The popularity of sports spreads across continents, cultures, and interests. Recently, the rise of things like female football has also led to entirely new sporting audiences. Even if you and your friends previously scorned sports, or found football matches boring, you could, therefore, find yourself in a position where your friends suddenly can’t get enough of the game.
This can feel baffling if sports aren’t something you’ve ever been overly interested in. But, with sports being a largely communal undertaking, your friends may ask you to join in or watch a match, and you risk alienating yourself, as well as missing out on the many benefits of following sports, if you refuse.
Instead, it’s worth taking steps to join your friends in their newfound enthusiasm, and we’ve got a few great tips to help you do it.
Find a team to support
If you’re truly looking to join your friends, it’s always worth seeking a team to support that you can follow, cheer for, and generally feel excited about.. You could choose the teams your friends are supporting, or check out this year’s Premier League odds to ensure you’re supporting the most exciting or upcoming teams on the table. You may even prefer to go old school, and simply support your local team if they’re in a position where they’re playing regularly. Either way, this small personal investment makes it much more likely that you’ll soon catch the sporting bug.
Talk about it
Watching sports is only half of the joy of following them. Sports fans also love a good chat about teams, changes, wins, and losses, and the more that you make the most of this common ground, the more you’ll start to see the joy that it holds. Even better, conversations here couldn’t be easier to start. Among your friends or sporting strangers, you might find that just asking about a football shirt they’re wearing, or a score you heard about in passing, could lead to deep connections and chats that last for hours. All because you took the time to step into the sporting world.
Research the history
Sports are about more than just what’s happening in the present. In the UK, especially, sports like football have a rich history stretching as far back as the 19th century and even brought communities together during the Second World War. With the rise of a long-standing sport like female football still fairly recent, looking even just ten years back can also help you to understand how far the sport has come, and why it’s worth your support now. As well as giving you more to talk about (top players of the past, best goals scored, etc.), knowing what’s come before can make it all the more valuable that your team does well now, and that you’re there cheering them on when they do.
You don’t need to become the world’s biggest sporting fan just because your friends have, but it doesn’t hurt to test out these ways of joining in, and see if anything comes from them.