You’ve played soccer since preschool and were first at bat on the t-ball field. But, now you’re thinking of starting a new sport. How can you pick a new athletic activity? It’s not always easy – especially if you’ve been playing the same sport for years. Whether you’re looking for a change or want to add another activity to your roster, make selecting a new sport easier with a few simple steps!
Pick a Sport YOU like
It’s easy to get drawn into an activity because all of your friends are doing it. Consider it peer pressure – in a positive way. Joining a sport gives you benefits galore, including a healthier lifestyle and teaching you social skills (such as teamwork and sportsmanship). Sometimes it just takes a push from your friends to join in, get up and start a new sport. That said, if you honestly don’t want to play the sport, don’t do it. Considering a sport because your friends rave about how much fun they’re having can help the selection process, but considering a sport that you have no interest in only because your friends tell you to, isn’t the way to go.
Go To a Game, or a Few
You’ve been to your fair share of major league baseball games, but have you seen your local community team at play? If you’re considering joining the school or a rec center team, take some time to see a game or two. Doing this gives you a better idea when it comes to if you want to join the team or not. Introduce yourself to the coach while you’re there and discuss the possibility of joining in.
Talk to Your Parents
While talking to a coach can help your decision-making process, discussing the new sport with your parents gives you a point of view from the people who know you the best (even if it feels like they don’t). Ask for their input. If you don’t agree with what they say, talk to them about it. Maybe one of your parents played the sport in high school and knows you won’t like it or maybe they just know what you will and won’t like. Your parents can also help you to match your school, homework and after-school activity schedule with possible sports practice.
Make a List
Not sure at all what sport you want to play? Write a list of what you’re looking for or what skills you feel confident in. For example, if you’re a social person and prefer a team sport, tennis may not be for you. But, if you like being independent this type of sport might fit you. You probably won’t meet every point on your list. Try to match your potential pick with as many items on your list as possible. That’s okay if you miss a few points. But, if you’re missing all of them, it probably isn’t the best option.
Give It a Try
Sometimes the only way to make sure that you enjoy an activity is to do it. If you’re not 100 percent sure about a sport, sign up and give it a try anyway. You might find out that it’s your favorite activity or it might be a dud. In either case, you won’t be left wondering if you made the right or wrong decision. Imagining, talking about and thinking what it would be like to play the sport isn’t the same thing as playing it. Give yourself a chance (at least a few weeks of practice) to decide whether the sport is, or isn’t, the right fit.