Sitting on the couch watching TV isn’t good for your health….unless you happen to be watching the Olympics!
As the Rio Olympics draws to a close and Great Britain finish in a fantastic second place with an overall total of 27 gold medals, sports stores such as Decathlon have reported a large spike in the sales of sporting equipment comparable to those usually only seem in the ‘new year resolution’ period throughout January.
Did watching the Olympics inspire you to get out and play sport? If so, you might have been experiencing the “trickle-down effect” or “event legacy”. These phrases have been used for roughly 40 years and refer to an increase in sports participation following a major sporting event.
The sad truth is that unfortunately, the interest and motivation started by this ‘trickle-down effect’ or ‘event legacy’ can disappear as quickly as it started if new participants don’t choose their sport wisely or take into consideration the commitments required in order to see real progression.
So what is the best way to start a new activity that you’re interested in and keep it a part of your daily or weekly routine, or even take it to competitor level?
In one of our previous blogs about motivation, we explained that the key to making a new activity part of your regular life was to recognise which reward you feel during (or after) taking part in that particular activity.
Once you’ve identified what your ‘motivational driver’ is, think of a sport or activity that you feel would give you the biggest reward and the best sense of achievement. It’s these feelings that keep you going back for more and make it easier to include your new activity into your lifestyle.
For example, do you particularly enjoy spending time with other people? If so, a team sport such as basketball, football, hockey or tennis might be very enjoyable for you.
Do you feel great when you’re outdoors? Then cycling, long distance running, or rowing may be suitable options for you.
If you’re more motivated by seeing personal progress and achieving goals, you might prefer sports such as swimming, weight lifting (an integral part of all our personal training programmes) or athletics.
There were 41 sports represented at this summer’s Olympics, and the International Olympic Committee just announced five more will be added to the 2020 Games in Tokyo, specifically with the goal of getting more young people involved. They are skateboarding, climbing, surfing, karate and baseball/softball.
Out of the 46 Olympic sports (and many more available), finding one that makes you feel great when you take part shouldn’t be difficult.
Don’t be one of the many that choose the wrong sport for them and then aren’t able to keep motivated to continue with it.
You can find a list of sports here at the BBC Get Inspired page: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/get-inspired.
Before we wrap up today’s blog post, a quick word on encouraging your children to become more active as well…
Getting Your Young Ones Into Sport
Cierra Runge was 4 years old and had never had a swimming lesson when she told her parents, while watching the games, that she wanted to be an Olympic swimmer. Now 20, the Pennsylvanian just competed in Rio with Team USA.
“We believe in exposing children under 5 to as many diverse things as possible. If you listen, it seems like there’s something magical about being 4 years of age. Many elite athletes, artists, musicians, great minds all recognised their passion at 4 years old, and their parents put them in an environment to allow their talent to be developed appropriately,” she said.
Watching the Olympics (or any type of sport) with your children is highly recommended by sports enthusiasts. It can be hugely beneficial to them as they learn about teamwork, health and fitness and sport etiquette.
With the Olympics offering such a wide variety of sport in a condensed amount of time, it can be interesting to see if your child shows an interest in a particular activity. It’s then your job to research your local area for clubs that will cater for your child’s interest, experience and age.
You never know, you could be an influencer of one of Team GB’s next gold medal winners!