The #OnTheBlueMat Blog
THE DECLINE OF GROUP SPORTS?
THE FITNESS INDUSTRY IS UNDERGOING A MASSIVE CHANGE.
Perhaps you have noticed it first hand. For some people, the gym isn’t really cutting it anymore. It’s hard to stay motivated, keep your workouts interesting and perhaps it’s even a bit lonely.
LONELINESS. IT’S A SILENT PANDEMIC.
But it’s been the same for group sports. Over the last 20 years, Australians have moved away from group sports and into individual pursuits. Participation in group sports like cricket, rugby league and tennis – which require team mates or other players – has seen participation rates drop by as much as 60%. In the same time period the popularity of gyms and jogging – individual pursuits – have nearly doubled*. The benefit of choosing a gym membership or going for a jog is that you can work it into your schedule. Our busy lives feel less busy by dropping organised sport. It’s a fair solution if you lead a busy life. But it ignores one of our basic human needs: connectedness. And if you’re still reading this, perhaps you have noticed this too.
WE ARE SOCIAL CREATURES.
The strength training and its known benefits are supported by the pursuit of skills like handstands, tumbling and rings. Because working towards a skill will keep you more consistent than simply working towards ‘strength’.
These skills aren’t something you can simply ‘pick up’ without risk of injury. Base knowledge around mobility and technique grow over time. Expert coaches support their eager clients through this patient work, to first improve joint function, then add strength and flexibility, to eventually achieve skills that on the surface look impossible, but with some time are available to anyone.
We can’t speak for every space that has this approach, but at Falsegrip it’s the training environment that keeps members coming back. It’s inclusive and encouraging. Just like group sports.
The technicality of the training requires quality coaching, which means people find themselves in a class environment (rather than in a corner of the gym on their own). Initially, perhaps, new clients are nervous and uncomfortable. But the training requires you to drop your ego, because it takes time and patience. So an inclusive culture goes hand in hand with these spaces.
EACH PERSON KNOWS WHAT THE NEXT PERSON IS GOING THROUGH. SO THEY SUPPORT EACH OTHER WITHOUT JUDGEMENT, BECAUSE IT’S TOUGH.
A sense of belonging grows in the early weeks of participation in these sessions. As an ‘experienced’ member improves, new challenges present themselves. So in a way, everyone has a beginner attitude, which makes it comfortable for newcomers.
This style of training is an antidote to an increasingly disconnected life. Work, home, gym, play; we’re too busy for much more than that. What’s missing is community – people outside your family or workspace who care about you and your goals. They celebrate them with you, support you through the struggle. And you with them. To belong is a key to unlocking contentment.
BECAUSE WHEN YOU BELONG TO SOMETHING BIGGER THAN YOU, LIFE IS MORE ENJOYABLE.
*Data originally sourced from the Roy Morgan Single Source Survey – Sports Participation rates 2001-02 to 2018-19, and published in Leigh, A & Terrell, N, Reconnected – a Community Builder’s Handbook, 2020.
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