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A lot of people will right away think of hockey, volleyball, baseball, basketball, soccer, etc. Team sports.

The usual sports. The ones we played when we were kids and the ones kids still play. Yes, there are exceptions, always.

But the other day I asked a preteen boy who decided to try Olympic weightlifting if he plays any sports.

“No, not really” was his response. So I asked how he stays active, if he does.

“I do karate.”

“Well that’s a sport,” I responded.

“Oh cool,” he said, then moved on to tying his shoes.

A few minutes later we were talking about previous injuries and he mentions that he broke his leg skiing.

“Um, skiing is a sport too. Do you ski?” I asked.

“Well, yeah, I guess,” he smiles.

Suddenly this boy who didn’t play any sports has realized that he actually does TWO sports. At this point, we could go into semantics about how I could have asked if he does any sports instead of plays any sports because of the implied meanings, but I’m not here to discuss the English language and I’ve already learned my lesson.

Instead, let’s talk about some sports that are sports even though the general population doesn’t follow them or maybe doesn’t even think of them as a sport. Because let’s face it, not all sports are team sports. And some people just simply prefer individual sports. I definitely fall in that category.

So how about ping pong (aka table tennis)? That’s a sport. (And also the only Olympic sport that is safer than Olympic weightlifting!) It involves physical activity, you need skill to play it, and you can compete in it or play it just for fun.

How about kayaking? Maybe not so safe in some situations. But also a sport with the same attributes as above.

The list goes on: archery, hunting, bowling, taekwondo, orienteering, golf, bouldering…

These are all sports. And they can all be done for fun as a leisure activity, or can be done competitively.

…powerlifting, weightlifting, roller derby, skateboarding, rollerblading…

Let’s stop putting “sport” in this tiny box of team sports that we know from when we were kids.

…BMX, surfing, golf, bouldering, horseback riding…

Expand your horizons. Try a few new sports or let your kid try a few new sports. Think outside the box.

Find something that fills your soul (or your kid’s soul) with happiness and keeps you active. Because not just sport, but a variety of sports, IS SO GOOD FOR YOUR BODY AND MIND!!!

The next time I ask someone about sports, you can rest assured that I will ask them what sports they DO, not what sports they PLAY, because not all sports play a game.

~ Coach Jen