Are you the only one in your office who doesn’t know who won the big game last night? Do you completely zone out when your significant other goes on-and-on about the latest trade? It sounds like you’re suffering from the life of a non-sports-fan!
If you are a newbie and want to start following sports, it can be extremely intimidating and overwhelming to try to figure out where to begin. Well, you are in luck, because here are 5 quick tips to help get you started:
Pick a Team.
The first step to becoming a sports fan is simply to pick a team. You’ll be surprised how quickly you become invested in the team and their success, just by picking a horse in the race. Once you’ve picked your team, start reading articles about how they’ve been doing recently. Are they struggling with injuries to key players? Did they just make a big trade? You can pick up an enormous amount of information, just from skimming the team’s recent news headlines.
While you’re at it, do a little bit of research on the team’s key players. Many athletes have humble beginnings or really interesting backstories, by learning a bit more about their personal lives you can get even more invested in how they fare in the game. If you’re on social media, it’s also fun to follow your favorite athletes on Twitter, Snapchat, or Facebook. They often try to give their fans an intimate look into their training or personal lives and some of them are quite frankly hilarious. Getting to know the players makes it all the more fun to follow their performance on the field/court.
Attend a Live Event.
The next big tip to becoming a sports fan is going to a game! Most sports are so much more captivating to watch live than on TV. The food, the drink, and the surrounding sports fans give the experience an electric energy—it’s hard not to get excited! Hopefully, you’ll have done your research on the teams and players in advance, so you’ll be able to follow along with all the action and see some of your favorite players live.
This one seems obvious, but it can actually be really intimidating to ask questions about the game, particularly because sports-know-it-alls love to lord their superior sports knowledge over others. The best way to go about asking questions is just be honest about being a sports newbie. Most people will be excited to share their fandom and knowledge with you—and just ignore anyone who doesn’t! If you can get a sports fan talking about their love for the game, you can learn a lot about the sport and as a bonus perk, it serves as a great icebreaker!
Get Social With Your Fandom.
There’s nothing quite like getting competitive with coworkers, friends, or family to get you invested in the game. You can do this by joining a fantasy league or an office March Madness pool. By turning your fandom into a game or contest, you’ll be surprised how obsessively you will follow particular players, teams, and outcomes. You’ll even start tracking games where your favorite team isn’t playing because of how it affects your fantasy team! It’s really a win-win situation because if you win the league, you get ultimate bragging rights and if you lose you’ve still learned a ton about the game and players.
Follow the Sports Headlines.
Now that you’ve found a sport and team that you love, make sure you follow how they’re doing! Most teams have their own fan newsletters, but if they don’t there is no shortage of sports resources, including SB Nation websites or Bleacher Report newsletters for each team. To keep up with the sports fans in your life, you should also be aware of the biggest national sports news of the day. You can do this by receiving a daily email newsletter like Goalposte that summarizes the stories for you, skimming the headlines on ESPN each morning, or watching ESPN SportsCenter every once in a while.