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Why Start Playing a Sport

Why It’s a Great Time to Start Playing a Sport and Keep It Up

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This seems like a strange time to be discussing how to start playing a sport, until you really think about it. The days are getting longer. The holidays and forgotten New Year’s resolutions are well behind us.  Now, it’s time to start thinking about how you’re going to get active and remain that way over the long term.  Joining a team or taking on a structured activity of your own is a great way to do that.

Why Start Playing a Sport at All

A Journal of Sport Behavior study examined the difference between the motivation we have when we start playing a sport or when we face exercise in general.  What it found was that the motivation levels were quite different. 

Once we start playing a sport, we’re driven by “interest/enjoyment and competence motivation,” said the research paper.  However, when it came to the drivers for fitness and exercise as a whole, people are “driven by body-related motivation.” Once we understand that, it’s clear to see why sports can offer us an advantage in getting us to move around and to keep doing it.

How to Begin

If you want to start playing a sport, the first thing you need to decide is what you want to play.  If you already know that you love skiing, baseball or swimming, then you’ve got a head start. However, if you don’t know what you like or you aren’t sure how you’d want to participate, then it’s a good idea to start breaking things down so you can refine your options.

Remember that just because you start playing a sport, this doesn’t mean that you’re locked into that one activity exclusively for life.  So, if you want to give some options a try, or if you want to change your activities with the season, that’s wonderful! Go for it!

If you don’t know what you’d like to try, ask yourself a few questions.  They can include the following:

  • Do I want to start playing a sport individually or as part of a team?
  • What is available in my area during the current season?
  • What equipment will I require and is it available to me?
  • What teams/training are available to me?

From there, don’t forget to talk to your doctor to make sure that the option you want to begin is appropriate for you.

Start Playing a Sport for Fun

It’s great to push yourself to be at your best, and competition is a good motivation to try your hardest.  However, it’s important to start with the mindset that you’re playing a sport for fun.  Even if you’re competing in races, matches, or games against other teams, fun should be your primary goal.  Indeed, do your best, but do it so you’ll enjoy yourself. That way, you’ll want to go back and do it again!