Moving to a new neighborhood can be tough – not only do you not know anyone, you’re also still trying to find your bearings. But moving isn’t all about challenges, it’s about opportunity too! One of the greatest opportunities moving neighborhoods gives you is to meet new people and get involved in the community.
There’s no better way to do both than to organize or join a sports team in your new neighborhood. Sports teams are, after all, social events. There’s nothing like the camaraderie which comes with working together with your teammates (and also celebrating a victory after a game!).
So how do you go about getting involved in a sports team in your new area? Just follow these 4 tips, and you’ll be out on the field in no time.
Find Out What Groups Already Exist
Before you start making grand plans for your new sports team, your first step should be to see what’s already available. Scour the local paper, bulletin board, Facebook groups, and any counsel websites for any information. Once you settle in, ask around for someone to point you in the right direction.
If you find a group that you like the sound of, don’t be afraid to seek out the organizer. It can seem intimidating to reach out, but try to settle your nerves. Community sporting teams are often eager to bring on board new members, so they’ll likely welcome you with open arms. If there’s not a suitable group available, think about developing your own.
Keep in Mind How Much You Will Need to Commit
While joining or creating a sports team is certainly rewarding, it is a big time and energy commitment. Depending on the sport, it could also be an ample financial commitment as well. “Many people think that organizing a sports team is just about getting everyone to turn up on a Saturday on time, or that being a part of a team is just about playing,” says Angela Stringfellow from Sports Life Today.
“However, it is much more involved than that. Think about the training sessions, the early mornings, the social activities, the need to find a babysitter – the list goes on.” Indeed, there’s a lot to think about before joining or starting a team. Make sure you’ve worked out all of the big and small details before committing to anything, as you won’t want to join enthusiastically, only to realize you don’t have the bandwidth to even attend most practices.
Read Up on Sports Teams that Work
This tip is for those who really want to take their new sports team to the next level. What better way to help your team grow than to take inspiration from teams who are doing something right?
Whether it’s looking to your favorite big league team for some ideas, or reading up on local community teams who are making their mark, it’s a useful idea to look around for some examples of great teamwork, sporting technique, and organization. If you’re joining a team and want to make a difference or be more involved, just be sure not to step on anyone’s toes, which brings us to our next point…
Be Aware of Existing Dynamics
As the new person in town, you have the benefit of having a completely clean slate. Everyone is still on your good side, and you on theirs. However, this does have a flip side – you don’t know which people don’t quite work together. Nor do you know if you may be innocently overstepping your mark. As such, it’s important to be mindful as you can that some people will inevitably have some history, and that you too can accidentally enter the messiness.
While it’s best not to get too involved, any tensions people have with each other will likely show their head in one way or another. That’s why you should try to keep an eye out for anything amiss when you’re organizing or attending team meetings and events. If, for example, you find out that Jan and Greg don’t get along, try your best to accommodate. Not making two butting heads clash even more will help your sporting team run smoothly, and keep everyone happy.