Want To Join Sports As An Adult? Here’s What You Should Check Out!

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Hey, you. Yeah, you! Have you been thinking about joining a sport recently? I know, I know, you may have these thoughts running through your brain like “That ship has sailed” or “I’m definitely too old to start a new sport,” but please allow me to assert how ridiculous those doubts are. THEY ARE SO STUPID! Seriously, any reason stopping you from getting up and starting a new sport as an adult is pretty darn stupid. (1) You definitely aren’t too old to start a new sport, especially if you’re a Zillennial! In that case, you’re in your 20s and for the most part, you can get your body where it needs to be in order to play whatever you want. Also, just because some people in the game have been playing a sport sine they were in elementary school doesn’t mean you can’t join up and learn it as an adult! Who cares if Sharon has been playing soccer since she had days of the week underwear? That doesn’t make your interest in soccer any less valid!

For me, a lot of what stops me from doing things like joining new sports as an adult is impostor syndrome. Maybe I fell out of working out for a while and I don’t think I’m fit enough to be showing up. Maybe I don’t know anyone else there and I would rather stay home than get out of my comfort zone. Perhaps I have no idea what to wear and I let that doubt stop me from even getting dressed to go. Whatever it is that’s stopping you from checking out a sport you’re interested in, it’s probably seems a lot more stupid once you say it out loud or even get it on paper. So, muster up that confidence– even if you have to fake it– and focus on all the good things about joining a new sport as an adult. 

Benefits to Adult Sports

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You make new close friends

Ok, I feel like this can be considered a given whenever you join a new activity like a team sport, but for us introverted and shy folk, sometimes making new close friends seems like an impossible task. I just moved to a new state and my pond of friends there looks pretty pathetic. However, I’m hoping that by joining sports in the area, I’ll be able to meet lots of close friends like I did when I joined Roller Derby in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Even though I joined Roller Derby with a friend, I ended up meeting so many amazing people who filled up a lot of my social circle after just a few weeks of knowing them. In team sports, you’re often all up in each other’s physical space during practice, so small talk barriers are easy to break through. It’s like, why would you be afraid to divulge all the juicy details about your dating life to someone whose armpit your face was pushed into a few minutes ago, or whose sweat consistently drips on you in a certain play– your teammates are instant besties, baby. 

Improves mood and motivation

I’m no scientist but we’ve all heard about how exercise releases endorphins which makes you feel amazing. I mean, anyone can probably attest to its validity and immediate effect, but have you noticed how it even has an impact over time? If you are consistently staying active and socializing in a positive way, like you would with playing sports, your overall mood and motivation is set to skyrocket. Your brain will be happy with that consistency and support and so will you!

You challenge yourself

When I was younger, I hated that my grandpa saw a challenge as a good thing. I just wanted to play polly pockets and get on with my life, not struggle to get polly’s jackets on. But apparently, that struggle was worth something. Now, I sort of get it. I mean, how boring is a life that just keeps on going– smooth sailing– steady approach– etc. etc.? It’s about the journey not the destination, right? Well, along the way, we might as well have some fun. Why not put faith and effort into a game, struggle to do well with it, challenge yourself, compete, lose, win, whatever? It’s all better than not engaging at all!

Also, with challenging yourself, you also set yourself up for success. How? You’re getting stronger and stronger the more you push yourself, and this strength may not just exist on the field or the court alone, it can bleed into all kinds of aspects of your life!

Enhances your confidence

Confidence is key. Yes, it really is. Confidence makes you happy, it eliminates anxiety, it helps you make an impact, perform well, etc. etc. Just like how challenging yourself in athletics can bleed into other areas of your life to make you a stronger person, confidence in your sport can bleed into other areas of your life. When I joined Roller Derby in college, little did I know that it’d help me give presentations in class or share insights at work, but it did! How? Confidence! On the track, I felt like a badass. But I don’t live on the track, so once I started feeling like a badass there, I started feeling like a badass everywhere– and it’s amazing what that confidence will do for you.

You stay active

Well, duh. If you’re keeping up with a sport, chances are you’re staying active in one way or another. Even if your practices are just once or twice a week, you may even find yourself working out daily or every other day, keeping yourself in shape for the sport. Personally, I have a hard time staying fit “for myself,” If my reason is looking and feeling good, I’m probably not going to be that motivated to stay in shape. However, if my motivation to stay fit is to make sure I can kick some ass on the derby track, you bet I’m up in the gym giving it my all. I am going to try to keep myself as strong and as fast as possible for my sport, and if that works as better motivation to stay in shape, run with it!

It’s fun!

Of course, playing a sport is supposed to be fun! Sometimes we forget the whole reason we do things like this. Yes, all the other benefits of staying in a sport as an adult are great, but let’s make it as simple as it was for us when we were kids, and we’ll really have a great time. Is it fun? Yeah! Take the pressure and stress out of it and play ball (or whatever)! If you’re leaving practices smiling, you’re probably in the right sport!

What should I join?

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Hopefully by now I’ve convinced you to try to join a sport as an adult! Woohoo! But now, the difficult decision comes in. By no means are you obligated to choose one sport, but there are a lot of factors that may go into what sport you actually decide to try out. Here are some things to consider:

  • What sports are popular in your area?
  • Do you already have experience with a sport or something to do with a certain sport?
  • Do you have equipment for a particular sport?
  • What sports require equipment that is within your budget right now?
  • What sports do you love to watch?

Answering all of these questions might help you have a better idea of what sports would be easier to get into and which ones may be more challenging for you to get into. Making sure there is a local league for your desired sport is always a good idea before going out and gathering equipment. Also, some prior understanding of the sport, knowledge, or even experience can always go a long way. For example, when I joined my local Roller Derby league, despite not knowing much about roller derby, I did know how to roller skate. While lots of new members didn’t know how to skate at all, and not knowing how to do something should never stop someone from trying something, it can help you decide what sport to play if you already have some skill in a particular area. 

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Still a little unsure of what sport you want to take up? No worries! Here’s a list of sports that are not only great options for anyone, but also are often popular among adults– meaning you may not have too hard of a time finding other adults to play with. Check some of these out:

  • Soccer
  • Indoor Soccer
  • Football
  • Flag Football
  • Ultimate Frisbee
  • Frisbee Golf
  • Volleyball
  • Sand Volleyball
  • Hockey
  • Field Hockey
  • Dance
  • Cheer
  • Lacrosse
  • Roller Derby
  • Softball
  • Kickball
  • Golf
  • Climbing
  • Bowling
  • Martial Arts
  • Wrestling
  • Kickboxing
  • Swim
  • Gymnastics
  • Figure Skating
  • Speed Skating
  • Cycling
  • Pickleball
  • Badmitton
  • Tennis
  • Dodgeball
  • Basketball
  • Rugby
  • Archery
  • Water Polo
  • Paddling
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Hopefully, after reading this article, you’re not only motivated to join a sport for yourself, but you also have a bit of an idea of which sports you may want to check out! Remember to leave your intimidation and doubts at the door, grab your gear, and head out to play! 

What sport to you play or want to play as an adult? Would you join sports as an adult? Let us know in the comments!

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