Finding The Appropriate Sport In Which To Participate

flag football game

Choosing a sport in which to participate can be a tough decision. It is, however, an important one. Participating in a sport that you don't enjoy simply because it has the greatest health benefits is unwise and counterproductive.

The amount of calories burned or muscle mass gained is almost always trumped by the passion and enjoyment of actually playing the game. If you don't enjoy the specific sport that you're participating in, you will almost certainly fail to be successful.

How do you go about picking a sport? The decision is ultimately up to you.

There can be many factors that influence your decision, however, and it's important to examine exactly what factors are most important to you.


Some sports are more expensive than others. While almost every sport can be enjoyed in a modified way (with reduced equipment), finding a sport in which you can participate competitively is important to personal development. Startup costs for sports can vary, but as a general rule, hockey, boxing and golf are among the most expensive. The least expensive sports include running, swimming and basketball.

Prices vary depending on whether you need to buy new shoes, have your own facility, or have a friend with extra equipment and/or apparel. Consider volunteering at local community facilities to reduce costs. You can get a part-time job at a golf course or volunteer as a lifeguard at your local Y.M.C.A. to get free access to the grounds.


Whether or not there is a nearby physical location to participate in the sport you're considering is obviously an important factor. If you have no swimming pools or bodies of water in the area, swimming is probably not a good choice. As much as you may want to swim, driving two hours to find a pool would waste valuable time and money.

Many larger cities have sports facilities offering a wide range of activities at a minimal cost. Not all cities are so fortunate, however. If you would like to play baseball but there are no baseball fields nearby, consider developing your own or petitioning the local government to build one. As with many sports, there are usually alternative options given enough creativity and motivation.

Physical Fitness

basketball game

Often times, an individual may want to participate in a specific sport before they are physically prepared to safely play the game. Hockey is a great example.

If you are physically fit but can't ice skate, you may want to learn before signing up for a team. Likewise, if you are unable to sprint for medium distances, playing a sport that requires a great deal of sprinting (like basketball) would be a poor initial choice.

However, never let your physical condition or limitations determine your long-term goals. Choosing a sport that you are not yet able to play can have a great effect on motivation and commitment to an exercise program. Accept that you may not be able to participate yet, but plan to participate in the future.


Some sports require a very large time commitment. Not only do you have to meet for team practices, but you are expected to find time on your own to prepare for practices through exercise. If you find yourself short on time but still want to compete, you may want to try a sport that is very training-heavy but only holds events on occasion. Running, biking, swimming and triathlons (a combination of all three) are great for people that can only set aside a full day every few weeks.

Nothing is more demoralizing to a team than to work together for a long time only to lose a member to a time commitment. Make sure that you have the time to participate before signing up for the team to ensure a healthy and proactive environment.

If You Still Can't Make Up Your Mind...

Choose two! As long as you can meet all of the requirements associated with the specific sports that you have chosen, there is nothing to prevent you from playing two or more sports. Most athletes participate in a main sport and then use an alternate sport as a method of cross training or off-season conditioning. In addition, most team sports have seasons that are determined by the time of the year. One person could easily play baseball and football without ever having any overlap in seasons.

Good Luck!

softball game

One of the most difficult decisions that many people face is whether to exercise or watch television. However, if you are the type of individual that has difficulty choosing which sport to play, and watching television is not one of them, you are already on the right track.

Simply weigh the pros and cons between the various sports that you are considering and thereafter, choose the one that best suits your specific goals and objectives. 

When choosing a sport, make sure you have a place to play, the money necessary to purchase the appropriate apparel and equipment, the time necessary to train, practice, and play the game, and have fun.

By competing in a sport that you truly enjoy, you facilitate a lifestyle filled with health, fitness and mental well-being.