For individuals with intellectual, developmental, or physical disabilities, joining an adaptive sports team can be a powerful tool to cultivate growth and fulfillment in their lives. Adaptive sports create an environment filled with positive social interactions and healthy competition for adults with disabilities. Start improving your overall well being and exploring your community when you join an adaptive sports team!
7 Reasons to Join an Adaptive Sports Team
- Improving Physical Health
Everyone knows that staying physically active promotes a healthy lifestyle. But what exactly does that entail? Regularly participating in adaptive sports leads to physical improvements such as higher energy levels, improved balance and motor skills, increased muscular strength, and enhanced cardiovascular endurance. In fact, regular physical activity can reduce the risk of many chronic conditions, such as obesity, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. Some individuals with disabilities can even use sports as a form of physical therapy and rehabilitation! So, keeping up with a dynamic sport, such as swimming or yoga, can greatly benefit a person’s long term physical wellness.
- Bonding with Teammates
Sports are universal. They have a unique ability to bring people together, regardless of social circle or cultural background. Teammates are able to bond over their love of the sport, transcending linguistic or social barriers. In sports like baseball and basketball, everyone is a part of a team. Whether practicing, winning, or losing, it’s done together, through teamwork and communication. The social skills learned from playing sports can translate to daily living. Adults with disabilities who participate in adaptive sports are more likely to adopt this “team mindset” in other social situations and workplaces, taking on leadership roles and continuing strong communication skills.
- Maintaining a Positive Mood
Any form of physical activity results in the release of endorphins, also known as the body’s “happy chemical.” Studies show that participating in adaptive sports can help decrease anxiety and stress hormones, allowing participants to live a happier, more comfortable life. Plus, if an adult with a disability unearths a sport that they’re able to participate in, they have a new hobby that they can look forward to every day! This increases their autonomy and feeling of personal control.
- Participating in Friendly Competition
Who doesn’t want to experience the thrill of competing every once in a while? While celebrating with teammates over big wins is exciting, playing adaptive sports also teaches people with disabilities the rules of fair competition. Making mistakes, dealing with losses, and overcoming setbacks are some of the most important lessons that are taught through sports, and can then be applied to everyday life.
- Enjoying the Outdoors
What’s a better way to get out of the house and enjoy the nice weather than playing a tennis match or a game of soccer with your friends? Many people, regardless of physical ability, tend to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life and forget to experience the great outdoors. Picking up an adaptive sport allows people with disabilities to play with others in the community, make friends, and build a bigger social circle.
- Cultivating Confidence
Sports are all about setting goals and working hard to accomplish them. Achieving those goals is what really boosts the confidence of people with disabilities. For example, overcoming the initial struggles of learning how to ride a bike can do wonders for a person’s self esteem. Not only does bike riding allow for individuals to get outside, get moving, and be a more active part of the community, it also gives riders a greater taste of freedom.Don’t know how to ride yet? No problem. Join Covey for this year’s iCan Shine Bike Camp, where individuals with disabilities (ages 8 and up) are empowered to learn how to ride a bike. There is never a dull moment while watching people of all ages experience a newfound sense of independence, freedom, and pride!
- And More!
The benefits of adaptive sports are seemingly endless. So, what now? Read our blog on How to Get Started in Adaptive Sports to learn more about how your loved one can participate in sports with proper modifications—because everyone deserves to reap the benefits!
Covey Connects: Where Adults with Disabilities Become a Team
Covey, the non-profit organization devoted to enriching the lives of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, recognizes the importance of incorporating sports into their lives. Because of this, we offer a variety of physical activities and outings in our Covey Connects program. Through planned events such as swimming, bowling, basketball, and going for walks outside, Covey participants have the opportunity to grow mentally, physically, and socially!
Check out our event calendar so you don’t miss out on the next activity!