Saturday, 14 May 2016

Team sports? Individual sports?

I first started playing organised sport when I was 7 or 8. In the summer I would play cricket and in the winter I would play football (soccer). At that time I was undoubtedly less outgoing than I am now so I wonder why I chose to play a team sport as opposed to an individual sport. It's a mystery, I know. Now, I would classify myself as a bit of an ambivert while then I was definitely an introverted child.

Why didn't I choose an individual sport? Well, I believe that there are three reasons for that.

The first reason would be family. In New Zealand, traditionally the four popular sports would be rugby union, rugby league, netball and cricket. As you would probably know all of these are team sports. My family like cricket and rugby. In fact my father was coach of one of the top high school cricket teams for a number of years. Ironically my brother is the coach of the same team now. I remember going along to watch my father play cricket every Saturday so that was why I chose that sport even though I am sure that my parents would have supported me even if I had decided to play underwater tiddly winks.

The second reason would be friends. At primary school, my best friend was Ieuan. I was in the same football team as Ieuan until in our first year of middle school he decided to go and play field hockey. Of course you like to hang out with your friends, so the following year, I decided to go and play field hockey. In Japan, where I am living at the moment there is an after school, school called juku. For English speakers it would be known as cram school. Why do children in Japan want to go to juku? Is it because they want to get into an exclusive school or is it because the parents want it? I don't think that it is either of these things. Well in some cases maybe but in most cases I would say that it gives the children more opportunities to hang out with their friends.

The third reason would be television. When I was a child, you could watch, rugby, cricket and football. That was about it. We didn't have cable television and there wasn't much of a chance to watch other sports. When the Olympics rolled around then we could watch minor sports like equestrian or canoeing or rowing. However, when the Olympics were over, one month later we would forget about these sports as we watched what was going on in the rugby.

It is because of these three reasons I believe that I chose teams sports over an individual sport. I'm in my 40's now and I have basically given up team sports and I do Crossfit. Crossfit is done in a group but it is basically an individual sport. My father, who is 64 is really into his golf. Before he took up golf seriously he played lawn bowls. Lawn bowls is played individually or in a small team. So maybe as we get older we try introverted sports.

Anyway, whatever you do give it 100%. I was very half-assed at some stages and I regret that now. Even now I don't really give Crossfit 100%. Whether you do team sports or individual sports, give it your all and the results you get will be great. Your self confidence will go up and you will feel so much better about yourself.

Just in case you don't know what lawn bowls is. Here is a video from youtube:

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