Getting Into Sport

If you want to try out a new sport, it can be difficult to know where to begin. Choosing what to do is a very individual decision and there’s a lot to think about. You might already be actively involved in sporting activities or it may be something that is totally new to you. Everybody will have different types of exercise which they enjoy and everybody will have different skills and abilities. We’ve come up with a few key questions for you to consider, and have put together some suggestions.

First of all, have a think about the kinds of sports which you enjoy. Is there something which you watch on television that you’ve always wanted to try your hand at? Maybe you’re a football fanatic or like to follow the tennis grand slams. This could be a good way of choosing which sport to focus on and you’ll be at an advantage because you’ll already know the rules. See if there are any local teams around which you can join, take some lessons or just get a group of friends together to play.

Do you like a bit of competition? If you do, then competitive sports can be a great option. You could try team sports such as basketball or cricket, or something one-on-one like squash, badminton or tennis. Wanting to do well will spur you on to outperform opponents. If you choose team sports, there’s also the added benefit of their social element. You can meet new people who have similar interests and you’ll quickly bond over your desire to win.

On the flip side, perhaps you’ve never felt particularly confident about sports and didn’t really enjoy them at school. In this case, think about something like running or swimming. Being able to do these sports on your own if you want to takes away the competitive element and you’ll enjoy feeling fitter and watching yourself improve.

You don’t need to have a lot of time on your hands to take up a sport, but you will need to think about how much time you realistically do have and build this into your decision. If you’re pressed for time, something like sports lessons could be a good option as these will be at a set time and won’t overrun. You could also consider joining a gym or taking up another sport which you can do on an ad hoc basis as and when it suits you. Lots of gyms have a number of classes you can attend that will run to a set schedule as well as a range of equipment for you to use. If you have more free time and want a sport which can play a bigger part in your life, try to join a team. You often won’t need lots of experience and there are teams around which cater for all levels. Rugby and football are known for having good social scenes.

Consider your current levels of fitness. If you’re not used to doing a lot of exercise, start slowly so as to avoid injuring yourself. People who are already more active might want to choose something which will be a physical challenge for them and where there is room for them to continue improving. Something like netball or volleyball could be a fun choice, as these sports require particular skills and have specific rules. This will give you something new to learn and concentrate on if you’re already happy with your fitness levels.