9 Tips For Preparing To Play A New Sport

by Sarah Ruhlman
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If you’ve been slacking in the health and fitness department, now is the time to change all that. One of the best things you can do to get fit and have a blast at the same time is to pick up a new sport, ideally one you haven’t spent much time playing before. There are so many great sports out there that you’ve probably never had the time or inclination to try out so why not go for it?

When you pick up a new sport, you also pick up a whole new set of skills and start to find out how the sport works and how you get good at it. It’s a great learning experience and you’ll probably meet a lot of great new people along the way too. Here are some tips for getting into a new sport and using it to get fit.

Create a Long List of Sports

It’s a good idea to start by listing a range of sports that you might be interested in playing for whatever reason. This is to simply create a long list of options that you can choose from later. If you’re going to do this, you should think about the different ways in which you might enjoy or benefit from playing a particular sport and that’s something that’ll be different for different people. It’s entirely up to you how to approach this beginning point in the process.

Take an Interest in the Sports at a Pro Level Too

Before you decide for sure which sport you should take up, it’s a good to take an interest in those sports on your long list at a professional level. If you’re interested in playing ice hockey, for example, learning about the Teams that are Headed to the 2020 NHL Playoffs and watching competitive games will help you get a feel for it. You can tell when a sport isn’t for you if you hate watching it being played by the most talented players in the world. 

Try Out the Sports and Then Narrow Down the List

When you’ve got a list of sports that you think you might be interested in and that you enjoyed watching being played by professionals, you need to start trying out some of those sports and seeing how you feel when you’re actually out there on the pitch playing them. You can then cross some of the options off your list and keep narrowing it down until you have one sport that you know is right for you and that’ll help you have fun and get fit as well.

Find People to Play the Sport With

Next, you’ll need to think about who you’re going to play the sport with on a regular basis. There are probably local groups near you that allow you to get started and join in. But you might also want to make it something that you do with your group of friends. Either way, it’s important to know who you’re going to play this sport with because most sports can’t really be played solo.

Get Competitive

If you’re really enjoying playing the sport casually and you’re getting fit as a result, you might think it’s time to start taking things to the next level. That means getting competitive and considering joining a team that’s part of a competitive league. Of course, you’ll need to be at a decent level of skill to make this possible, but if you can achieve that, there’s no reason why you can’t be a competitive success and really benefit from it. Playing at a higher standard and a faster pace will also help you get fit faster too.

Make Sure You Genuinely Enjoy It

If you’re not really enjoying playing the sport, it’s probably best to admit that and move on sooner rather than later. Sometimes, you simply don’t enjoy playing a particular sport and it’s okay to admit that. It’s better to move on and find one that you do genuinely enjoy. That matters when it comes to getting fit because you’ll stick at it for longer and carry on playing when you enjoy it. When you don’t, you’ll throw in the towel much sooner.

Keep Learning

When picking up any new sport, there’s a learning curve and you’re not going to understand all the intricacies of the sport right away; that’s simply unrealistic. You should dedicate yourself to continual learning and start thinking about what you can do to improve both your ability on the field of play and your general knowledge of the sport. When you have that knowledge and understanding, you can start to think tactically and that can really help a lot.

Make Sure You Try Out Different Roles

In most sports, there are multiple roles and they’re often very different. For example, in basketball, a center is very different to a small forward. And in soccer, being a goalkeeper is nothing like being a striker. If you’re playing the sport and want some variation, you should try out different roles. You might actually surprise yourself with which roles you’re best at and which you enjoy most.

Keep Pushing Yourself

Finally, you should remember the importance of pushing yourself. If you’re not pushing yourself hard and really putting your maximum amount of effort into the sport, you’re going to fall short and you’ll eventually realize that you’re not getting any closer to the fitness goals you had in mind at the start of this. If what’s most important is getting in shape, effort and work rate will matter a great deal.


Starting to play a new sport is a great way to get fit and to start being active again. If you’ve been through a period of inactivity for whatever reason and you want to get back into the swing of things, picking up a brand new sport is an ideal way of doing exactly that. If you do, make the most of the tips above.

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