I was never really a team-sport kind of girl. I played soccer along with every other little kid, but I was a lot more interested in using the soccer field for cart-wheels and dance routines, than waiting for the herd to come to my side of the field, where I was half-assed defending the goal. In high school I joined the diving team, and what the fresh hell is that all about?
First of all, I’m deathly afraid of heights - my eyes will roll back into my head in a hot second if I feel that height sensation, and second of all, I’d rather be swimming underwater, skimming the bottom, pretending to be in another world than up on top, trying to coordinate the breast stroke without accidentally sucking in a cup of water on my inhale. I’m the opposite of a fish out of water.
It didn’t matter anyway, because soon my grades weren’t good enough to be eligible for being a terrified and most likely un-talented member of the Wichita Northwest High School Diving Team. Go Grizzlies!
No matter what those ‘perfect’ parents in your newsfeed say, SPORTS AREN’T FOR EVERYONE! It’s not uncommon for people to shy away from participating in sports - especially introverts, like myself. A good number of introverts would rather be doing creative, self-contained and solo activities, because they easily become drained being around groups - especially loud groups where there’s competition.
Don’t let anyone make you feel as if that’s not normal - it’s perfectly awesome - as long as you’re getting your body moving in your own way. For those that DO dig playing sports - here are the amazing benefits of Sports on the Brain.
Helps Maintain a Healthy Weight - Participating in a sport that you love, means you’re burning calories and building muscle without that oppressive feeling of forcing yourself to exercise.
Lessens Stress and Depression - Hello endorphins! When you’re playing sports and being active, your body produces these natural mood enhancers that keep stress and depression from sneaking in - endorphins also create a feeling of being relaxed and even give you a more positive outlook on life.
Improves Moods - Nothing is more satisfying than being able to challenge yourself and unwind at the same time. Your body and mind will both feel refreshed thanks to not thinking about shit, while moving your body and participating in a common goal (no pun intended). You’re not thinking about ANY of your familiar stressors when you’re running down a court trying to dunk on some m’er f’ers!
Develops Leadership and Team-Building Skills - People who participate in sports, are more likely to organically adopt a ‘team-mindset’ that will benefit them in future social or job situations. Remember, there’s no “I” in “TEAM”, bitches!
Improves Sleep Habits - when you exert physical energy during the day, the transition between the cycles and phases of sleep becomes smoother and more regular. The plan is to expend enough energy in the daytime, that your body is tired and your mind is calm when it’s time to go to and stay asleep.
Boosts Self-Confidence - As stamina, muscles, and skills increase through playing sports, self-confidence grows too. You know you’re doing good for your body and it bleeds over into interest in other great ways to take care of your body; like a healthy diet and drinking more water. Maybe even taking those supplements you’ve spent so much money on! When you feel like you have your shit together, you feel good! Plus, look at those toned gams. Daaang hottie.
Improves Concentration - Participating in a mix of aerobic and muscle-building activities, three to five times a week for at least 30 minutes can sharpen your mental skills; including learning, critical thinking, and using good judgment.