Things are weird. Nothing about sports feels quite right any more. Turn on the TV and hear fake crowd noise from cardboard fans. The hits are real enough. But one can’t help but wonder how the pandemic championships will be viewed by athletes and sports consumers.
Is it a real World Series? Will this NBA championship get the same respect as previous ones? Who even knows what’s going on with football? How will the NCAA treat teams that play fewer games due to the virus? Do the rankings even make sense anymore? Or will this go down as the lost year of sports?
It is not just about spectator sports, but sports participation. We can’t get out there on the basketball court like we used to. Team sports are weird to watch and dangerous to do. We just can’t take the risk. That means your athletic kids are going to have a lost year of sports as well. But that only applies to team sports. There is still a path to individual sports greatness. They don’t have to let their skills and muscles atrophy. They can try these sports instead:
Biking is one of the great, total body workouts that anyone can do with a little practice. It can be done at any level ranging from beginner to advanced, to insane. Either way, be sure your budding athlete has the protection of one of those 100Percent mountain bike helmet brands that are also well-ventilated and lightweight, perfect for competitive mountain biking.
While one of the more invigorating workouts, biking must be done with safety in mind. Just riding on the street requires unwavering vigilance. Drivers do not always respect the space of bike riders. And off-road trails are full of tree branches and roots that cannot be avoided. Indeed, such obstacles are a part of the adventure. Whatever team sport you have to put on hold for now, biking will keep your strength and reflexes where they need to be when it is time to take the field again.
Golfing is surprisingly physical. You don’t have to have the build of a lineman. But you do have to be fit. Unlike with football, it is open to men and women alike. Nationality is also not a barrier. The latest PGA women’s champion is from South Korea.
Golf does not just require brute strength, but accuracy and finesse. Your hand-eye coordination has to be just as sharp as with any other sport. Throwing a football 20 yards downfield to a moving target between two defenders is a rare skill. Master propelling a ball for a hundred yards with the swirling wind as a defender. And have it land near a tiny hole between two sand traps. Now, you’re playing golf.
Not all competitive sports are canceled or weird. Tennis represents one of the best workouts you can get. Best of all, you can safely play with another person without social distancing concerns. Seldom will competitors come within 10 feet of each other.
The health benefits from playing tennis are well documented. Studies show that playing just three hours a week can reduce the chance of heart disease by 50%. Playing the game requires off the charts hand-eye coordination, sudden bursts of speed, the ability to stop on a dime and change directions, and much more.
Tennis is also one of the more affordable and accessible sports. It requires very little equipment to get started. Really, you just need a tennis racket, a few tennis balls, tennis shoes, and access to a tennis court. Many parks have public tennis courts. There are few barriers to entry with this sport. It requires no safety gear. Hydrate well and enjoy the chase. This sport is ideal for people of all skill levels. It is not just one of the greatest individual sports, but one of the best things you can do for your body.
There will be opportunities to get back out there on the pitch. Till then, keep your skills sharp and your quest for athletic supremacy sharper with biking, golf, and tennis.