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The Basics of Becoming a Sports Fanatic

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Do you ever wonder how sports fans get so involved watching their favorite sports teams day in and day out? Ever curious about how someone can remember the stats for a team from twenty years ago? Have you asked yourself why stadiums, fields, and arenas fill up quickly with fans hours prior to the start of a game?

It can certainly be frustrating trying to follow a game where objects like a baseball fly through the air and you are not sure where to look or who to pay attention to during those moments that could make or break a game. You do not need to worry though because I am here to help you to understand the basics of the sports world and prepare you to experience your first sports outing.

To start, I understand that watching and playing a sport seem to be two different things but both actually come together in ways that empower sports fans physically, emotionally and mentally. Being involved in sports in any way has the following benefits:

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1. You feel confident in yourself

2. You have the potential to burn off unwanted stress, calories and energy

3. Aids in boosting one’s mood and mental health

4. Provides the opportunity to meet new people and get out of your comfort zone

5. And simply just provides the feeling of excitement that going to a game gives off

Getting into sports can be a fun and rewarding experience even if it seems rather complex from the start. Remembering the basics is key and will ultimately prepare you to experience your first sports outing. Here is some guidance to help you begin your journey to becoming a sports fanatic and some insight into why I love sports and how you can love them too.

Go Back to Your Childhood

Thinking back to your childhood and the sports that you enjoyed as a kid can be an easy way to refresh your love for the game, no matter what sport you have a connection to. I have noticed that as children grow up, they only have an interest in sports if they know they will make it into the league, but it does not have to be like that for everybody.

Sports fans can still have interest in whatever sport they follow as long as it fills them with excitement and joy.

Growing up, I was never one to follow any sport and its league besides the NHL, but that has changed in recent years as I began following the teams of the MLB and NFL. What I find interesting about my love for all things sports is that I have never played hockey or even stepped foot on the ice, but I have found the love for the game through watching it on television as a child and young teenager.

Courtesy of Christopher Hanewinckel

Watching the big games including the playoffs are important for me as a sports fan because it brings passion and intensity as these professional athletes battle it out for the big trophy at the end of a long season.

Growing up, I quickly became a Pittsburgh Penguins fan as they were a part of many Stanley Cup Finals. I will always go back to the time where I watched Sidney Crosby, Penguins captain, hoist the Stanley Cup over his head and shoulders in front of sold out crowds.

More so now than in the past, the idea of sports has changed drastically in terms of how fans watch the game, follow the teams on social media, and how they view teams and its players. The biggest reason for this change is because of the increase in technology in society and within the sports world.

Technology processes have expanded sports coverage through the plethora of channel options, something that has grown in recent years to showcase the live and full-replay coverage. Through social media and app platforms it has become easier for fans to engage with players and connect in a way beyond meeting them before and after games. Ways of buying and trading tickets to games are way easier and less stressful due to advancements in ticketing websites.

Find a Sport That Interests You

Looking back at the sports you watched or played during your childhood is a great place to start, but what happens if you are still stuck and do not know where to go next. The best piece of advice is to pick one team and identify with a favorite player on that team. Favoring only one team allows you to focus solely on that team’s players and you in return will learn and be able to buy into the rivalries they may have with teams in the same division or different division.

Once you do that, commit yourself to watching the games, highlights, player interviews, etc. Anything to help you familiarize yourself with the team is worth the watch. A good tip is to read about the rules and history of the sport or team to gain a better understanding on what to focus on.

Having something such as sports in common with friends and family members lends a helping hand regarding your love for sports. Being able to talk with someone close to you about a particular sports team will make you and that person’s connection even stronger. I have noticed that I gravitate towards my friends when I have something in particular to do with sports. I am always sharing and discussing sports when I am around other sports fanatics.

Take Advantage of Sports Outings and Leagues

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Lastly, if you feel you are ready to put all your sports knowledge to the test, I think it is time to go to a game in person. Ask your friends and family where they enjoy going to watch their favorite teams. If that is live at the arena or field, go and get a feel for how it is. Attending live games or events is the best way for you to immerse yourself into the sports culture.

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Another way to take advantage of the variety of sports options is to join a fantasy sports league or participate in sports betting to increase your engagement and investment in the sports you’re particularly interested in.

These are just some tips to start your journey to becoming a sports fanatic. Stick to your gut when it comes to finding the right sport to love. It takes time, but you will eventually stumble upon the right sport and team for you.

Edited by: Kaya Crawford

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