in a sport setting,” said Dr. Leslie-Toogood.
Sport After COVID-19
COVID-19 has changed sport. But what happens when we get out of this pandemic?
Sport might just be one of the best ways to bounce back, feel good from the inside out, and reignite joy and connection.
“It’s been really hard for people. There’s maybe more stress, more anxiety, and as a society, we’re going to maybe have more of that. And I think it’s important for us to recognize the role that sport can play in that. Sport can help us all as we recover. It can be part of the recovery process and part of that sense of normalcy, part of that structure and that routine and getting out,” said Dr. Leslie-Toogood.
To learn more about the value of sport and find the perfect sport program for you, click here.
Sport Manitoba is the leading planning, programming, and funding agency for the development of amateur sport in Manitoba. Our goal is simple: we aim to ensure every Manitoban has access to the resources they need to achieve their full athletic potential, and we do this every day by developing the skill sets of Manitoba’s athletes, coaches, volunteers, and officials. The Province of Manitoba supports and enables us to achieve this vision.