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How to get involved in team sports

Keen to join a sporting team but don’t where to start? Here are some handy tips.

A womens' soccer team sit on the ground after a match

Check the noticeboards

If your local pool, gym or community centre has a notice board there’s a good chance they’ll be teams on the lookout for new players. Most team sports are seasonal so sports clubs will advertise well ahead of the new season, especially if official registration and fees are required. Plenty of indoor sports competitions operate all year round so it’s always good to keep an eye out for when they’re looking for an influx of new players.

Try a team finder

If you know which sport you want to play and want to get on the court as soon as possible, go online and try a team finder website. You can search sports in your area using a team finder site and they connect you quickly. Look out for sites run by local councils because they’ll have up-to-date information about what sports are available near where you live.

Social media shout out

If you’re active on social media, why not do a shout out? Post what you’re looking for and use any frequently referenced hashtags when it comes to sports. A few social media sites have a ‘recommendation’ function where you can pose a question to your friends or followers. You may get mixed results so it’s best to use sites where you’ve got an established network of family and friends such as Facebook. While on Facebook, use the groups, there are thousands, so there’s a good chance you’ll be able to find people with similar sporting interests in your area.

Read more: Join the community: Can group exercise improve your mental health?

Work and play

You may already be sitting with your new teammates and you don’t even know it! Many workplaces offer team sports, usually played during lunch hours, as well as a chance to play against other businesses in the area.

Start your own

A team has to start somewhere. If you’ve looked everywhere and there aren’t any convenient options nearby, it might be time to start a team from scratch. You can be the coach, captain and star player. If you’re playing casually it’s a lot easier to set up regular games of touch footy and similar park sports but you’ll need to plan a little more if a venue and equipment is required. Research whether your local council supports teams or if they offer equipment and venue hire.

Team sports are not only a great way to get active but they can also improve your mental health. Research has found that people who participate in regular team sports are much less likely to suffer from anxiety, stress and depression.

When you play a team sport, your motivation levels can be different to when you’re exercising solo. A little healthy competitive spirit can go a long way in encouraging you to work harder.

Read more: New workout group? Tips to make it less awkward

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