What Is A Good Way To Introduce A New Sport To A Beginner?

What is a good way to introduce a new sport to a beginner? This week we have some outstanding information for those who may be thinking about this very topic. Whether for you or your kids, learn about cost, ease of transition and more.


TOPIC: What Is A Good Way To Introduce A New Sport To A Beginner?

The Question:

People will often try to pressure their friends or kids into music, food, movies, etc. Sports are no different. Sometimes they will fall in love with the sport, and sometimes they won't even make an attempt to give it a try.

What is a good way to introduce a new sport to a beginner?

For a kid, what is the best sport to first introduce them with? Why?

Is it easier to introduce a team sport (baseball, basketball, etc.) or a solo sport (boxing, bowling, etc.)?

Which is the easiest sport to introduce to a friend? Which is the toughest to introduce?

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1st Place - sc1
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A new sport can be intimidating to anyone. When introducing a beginner to a new sport, you want to make it as comfortable and non-threatening as possible. So first and foremost, you must select the right activity.

Age, sex, lifestyle, body type and personality can all play a factor in deciding on a new sport. When helping others find a new sport, we must put aside our personal preferences and desires and think about these factors.

You may like free-style skateboarding, but your grandmother will probably be a bit nervous about it. I love to dance, but my 230-pound father isn't likely to take up ballet. What are they drawn to? What makes them excited? What fits their personality?

Once you begin to narrow down the options, it's time to think about more practical matters. Research has shown convenience is one of the biggest factors in program adherence. Is there a facility/field nearby? Do the practices or game schedules fit into their schedule? Cost and equipment can also be a factor.

Some sports, like lacrosse, entail a heavy investment in equipment. Individual sports, like martial arts or boxing, may require expensive training fees and team sports often involve team fees and league dues. Make sure you research all the hidden costs and commitments before embarking on a new program.

Start Off Slow:

    You've finally found a sport and are ready to help your friend on their way. What now? Start slow! You may be a pro, but beginners should be encouraged ease their way in. One on one instruction can be a great way for a beginner to get their feet wet and get familiar with the rules of the sport.

    Whether you go with private lessons or small group lessons, look for trainers that offer specific lessons for beginners. Often times, you can also find beginner clinics that teach the basics of the sport in a fun, camp-like setting. Your local college is a great resource for inexpensive training. Non-credit courses are often offered for a variety of sports both from community colleges and larger universities.

    In team sports, seek out leagues that have different divisions. Many sports have several different divisions for every level. Age specific divisions, like an over-40 league, can be much less intimidating for older adults who don't want to compete with 18-year olds. In addition, don't overlook co-ed leagues.

    Co-ed leagues can be competitive, but often they are more social than anything and can be more welcoming for beginners. If you can't find what you're looking for in the city league, check out YMCAs and community centers for low-key team activities. Pick-up games can also be a great way to ease into things.

basketball
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Check Out Your Local Community Centers.

    If you drive down to the city park on a sunny Saturday with a football, soccer ball or volleyball, you may try to get a casual game together. The web can also be a good resource to find informal pick-up games and individuals with similar interest.

    Try posting on the community section of your local paper or a site like www.craigslist.org. Other sites, like BodySpace are popping up all over the place to make it easier to find and meet people with similar desires.

    Finally, when you introduce someone to a new program, make sure they have a support system. Having friends and family members who support their new program and/or participate will increase the likelihood that they stick with it.


Just For Kids
For A Kid, What Is The Best Sport To First Introduce Them With? Why?

Just like adults, some kids will be better suited to some sports than others and should be encouraged to experiment! However, as a starting point, soccer is a good choice. Soccer is one of the biggest youth sports in America. It requires little in the way of equipment (shinguards, cleats and a ball) and is fairly inexpensive and easy to learn at the recreational level.

A big benefit of soccer is that in most locals, it is offered at every age group and in a wide variety of levels so that everyone can play in an appropriate environment. Kids can begin playing soccer in recreational leagues as young as 4 or 5. Unlike Pop Warner football, equal opportunities exist here for both your bouncing boy AND your darling daughter.

RELATED ARTICLE
Should Young Athletes Focus On One Or More Sports? Should Young Athletes Focus On One Or More Sports?
Young athletes benefit their skills in any sport by playing a multitude of sports. A young athlete does not need to be exposed to a single sport to get optimal stimulation.
[ Click here to learn more. ]


Team Or Solo
Is It Easier To Introduce A Team Sport (Baseball, Basketball, Etc.) Or A Solo Sport (Boxing, Bowling, Etc.)?

When starting a new sport for the first time, participating in a team sport has many advantages over a solo sport. Most of us don't start a new sport with hopes of being an Olympic athlete. We may want to learn something new or stay fit, but mostly importantly, we want to have fun.

The social aspect of team sports is a critical "fun factor". For many recreational adult players, hanging out with the team after the game is as much fun as the game itself and can be a great motivating factor. Making friends, meeting new people and sharing common experiences can greatly enhance the sporting experience.

Furthermore, in a team environment, new beginners can find mentors to help ease them into the sport. More experienced athletes are there to show them the ropes and teach them the rules. Carpooling, equipment loans and fee-sharing are all possible with team sports.

team
Click Image To Enlarge.
A Team Environment Is Great For Beginners.

