Choose Your Own Sports: What are the Benefits?


Cynthia Lan

These are the different sports fields at Yorba Linda High School.

Cynthia Lan, Photojournalist

“Do you play any sports?” – people usually start up a conversation with a question like this. Sports topics are usually people’s love because they represent a lot of character traits including excitement,sportsmanship, strength, and a lot more. Many studies have shown the numerous benefits of sports. So what would be a good sport choice for you? This article will be the key for you to find the right sport.


Sports have a lot of categories: individual sports, team sports, partner sports, and extreme sports. Most of these sports are derivative from war or hunting. 


In modern times, sports are used as a form of entertainment, competition, social connection, health, and so on. Xenia Lee (9) on the JV women’s tennis team at YLHS commented, “not only was I able to bond with my teammates, but tennis was a way for me to exercise.”


Sports benefit humans both physically and mentally. Playing sports provides regular exercise to develop endurance, strength, and flexibility. “Being physically active can improve your brain health, help manage weight, reduce the risk of disease, strengthen bones and muscles, and improve your ability to do everyday activities” (


Furthermore, sports also have a great mental impact. Do you often feel mentally excited, happy, or relaxed after exercise? This is because of the endorphins. Endorphins are different from dopamine; dopamine is a chemical in your brain that rewards you when you do something you like, such as eating some delicious food, and it tells your brain to do those things over and over again. Endorphins are like natural painkillers: when your body makes it, all of the stress and bad moods are replaced by pleasure and happiness. People can usually feel endorphins after they accomplish a task, get something done, or finish their sports practice.

According to the World Sports Encyclopedia, “there are 8,000 different sports out there. Each sport has unique advantages and challenges,” ( 


What are the benefits of team sports versus individual sports and which one fits you the best? On one hand, team sports are excellent for promoting teamwork, socialization, and communication skills. Throughout practices and tournaments, a team develops trust, leadership skills, and the ability to work towards the same goal. Sophia Mou (9), a YLHS volleyball player says, “I made so many friendships within my team and I learned how to effectively and kindly communicate with my teammates whenever there was a conflict.” 

I made so many friendships within my team and I learned how to effectively and kindly communicate with my teammates whenever there was a conflict.

— Sophia Mou (9)

On the other hand, individual sports offer more opportunities to focus on personal growth and development. For example, during races, athletes do not have to coordinate with teammates. Throughout races, you can learn numerous life lessons such as how to manage your time, emotion, energy, mind, ect. Not only that, individual sports can have more opportunities to stand out for achievements. Xenia Lee added, “I was also able to gain a better mindset to give my best effort no matter what.”


When it comes to choosing your own sport and whether if it is for you, here are some tips:

  1. Find your interests: If the sport you are playing does not match your interest, even if you are really good at it, you will not excel at it. List some sports that you can think of that you might want to try first. If you don’t have any in mind, let your parents and friends recommend you some!
  2. Discover your own body advantages: A 198cm tall person might be a good height to become a swimmer, but it will be hard for them to do a triple twist like gymnasts. 
  3. See if the sport can fit into your life: practicing a sport takes a lot of time and energy. Balancing school work and sports has always been a problem for students. Not only that, the money for going to practices, races, and buying equipment can be expensive.


Last but not least, some popular team sports you can consider are soccer, basketball, and volleyball. Those are all great choices as it is an excellent sport played worldwide, and it promotes quick thinking, communication, strategy, and teamwork.


For those who are interested in individual sports, running, swimming, and tennis are some of the first choices you can consider. Running is a great option because it is easy to start and can be done almost anywhere. Swimming is a whole body workout sport and is an extremely low injury sport. Tennis promotes hand-eye coordination and strategic thinking; it can be an individual and team sport.


In conclusion, if you are trying to be healthier, doing a sport is probably the best option for you. It will not just benefit your body but also your mental health, friendship, and even family relationships. Also, you will learn countless life skills and sportsmanship. If you are a high school student at Yorba Linda High School thinking about joining a sport, you can always talk to your counselors and parents about joining one or more sports teams. 


Check out YLHS sports team description below to see more details. Good luck on choosing your own dream sport!