Q: How do I find a sport that I might really like?

June 13th, 2012 | By Marjie No Comments

A:  It’s not as simple as you might think, but there are three pretty simple ways to start the process.

  1. Consider going with your family to watch lesser-known sports at UGA or area schools, such as volleyball, tennis or diving.  Chances are, if you find yourself intrigued with how the sport is played or what skills may be needed or with the venue itself, you will probably enjoy at least an introduction to the sport itself.  
  2. Take an introductory class or participate in a pre-season practice before committing to an entire session or season.  When our youngest son was 10, he finally had a chance to try football.  Three practices into the spring season, he knew he wasn’t ready.  Eventually, though, he played on his college team the year they made it to the national tournament … and it all started with that first pre-season try.
  3. Play off-season sports (summer basketball or fall baseball, for instance).  And be sure you try individual and team sports to see which you like better.  Our children tried everything from gymnastics to ice skating to golf before settling on their favorites.  (They’re in their 20s now and just this spring have started another new sport … rugby!  Keep trying new things so MOVING becomes a lifetime habit!)

There really isn’t a foolproof way to figure out if you are going to really love and/or excel at one sport or another.  But you should be aware that sports at the college level and beyond can look fun and glamorous, even though the majority of athletes never make it to that level, and even those who do seldom play the entire game.  At the same time, a one-time visit to a class might also not present the entire picture.

So rather than choose 1. or 2. or 3. above, consider trying a combination of these strategies.  And be sure you’re doing your homework (yep, there’s even homework when it comes to playing a sport!) on the coaches and administrators of the sports and/or activities.  Well-meaning parents who serve in these roles might not always have adequate background in how to teach/coach youth sport and provide the type of environment you and your parents might be seeking.  Coaches’ training has serious implications on children’s decisions to play and remain in sport.

In the long run, be sure you are safe, having fun, learning and getting exercise in whatever sport you choose.  That will keep you MOVING for years to come!

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