If you’re feeling like you’ve put on a few pounds, or just that you need some exercise, then you should think about football. Playing a sport does not always feel like exercise. This is primarily because you will be having fun the whole time. It’s the best way to exercise. You can also meet new people and develop a hobby. Football can be a slow game, not like soccer which is quite fast. In football the luls can be quite tiresome, however if you are just easing yourself into exercise it can be great. There are spurts of running and chase, meaning the game can be similar to interval training in that you are stopping and starting all the time. The position you play in also dictates the amount of sprinting you will do, but wherever you play you’ll get a decent run out over the course of the game. If you join a team, then they usually play one game a week on weekends. But to fully benefit in the fitness term from the sport you may want to take part in all training sessions, usually one to two a week. It isn’t that easy trying to get into football. There are various things you need to consider. You may have already thought about some of these points in the guide, but they can help you get into the fine game and feel much better for the exercise and increase social activity.
Get The Gear
Before you play you need to have the right equipment. There is quite a lot in football. The rough tackling nature is unlike most other sports, as such you need a helmet. It can be hard forking out the cash for a quality one, but if you are sure you are going to play then get a decent one. Try it on and make sure it fits properly, you need to make sure it is comfortable because you’ll be wearing it for a long period of time. Ensure the top is comfortable and that there is no plastic pulling at your hair. You should also check if it is NFL or NOCSAE approved because you need it more than anything to hold up. Head injuries can be pretty nasty, put the effort into finding the right helmet and don’t be afraid of spending that little bit extra.
You may or may not use gloves, if you are a receiver then most certainly buy them. They can help your grip on the ball and keep your hands warm in the winter months. Check out this review for the best football gloves. Again, you may not need them. Some people prefer catching with their hands anyway. If you have butterfingers they can help. Some are extremely sticky and can aid you in catching the ball. If you throw the ball, they can help too because you can get a good spin on the ball before releasing, meaning the pass may be more accurate. You don’t need to buy the most expensive of these, but cheap ones can often rip or lose their grip, so bear that in mind when you are choosing your gloves.
You will also need shoulder pads. You tackle with your shoulder, which takes the brunt of the challenge. As a result, you need to ensure it is padded. There are all kinds of different shoulder pads out there, so again pick ones that are comfortable and fit well. You don’t want it chafing you or catching skin, but you need to ensure it is strong enough to protect you from serious tackles. Remember, you’ll be running at full pelt in this, so when you try it on bear that in mind.
Another key component is football cleats. These are needed because they give you grip on the ground. The season runs through winter, as a result be weary of wet grass and muddy terrain. You need boots to ensure you don’t slip, slips can cost your team the game, but they can also cause nasty injuries. With boots on you’ll be able to run faster due to a proper purchase on the ground. You may end up kicking too, if so you need a good angled boot built for it.
With these, you’ll need a team jersey to go over the top and trousers too. You can’t buy these until you know which team you’ll be joining, so for now go for neutral ones.
Do Your Research
Now you have the equipment you need to join a team and actually get into football. Check around your local area. There may be a few amateur leagues and teams in the area. Join the one you most fancy. You can either turn up at the training session or call ahead. If you feel nervous in these situations then consider asking a friend to join up with you. It is always easy with the two of you. You need to hang back for the first few sessions and not expect a game. But you’ll get your fitness boost from the training sessions. Try to join the team which is the closest to you for ease of access. Learn a little about their history, and about how long they have been playing. Perhaps go to one of their games before joining to see how good they are and so forth. You’ll feel better knowing about them before joining. Maybe they are too serious for you, or not serious enough. Find a team that matches your ambitions.
Consider Flag Football
If you aren’t feeling the gut wrenching tackles of normal football, then consider flag football. It is similar to touch football, and is more about dodging and quick movement that tackling. It is a great way to get your sports kick and fitness boost without risking some form of nasty injury. It is a good bet if you have some kind of injury you don’t want to exacerbate or a job in which you can’t take time off so don’t want to risk the injury as a result. The rules are quite similar, you just need to be fast and agile to win the game. It also means you save some money on the protective clothing front. You could still do with the gloves and cleats though, as a slip could still be painful.
Supplement Your Fitness
Running will be easier than before. First, because you will have a reason to do it. When you start training with your teammates you’ll see that they are more fit. This will spur you on and drive you. You’ll want to be the same if not better. You can get this, but only through hard work and determination. Supplement your football training and game time by running too. You’ll find it much easier than before. Then, before you know it you’ll be keeping up with the others on the training tracks. You could also try interval training, which is similar to football.
Supplement Your Skill
This could take longer to perfect, but if you get serious about it you may want to practice more than once a week. Try going to the park with a friend and throwing the ball back and forth at longer distances. Doing this will increase your passing accuracy. Try running and throwing too. This simulates what it is like in an actual game. Then you can try kicking. Supplementing your skill in this way will only work in your favor and see you develop at a quicker rate. If you don’t have the time, just go into your garden and practice with your kids. Any practice is good.
Just like increasing your skill and fitness, you also need to know the players and rules. Read up on the rules and all of the different plays. Learn how the game is played, learn how to win the game. You may think you know, but the tactics run deep. There could be a whole lot more to learn and your team may expect you to know certain plays. Read up, and feel confident. The more you read, the more information you’ll able to apply to your game.
You must be patient on the bench. You won’t get game time straight away because you’re new and untested. You’ll get a few off the bench starts, that’s it. But, slowly you may be able to force your way into the team. You need to show hard work and dedication to achieve this result, and be naturally good. Still, don’t expect to start a game for a long time. It’ll come, you just need to be patient and bide your time. Don’t nag the coach, he probably gets that all the time. Instead show him what you can do. Tell him when you’re ready, sure. But show him and you’ll be played. It’ll also take a while to work out your key position and where you fit in best. So let it take its natural course, you’ll soon find where your game’s strengths and weaknesses lie.