How do you know which recreational sport is right for you? Though this is a simple question, it may not have a simple answer. Before answering this question, it makes sense to know the definition of a recreational sport. In simple terms, a recreational sport is any sport activity or event that one engages in during leisure time. In other words, it is a sport activity or event performed primarily for entertainment and fun. Though in some cases there may be monetary rewards associated with passtime sport, it is not usually the main goal. Other reasons associated with participating in a leisure activities includes: fitness, health, socialization, competition and sport support among others.
There are several options of leisure activities available for all age categories ranging from indoor to outdoor. Making the decision on which choice to pursue can be a real challenge and this varies significantly from one person to the other. For former professional athletes, the decision may be easier especially if they continue participating in their particular former professional sports (i.e. recreational level). The big task of choosing the right recreational sport is however on beginners. In order to make the right choice(s) if you are a beginner, it is important to consider the following general guidelines:
1. Choose a sport that you understand and are passionate about: Leisure sport in a way becomes part of your lifestyle and therefore needs to be entertaining and enjoyable. Choosing something that you don’t like or have no knowledge about can be frustrating even if your friends adore it. It only makes sense to pursue something that you know its rules and regulations. However, this does not mean one cannot learn a new sport or game, but it easier to do so if you love the sport.
2. Consider your goals and objectives: As mentioned above, there are different reasons that drive people into recreational sports. Choosing a sport that is in line with your goals, for example losing weight will only enrich the whole recreational experience. Some one looking for a recreational sport to aid in cutting down some extra body weight may benefit from running, jogging, walking, hiking or swimming among other high calorie burning sport activities as opposed to playing cards or video games. On the other hand somebody looking for a recreational sport that favors socialization may benefit from the latter.
3. Facilities, tools and equipment required: Different recreational sports may require different tools, facilities or equipment or in some cases may require none at all. These tools, facilities or equipment may also vary depending on the needs of every person. For example if you want to play golf for recreation, you will definitely have to purchase a golf club, balls and perhaps shoes. You will also need an available and accessible golf course to play. In some cases if you have more than one favorite recreational sport, you may have to choose what is more convenient based on availability of facilities. It makes more sense to go running at a nearby track especially if you get off work late in the evenings than having to drive for several miles to get to a golf course (i.e. if you like both golf and running).
4. Availability of time: Since a recreational sport is a pastime sport, choosing the right one may be dictated by how much free time is at one’s disposal. Some leisure sports are more time consuming than others. Additionally some of these sports must only be played outside. Where as some sports such as running, jogging, walking, playing tennis, playing basketball or swimming offers both indoor and outdoor options, some of them, for example playing golf, hiking, kayaking, surfing among other don’t. The more time one has, the more the options to choose from and the vice versa.
5. Seasonality: Though this may not be a big deal to people living along the equatorial line geographically, it definitely affects people living in areas with winter and summer climatic seasons. Some recreational sports such as those requiring snow may only be available during winter and only in some parts of the world. So if skiing is the only favorite recreational sport that one can participate in, it means there will be nothing to do for most of the year i.e. during the other seasons. When deciding on the right sport for recreation, it is advisable to have more than one option especially in a situation where one is affected by seasonal changes.
6. Number of participants required: Where as most sports require participation of more than one person at one time, some can be pursued individually. If your schedule does not allow group or team participation, choosing a recreational sport that will enable you to participate alone is a good idea. Jogging, walking, swimming, biking and running are great examples.
As mentioned earlier, this is not an exhaustive list of guidelines, but it is only meant to give you an idea of how to pick the best sport that will make your recreational life a success. Remember the bottom line is fun and entertainment.