Team sports can help make hold people accountable and stick to the program as well. I remember many a Sunday 8 a.m. games in which I just wanted to pull the covers over my head and go back to bed. Just knowing that there are other people depending on your attendance can make or break your likelihood of sticking to it!


Easiest & Toughest
Which Is The Easiest Sport To Introduce To A Friend? Which Is The Toughest To Introduce?

Most people are much less intimidated by a new sport if they have a general understanding of the game and know some of the rules. You'd be hard pressed to find many people who aren't at least a little familiar with the traditional American pastime - baseball.

Baseball (and softball) is a sport that is easy for beginners to understand and doesn't require a vast amount of expensive equipment to get started. There are also a plethora of leagues at levels.

In a typical neighborhood co-rec softball league, you can find men and women, of all ages, abilities and body types sharing a good time on the field. You don't have be in great cardiovascular shape or be super strong to be able to participate and contribute.

Sports that are tough for beginners include those that require learning a whole skill. For example, if you have never ice skated before, taking up figure skating or playing hockey would require learning how to skate before one even begins learning the fundamentals of the sport!

Physically demanding sports, like football and rugby can be also be intimidating and even dangerous for a new beginner to "tackle" right away.


2nd Place - Backa53
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Sport, like many athletes on this forum and across the globe, has been the way I have grown up. The sports I play define me in my mind and in the minds of those who know me. My love for the game of football as well as sports in general is an unconditional one. It will remain a large part of my life in some way for the rest of my life.

Despite my unconditional love for football, I may have never discovered it and certainly would not have flourished in the sport the way I have without being introduced to it at the age I was.

My mother tried hard to get me to embrace the sport she loves—Equestrian. The first sport in which I participated was horse-back riding. I have an older brother and sister who also were brought up to ride and stuck with it and now call the sport their professions.

Equestrian Events - Dressage: 1 of 3:

Equestrian
Dressage ('training' in French) involves the progressive training of the horse to a high level of impulsion, collection and obedience.

Competitive dressage has the goal of showing the horse carrying out, on request, the natural movements that it performs without thinking while running loose.

One dressage master has defined it as 'returning the freedom of the horse while carrying the rider.'


Learn More... Back Next

My brother Paul, competing as an Equestrian:

I rode at a barn that neighbored the field where the local High School and minor football teams played. The sport quickly drew my interests away from riding. My older siblings also are Colorado natives and really helped peak my interest in the sport when the Denver Broncos made their title runs of the 1990's.

Ultimately despite my mother's greatest intentions of pushing me away from the sport, it was not to be. Ultimately a child must truly love a sport in order to receive all the great benefits that come with sport.


New Sport
What Is A Good Way To Introduce A New Sport To A Beginner?

The best way to introduce a beginner to a sport is to help them discover a true enjoyment within the sport. Whether one is trying to get their son or daughter to play a sport to be active or whether one is egging on that friend who is big and strong that will help your team win a championship, the only way everyone will benefit is if the individual is truly happy playing the game.

Many parents try to live through their children and have them succeed at the sport they played in their youth. But it must be the child's ultimate decision as to which sport they want to play. I believe all children should be encouraged to give sports a try. And there are few young children that simply do not want to give sports a try.

Just make sure their first participation in the sport a fun one and good things will happen.


Just For Kids
For A Kid, What Is The Best Sport To First Introduce Them With? Why?

I believe it is best to introduce children to whichever sport they truly want to play. If a child wants dearly to play basketball, despite how much you loved your soccer-filled childhood, basketball just may be the right choice for him or her.


Team Or Solo
Is It Easier To Introduce A Team Sport (Baseball, Basketball, Etc.) Or A Solo Sport (Boxing, Bowling, Etc.)?

Everyone is individual, but for the most part I would believe a team sport is the more desirable one in the eyes of a beginner. Friendship and camaraderie are perhaps the truly appealing aspect of sports in many minds. Teammates often become best friends and lifelong friends.

Solo sports are wonderful and can be much more appealing to some people. It really depends on the personality of a person.


Easiest & Toughest
Which Is The Easiest Sport To Introduce To A friend? Which Is The Toughest To Introduce?

Environment is a large depending factor. I live in Canada and it is much easier to get someone involved in hockey around here than it is in Texas. In the same sense there is much less interest in baseball where I come from compared to the United States. People in Canada are familiar with our sports. Everyone knows someone who knows someone in the NHL. Sidney Crosby, of the NHL, grew up 20 minutes' drive from my house.

RELATED POLL
Which Is The Easiest Sport To Introduce To A Friend?

Baseball.
Basketball.
Track And Field.
Hockey.
Soccer.
Football.
MMA.
Golf.
Wrestling.
Other.

But it all depends on individual circumstance. The three sports I love most are Football, Baseball and Track & Field. I have never played competitive Hockey or Basketball which are both big where I live.

The smallest events can change one's life. Young minds can be molded in many ways. Some end up in sports, others music and so on. You can call in destiny, faith, karma or a slew of other reasons why we end up the way we do. Sometimes we just have to roll with the punches and end up wherever they take us.

RELATED POLL
Which Is The Toughest Sport To Introduce To A Friend?

Baseball.
Basketball.
Track And Field.
Hockey.
Soccer.
Football.
MMA.
Golf.
Wrestling.
Other.