A 17 year old girl, fitness enthusiast and dedicated Olympic style weightlifter, Powerlifter, and non-competitive Irish dancer. I'm determined to live a healthy lifestyle and take care of my body whilst influencing other young people to do so. I never doubt my ability to achieve something; I just change what I'm doing until I succeed.
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I was thinking for a bit what I wanted my next blog post to be about, and hundreds of concepts flew through my mind, but I eventually stuck to this one. Do people have the view that the only point in taking part in Sport and Physical Activity is to compete? Are people not trying sports they might be amazing at and gain personal benefits from just because they feel that they aren't good enough to compete or they'll look foolish being a beginner? I'm sure you've heard the saying 'Everyone starts from somewhere' and its true. Continue reading >
I've been in the position even when I've been Weightlifting for years that I feel as if there is no point in competing if I'm not good enough. It came to a point where I hadn't competed for a year and a half due to comparing my skills to others of a higher level. Thankfully, I got over this mental stumbling block and have began to compete more. But there is much more to sport than competing. It's not always necessary to compete (in individual sports that is), training using a certain sport to develop a skill can be just as beneficial to provide you with personal competition between yourself. Even learning a new sport can help to develop skills in old ones! I have never competed within an Irish Dance Competition, but the skills I have developed from dance have helped me to excel within my Weightlifting. Such as better balance, flexibility and even managing my breathing. My coordination has also developed greatly through dance, helping me with other sports I have picked up in school. It is still enjoyable as a hobby without the need to compete.
Why do we have this mindset and how can we fix it?
My theory is: We have this mindset due to the pressure put on from the media and the UK education system. Okay maybe the education system isn't entirely to blame, but certainly from my experience you're either good at a sport and you are picked/forced to compete to represent your school or you are mediocre/awful and aren't forced to compete. The amount of times when I was developing my athletic skills and was nor amazing or awful, the amount of kids I would hear saying that they couldn't be bothered or didn't want to compete was crazy. Why? because its not fun anymore? because the pressure to win is too high? are they scared of losing? I always thought to myself how lucky they were that they had so many skills and didn't even want to compete. Just to clarify, I am sure there are many opportunities that schools provide in extracurricular clubs for beginners to try new sports, therefore not completely eliminating the idea of schools not encouraging participation outside of competitions.
We can fix this mindset through encouraging the fun aspect of sport on our youth of today. Do you want to try a new sport that you could be great at? Good! Don't want to compete? No problem! That's how it should be. If pressure is ultimately forced onto youths to do well in sport in order to be great at competing, then you lower the chances of those that are quiet and only want to do sport for fun, trying at all. For instance, I've always wanted to try Pole Vault, Kayaking and Calisthenics and I have never had the opportunity to do so! Nothing is stopping me at all from doing these things, except my current time restrictions due to my dedication towards other sports. Maybe in the future I will give them a try!
Personal benefits of trying a new sport
There are many personal benefits to trying a new sport:
Physical/ Emotional: Physically healthier, mental and cognitive improvement, muscle tone improved, stronger heart, particular fitness components improved (E.g: Balance, flexibility, aerobic endurance, muscular endurance, strength, power, reaction time, agility, speed and body composition)
Intellectual: Gain insight upon technique of the sport, gain knowledge in what your body can stand and can do, set targets to aim towards.
Social: Make new friends, compete (if desired).
Here is a link to bbc's site on lists of many sports you can become involved in, they also provide links of how to find your local club that hosts and coaches the sport. I hope you enjoyed reading this short post and I hope it inspired you to try a new sport.