I have a confession to make. I am not a co-ordinated person. At all. The highlights of my athletic prowess so far have been the time I managed to throw a banana peel into a bin from a moving car (it was one of those small bins too) and when I caught fried egg in my mouth at a Teppanyaki bar.
That’s it. They don’t put that stuff on trophies.
But I love sport. Particularly playing team sports. It’s quite strange to be in love with something I’m not very good at it. Strange yet liberating.
Most things in life I attempt to excel at. To the point that I’m stressed for no particularly good reason. Sport is a release valve that doesn’t carry the same personal expectation. I thoroughly recommend it.
I play Monday night netball with a group of other school mums who are five thousand times better than me and very kind about it. We race about on court and manage to hold our own against teams that have been playing together for a very long time.
Here’s why I love playing team sports as an adult (even when I’m not outstanding at it):
I need motivation to exercise. Particularly when bikini season is months away. Knowing that your team relies on you to be there is awesome motivation.
Ah, the sweet reward for exercise. Couple that with the adrenaline of a win and team sport becomes pretty addictive.
3. Time Out
That time on the court belongs to the players. It’s time away from our kids, conveniently scheduled during the hardest hour of the day. We may be known to mill around a little bit after early games just to make extra sure that by the time we get home our kids will definitely be in bed.
It’s not so easy to make friends in adulthood. Team sport is a great way to connect with like-minded people.
5. You improve
Even complete klutzes like me eventually improve. Which is nice within itself. And unlike more individual sporting pursuits, you have a team to show you what to do.
6. You can take it out on the ball
There’s nothing like a good bout of exercise to thrash out personal demons. If I’m feeling out of sorts, I always feel better after a game. Particularly if we win.
I think this is the crucial reason I love team sport. I am a social person and working in a team, whether it be at work or play, fills my cup. As a freelancing, work-from-home mother, that sense of team belonging is no longer a big part of my day. It’s nice to find it again on the court.
If you want to pick up team sport as an adult, here are a few things you might try:
- Organise a team with other parents from school if you have school-aged children.
- If you or your partner work in an organisation with a good number of other people, see if you can arrange a work team. My husband and I have played on a few corporate touch football teams and had a great time. Bonus points if the firm pays.
- If your children play a team sport, field an adult team from the parents. Win for you, win for your kids as you share a passion.
- Many sports centres will allow you to put your name down on a list to make up numbers for those that can’t quite fill a team. It’s a great way to make new friends.
- If you can’t field a team and you don’t feel like playing with strangers, you could set up a weekly tennis or squash game. The key is to have someone relying on you.
- For those with little children, arrange a bigger than necessary team with others in a similar situation. Set up a babysitting roster and rotate the childcare around.