If you’ve been wanting to try a new sport, here are five tips from The GAME that will help you get started on the right foot.
When The GAME sat down with Dr. Ian Banzon, a do-it-all woman who plays more sports than we can name, she left us with a great message about what sports have to offer us:
“I really like sports because you learn a lot more. You learn about teamwork, you learn how to work with other people, and you learn soft skills, like thinking of different ways to attack a problem,” she said.
Take it from her — participating in a sport is invaluable. So, if you’ve been wanting to get into a new sport, stop thinking about it and just go for it. Here are five tips to help you get over the hump.
1. Choose a sport that’s accessible to you.
According to the bestselling book, Atomic Habits by James Clear, one of the most effective ways to create a new habit and actually stick to it is by doing something that is “easy.” With this in mind, if you want to try a new sport and actually commit to it, choose one that is easily accessible to you.
If you live near a football field, get into football; if you know a good golf coach, give him a call; if your club has a tennis court, schedule a session. You get the point. Accessibility is a huge part of starting a new routine because the more convenient it is to you, the more easily it will stick to your new routine.
2. Start with the basics.
When people develop an interest in trying new sports, it’s often because they’ve seen friends or even pro athletes excelling at the sport.
But, as tempted as you might get to try all the advanced moves right off the bat, don’t.
Start with the basics of the sport you want to try. Work on some drills, start with easily achievable movements, and if you have the accessibility, get a coach to guide you through the foundational beginning stages of your new adventure. This way, you’ll know you’re setting yourself up with a good base to grow from.
3. Repetition is key.
When you’re trying a new sport, a lot of the movements will seem unnatural to you at first.
Things won’t be second nature to you right away — and that’s perfectly fine. Repetition is key here. According to some experts, it may take 50 or more repetitions before something can become a habit. So, the more frequently you practice as a beginner, the more quickly you’ll be able to develop new skills.
4. Invite your friends.
When you’re starting a new sport, making it a whole affair with your family and friends is a huge way to not only make the journey more enjoyable, but also more consistent.
If you have friends who are great at the sport already, call them up for a game or a session where you can learn new things from them. Or if you have friends who are beginners like you, even better! By starting a new sport with a group of other beginners, you’ll have your own circle of friends going through the same process of wanting to improve, and you can even hold one another accountable.
Doing it with others will definitely make it harder to miss your weekly routine.
5. Celebrate your wins — even the small ones.
If you’re just learning how to play football, you won’t be a World Cup champion any time soon. If you’re learning how to play basketball, you won’t be an NBA star by next season. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate small wins.
So go ahead, post that video of you mastering a new trick, or tell your friends about how you won your first game! It’s important to pat ourselves on the back once in a while when we get something right, because this will make you proud of what you’ve achieved, and will likely push you to come back chasing even more wins.
Banner image from Freepik.