It’s no secret that engaging in fun activities with your friends is much more enjoyable than going solo. Imagine playing Marco Polo by yourself—well, in that instance I suppose it would only be “Marco”—needless to say, that would be an incredibly boring playtime in the pool. Being among friends when participating in games and sports isn’t just fun though, it’s also psychologically beneficial for you as a person!
In the psychological arena, social influence is a big deal. One of the most infamous debates in psychology is “Nature vs. Nurture”, which directly addresses the impact of others’ actions on your own behavior (that’s the nurture part, BTW). Much of a person’s characteristics are developed through observational learning. This learning can take place in a variety of situations: in your home, at school, on the playground and even in sports!
By surrounding yourself with people who have similar interests and objectives as you, you are subconsciously developing your personality and your individuality, ironically enough. Now how cool is that? Many studies have concluded that playing games with other children boosts your competitive edge, enthusiasm and excitement. In also improves group cohesion, which is why it is so important to constantly practice with your teammates! These social facilitation theories assert that acting within a group not only increases everyone’s effort levels, but it also develops team unity, stronger adherence to one another and the ability to make sacrifices for the greater good of the group.
Now to ditch all the scientific jargon and explain this idea in layman’s terms, when you exercise and play among friends you’re building long-lasting character; character that embodies a real team player as well as heightened levels of individual will and strength. This is wonderful news for it emphasizes the importance of sharing valuable moments with others.
Both kids and adults alike love playing sports. and they especially love playing sports with their teammates and friends. Individual practice and dedication is obviously necessary to improve your game, however, you can also take solace in the fact that when you’re out on the field having the most fun with friends you are also improving upon yourself in the best way possible.