How to Learn and Play a New Sport as An Adult

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Do you want to learn a new sport? Are you looking for ways to stay fit this fall? If so you’ve come to the right place! Summer is over and fall is starting, which makes for a perfect time to reflect on your summer and the past year as you move into the final quarter of 2021. You have four more months to make the most of this year, which if you’re reading this article, may mean you want to get more active and learn a new sport.

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There are hundreds of sports out there for you to choose from, which may make it hard to whittle down your top choices. That’s why we’ve done all the hard work for you! In this article we’re going to cover some of the best sports you can play this fall based on the weather and availability of these sports this season. Plus, we’re going to share some top tips on how you can learn how to start playing these sports. Let’s get started!

What are the best fall sports?

If you’re new to the world of fall sports, have no fear! We have done our research to round up a list of the sports that are played during the fall months. It differs slightly state to state, but based on professional sports leagues and school sports, these are the sports in season this fall.

  1. Cross country
  2. Football
  3. Golf
  4. Tennis
  5. Volleyball
  6. Hockey
  7. Soccer
  8. Cheerleading
  9. Lacrosse
  10. Basketball

Why are some sports better in fall?

Sports have seasons. That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a game of tennis during summer, but if you want to play in a team or try your luck professionally, you’ll have to wait until fall. The reason sports have seasons is due to the weather. In some states, with temperatures reaching 100 degrees Fahrenheit and above during summer, it’s clear why certain sports aren’t going to be enjoyable. Similarly, as you move deeper into the winter months, it gets colder and darker, making other sports an impossibility.

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With all that being considered, it’s evident as to why the fall is the best time of the year to take up a new sport. It’s the beginning of the season, the weather is good, and you can make a lot of progress before it gets too cold outside.

 

What is the best way to start playing a new sport?

We published an article on our FootPrints blog about How to Learn a New Sport Quickly, According to Science, so be sure to check that out if you want some evidence-based reasons on how to learn a new sport. But for those short on time or who just want the summary, here’s what we’ve got.

To start playing a new sport you need to be prepared to be bad. Don’t expect to be naturally good at football, regardless of how many times you’ve watched your favorite NFL team. The key to get the hang of the sport is to practice as regularly as you can. This will strengthen certain pathways in your brain that allow you to perform the sport more instinctively.

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Finally, you’ll also need to be prepared and educated in the sport. That might mean:

  • Getting a coach
  • Taking group classes
  • Signing up to your school team
  • Watching how-to videos online
  • Talking to a friend that plays the sport
  • Having the right gear

Let’s dive deeper into this final point of preparation, because it’s perhaps the most important.

How to take up a new sport as a beginner

Cross country running is top of the charts for the best sport to play this fall. So let’s use this as an example to learn how you can take up a new sport this fall. Cross country running allows you to spend time outside before it gets too cold and dark in winter, enjoy the fresh air and fall leaves, socialize with other cross-country runners, and get fit.

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But how can you take up cross country? If you’re in school, most schools have a cross country team that you can join. Sign up for these teams and trials usually start the first few weeks back at school in August or September.

If you’re past your school years, you’re still in luck. There are thousands of cross-country teams across the nation that you can join, ranging in levels from beginner to competitive. You’ll no doubt be able to find a local cross-country club.

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Maybe you’d prefer to start cross country alone, and that’s fine! Here are some tips to learn how to start cross country running:

  1. Start slow - There is no need to sprint! You’ll just puff yourself out and end up stopping sooner. Slow and steady wins the race.

  2. Gradually progress - Each time you run, try to run for a bit longer than you did last time. This article will help: How To Run Better This Winter.

  3. Have a go-to route - There’s nothing worse than having to stop and pull out your phone for directions mid-run. Have a pre-mapped route that you’re going to run and stick to it.

  4. Listen to your favorite music - For beginner cross country runners, the thought of running a 10 km race seems daunting enough as it is. To help you enjoy the prospect, create a playlist of your favorite motivating tunes and blast it during your run. You may just get lost in the music and learn to enjoy yourself.

  5. Set a goal - Whether your goal is to join a local cross-country team or complete your first 5 km race, setting a goal is a great way to keep you accountable.

  6. Invest in some running gear - You can’t expect to run a marathon in sandals so investing in some clothes and footwear designed for running is vital.

Final thoughts

The fall is a great time to take up a new sport. We hope this article has given you some inspiration to help you choose your new fall sport, and the tools you need to learn how to start playing it. Good luck!

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