Don’t Just Watch! Play Sports for Frugal Fun

 

Equipment Need Not be Expensive

Yesterday we talked about playing music; today I will discuss playing sports. The principle is the same. Being an actual participant and not just an observer is more fun and less expensive. Gone are the days of sand lot softball and “going out to play”. For many years now the schools have filled the gap for kids, though many of these programs are now threatened by hard times.

But it is not just kids who can benefit from playing sports. The state of children’s and teenager’s after school sports program is large enough for its own post, so I will concentrate here on the grown-ups.

Do you have a sport you already play and love? Then you are lucky. If not, why not at least consider it? Is there something you have always been attracted to but never tried? Think about your physical condition and natural inclinations. There are many types of sport—some involve teams, some are done in the company of others but not as a team effort, and some are real solo activities. For example, softball always involves a team, cycling is often done with companions, and skiing is pretty much solo.

Sports also vary in costs, both to get involved and to stay involved. Skiing can be pretty expensive if you don’t live near snow, but tennis is very reasonable once you have the equipment if you stick to public courts.  You will want to rent or borrow the equipment at first to make sure you really like it, and then check out used equipment stores and craigslist.

If you have never played a team sport, you may have to ask around a bit, especially if you are self-employed or work for a very small business. Bigger companies sometimes have a team you can join. If not, look in the yellow pages first or search online for local teams. Then check out the parks and recreation department in your town, or ask at a gym of sporting goods store. There are some great side benefits to playing on a local team, besides the entertainment value. It gets you off the couch, which will improve your health naturally. And it builds wonderful connections with your fellow citizens. Have you ever been out at a tavern and seen a whole team come in for drinks after the game? That could be you. So, get fit, make friends, get outside and PLAY!

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One Response

  1. Specifically for tennis, I found (er, more accurately, a friend introduced me to) a product that extends the life of tennis balls (http://www.holabirdsports.com/tennis-ball-saver.html). If you play tennis, I’m sure you’re well aware of balls losing their bounce over time. Storing balls in this thing helps the balls keep their bounce longer, which helps you save money by not having to buy balls as often!

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