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How Can I Decide Between Two Sports?

I am trying to decide between two sports. One sport I've never played, and the other is track, which I have. I do not enjoy track, but I am very good at it. I want to play lacrosse, but I've never played it before. I am very athletic, so I think I would get the hang of it and could make the team because they are low on players. But I don't want to disappoint my track team. Also, I play soccer later on in the day twice a week. What should I do?
- Kaz*

First, congratulate yourself for considering a switch. In today's sports culture, people are often more interested in being good at a particular sport than they are in learning new talents. Some people stick with a sport they no longer enjoy simply because they're afraid to step outside the winners' circle.

Like anything in life, it's essential to love the sport you play. Enjoying a sport is about more than just mastering the skills of the game. It's also about the playing environment: Some people like to be part of team that works together on the field as a group. Others prefer a sport that's more solo. Some are drawn to sports that involve a lot of strategy, like baseball. Others choose fast-paced action like basketball.

It's also important to feel challenged by the sport you choose. If track feels too easy, it may be time to give another sport a try. In addition to mastering new skills, a sport like lacrosse will let you use your upper body more — a nice balance to the lower-body workout you get from sports like track and soccer. Plus, your track skills will come in handy for lacrosse and, if you find you don't enjoy it, you can always return to track.

It can be hard to let down your teammates, but they should understand. Explain that you like them, but you're looking for new sporting challenges. A willingness to be flexible about sports is good for your future, too. As our lives change and we go from school to the working world, we often need to experiment with new ways to stay fit.

Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD
Date reviewed: January 2013

*Names have been changed to protect user privacy.

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