Serious athletic performance is the domain of the young and fit. Putting focus and effort into being in top physical shape is a full time gig that many working adults just can’t do. So we give up sport, saying that we just can’t keep up with the serious ballers.

But there’s still so much out there for those once serious athletes turned casual players. Organized social sports gives us the taste of the game without the need for perfection.

So how do we make the transition from serious to social?

1) Remember the fun

Before the medals, high school teams and national competions there was a time you picked up your ball, bat or boots and just played for the sheer joy of it. There’s was something magical about the perfect pitch, a net snapping swish or the high fives after a well set spike. Recapture those moments in a casual setting can continue to motivate you to participate in the sport you love.

2) Manage expectations

You no longer have the 36 inch vertical, can’t take that corner with your left foot or struggle even to get a hand over the net. Accept those physical limitations but focus on what you can still do. Age may take away a lot of things, but what it has given back in experience can still provide an advantage on the pitch or court. Enjoy that.

3) Enjoy the camaraderie

Serious sports was as much about the team mates that took the field or court with you as the sport itself. The people that “went to war” with you, shared in the blood sweat and tears and the victories and defeats. Those experiences built relationships that often last way past the final shot is taken. Playing social sports can help bring that same sense of camaraderie (minus the practices!) You may no longer be playing for championships but there’s still pride on the line, fun to be had and the game to win.

 

So you don’t have to be in tip top condition to still play sports. If you still have a love for the game, you can find a way to enjoy it even if the lights don’t shine as bright on Friday night.

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