If you are not an athlete competing on a school team but would like to be more active, you might consider taking up some sport simply as a healthy habit. However, you probably have difficulty deciding which one is the best for you. Since you are reading this, one doesn't have to be a Sherlock to deduce that. On the other hand, you could read this just for fun and to confirm once more that the sport you do is the right fit. Whichever that is, I hope this post will be of use. Here is what you should consider when choosing the sport for yourself.
The most important thing to consider is your expectations. What do you want from this activity? Slimming down, beefing up, building leg strength, exercising your cardiovascular system, improving balance, agility, posture, or just a light-level activity to stay healthy? Once you realize what you want from the sport, it is easier to research fitting options to consider. If your goal is to build muscle, weight lifting is better. If you want to cope with the stress of studying and counteract the adverse effects of a sedentary lifestyle, Pilates might be the answer. If you wish to slim down, choose running or cycling.
As an experienced essay writer, I should've left this bummer till last to keep the intrigue, but I'd rather get the biggest doozy out of the way as quickly as possible. Before you set your heart on any option, be realistic for a moment and consider what is available in your school, area, and climate. Because no matter how enthusiastic you feel about netball, when you have to travel three hours by car to the nearest club, that's bound to chill your zeal. Also, if you live somewhere where it snows from September to April, waterskiing might not be the most fortunate of hobbies. You get the idea.
Are you competitive or cooperative? Lone star or team player? Quiet home-bird or chirpy and outdoorsy? Aggressive or conflict-averse? Love freedom or value structure? It's essential to choose something you will genuinely enjoy not only on a physical but on an emotional level as well. As a nature lover, you will enjoy rock climbing, mountain biking, and hiking. If you love nothing best than interacting with other people, choose team sports that give you a sense of camaraderie. If you don't mind a bit of rough-and-tumble, choose contact sports. If sweat and messiness repulse you, there is always something elegant and refined, such as archery or fencing.
That said, there is nothing wrong with a bit of challenge. Try out different things and see. You might surprise yourself and discover a side you have never suspected you had all along.
Your lifestyle preferences
Which sport to choose also depends on the amount of time you are willing to devote weekly to actually practicing sports, maintaining shape, looking after the gear, getting to the gym, etc. Carefully consider your school schedule and the time you need for studying and revising. Otherwise, you might find yourself in a situation where you have to hire a paper helper to make some time for the team practice.
Yoga and jogging are among the most low-maintenance activities if you need something casual. All you have to do is to slip into comfy clothes when you feel like it and take a few laps around the block or sit down on the mat in the privacy of your room.
Money is also a thing to consider. Sports like equestrian, sailing, figure skating, golf, and curling will require you to invest considerable sums into the equipment and training grounds to hire. However, it's always possible to do sports without splashing out on expensive equipment. For example, swimming, hiking, dancing, and soccer are relatively low-cost sports. You can also start working out with a skipping rope or a pull-up bar at home at a next-to-nothing cost.
Meanwhile, some disciplines might even bring scholarship opportunities if you show talent and get serious about it. Although competition is fierce, and it's difficult to get an athletic scholarship in any sport, lacrosse, ice hockey, baseball, football, swimming, golf, soccer, and cross country give you the highest chance of winning athletic aid.
This is merely a mild recommendation and only if you are going to be serious about this. Some sports require agility and speed, while some rely more on endurance and strength. Some favor tall, and some give short an advantage. Some rely on communication and coordination, others – on focus and body awareness. If you want to perform at the competitive level, you will have to assess your natural qualities and play to your strengths. Soft skills like communication, trust, and team spirit also play an important role.
That said, if you just want the sport to be fun, go for anything that takes your fancy. Even if you don't feel prepared enough to make the team, try out anyway. Some sports are very open, like cross-country and track. They will let you participate even if you are not yet in shape to compete on a serious level.
There is an undeniable social component to any sport. Many young people join sports to become a part of a community or club. However, you might flip the scenario and look at sports popular among your social group: friends and classmates. If you genuinely aren't sure which activity you will most enjoy, this is a good place to start. You will have the support of your peers that is much needed for a novice. Someone will be there for you to advise you on gear, training routines, and tactics, warn you against rookie mistakes that potentially lead to injuries, keep you company during exercises, and motivate you if you begin to doubt your abilities.
Although your friend circle might be a significant factor in your decision, it's essential to choose what is best for you. Even if none of your friends likes the sport you want to try, you will undoubtedly find someone to share your passion with once you start practicing and competing.
Let's be honest. We often try out sports we enjoy watching and find beautiful in some way. Think, which sports do you find enthralling as a spectacle? It doesn't matter whether you are fascinated by the speed, gracefulness, perfect coordination, power, energy, or even uniforms. Every sport has its unique beauty, and if it speaks to you, maybe there is a reason for it. Also, different sports shape us differently and work with our bodies in varying ways. Which athletic body type do you find the most inspiring and worth modeling after? Lean runners, mighty powerlifters, broad-shouldered swimmers, sylph-like gymnasts, or harmonious cyclers? Following your ideal can add extra motivation. However, don't forget that the best way to measure progress and move forward is to compare yourself with your past self – not with someone else.
I hope these tips will lead you to the perfect sport for you. However, what if you are not a fan of organized sports and find it tiresome to follow someone else's schedule and rules? In that case, there are plenty of alternative ways to stay active! Maybe you already have a morning exercise routine, or you are absolutely killing it on the dance floor whenever you have a night out with friends. The important thing is to be attuned to your needs and find something that brings you joy and helps you thrive. Stay active and good luck!