Competitive sports are a lot fun. They help you stay healthy, meet new people,
and teach you about teamwork. If you've never played a sport before, it's a chance
to try something new. But sports also take a lot of hard work and practice. So starting
a new season might make you feel a little nervous.
Here are some ways to help you get ready for the first day:
Get in shape. Being in shape will help you have an easier start
to your sport season. Start by writing down an exercise plan. If you're having trouble
coming up with a plan or workouts, ask your coach, gym teacher,
or trainer for advice. If you can't make it to a gym or don't have a lot of time,
there are lots of exercise apps and online workouts you can try at home.
Write down your goals for the week and the workouts you plan to do. Schedule specific
workout times. This will help you stay motivated
and stick to your exercise plan. It will also help you keep track of what activities
you did. If you liked a certain workout, make a note next to it so you can repeat
it another week.
Set realistic goals. While you get ready for the start of your
sports season, think of what you want to achieve. Your goals may be general, like
making the team or getting in shape. But smaller, specific goals are easier to achieve
and can build toward your bigger goal. Be sure to write down your goals and discuss
them with your parent or coach — they can support you. If you reach your goal,
set new goals to work toward. Having goals can be a great motivator!
Check your gear. If you're returning to your sport, try on your
equipment to make sure it still fits and works for you. If you're new to a sport,
ask your coach what you'll need. You can buy your gear secondhand or borrow it from
siblings or friends to save money. Make sure all your gear is clean and safe to use.
If you're unsure, ask your coach to look at it before the first day of practice.
Consider a sports camp. Sports camps help new and experienced
players practice skills before the season starts. College players, coaches, or other
professionals usually teach the camps. Most include drill sessions, then scrimmages
toward the end of the day. Drill work helps improve skills. Scrimmaging with other
campers lets you practice those skills in real-game situations. Scrimmages also can
help you get the feel of playing on a team if it's something you're not used to. Many
schools and colleges offer sports camps and clinics during the summer and on the weekends
during the school year.
See your doctor. Your school or team will need you to get a sports physical before
allowing you to try out or play. Because everyone needs to get checked to play, doctors
are busiest at the beginning of sports seasons.
Ask your mom or dad to
set up an appointment before your season starts. That gives the doctor plenty of time
to fill out your paperwork so you can start your sport on time. If you wear glasses,
consider visiting your eye doctor to check your prescription and get the right protective
Whether you're training with a team or on your own, remember to include rest time
into your schedule. Make sure you take at least 1–2 days off per week from competitive
sports and training. Take at least 2 months off each year from any particular sport
to prevent repetitive