How can I tell if a sport is made for me?

How can i tell if a sport is made for me? 

Want to try a new sport but not sure about your abilities? Let's tell you why "sweating it" is a good sign!

Are you having fun in your sports activity but not getting much success out of it? Are you drawn to a particular sport but at the moment it only results in sweat and sore muscles?

We've got good news for you: it happens to us all.

So if you are asking yourself if a sport is made for you, we give you our opinions and our experiences. The lot without a quiz or a personality test. We are here to get straight to the point: your goals and enjoyment.

Discover a sport: in sportpeople's own words

"I did a year of judo. I passed my yellow belt, but I finally decided to that it was too violent. I was 7 years old" Thomas, DECATHLON.

And that fits perfectly with what we think. A sports activity must first and foremost be about your well-being and your enjoyment!

Personally, apart from my love of basketball pushing me to go to the playgrounds to shot 2 magnificent hoops out of 16 in addition to losing the ball 6 times as soon the opportunity arises, my sports activity is more down to spontaneity and curiosity than to results and performances.

My latest discovery to date

Cross-training: a 40-minute high-intensity introduction resulting in quite a bit of sweating, but more importantly to loads of endorphins for the rest of the day, and American football: an afternoon spent in the park with friends and ball, throwing far from regulation long passes, as we await sunnier weather and expecting the onset of stiffness.


In short, it is preferable to more importantly play and get enjoyment. Especially when you are trying a new discipline, taking up sports after taking a break or starting out for the first time.


Because we are not going to lie to you, if your debuts can turn out to be spectacular, they are often far from perfect. So keep focused on getting enjoyment and having lots of fun.

By the way, before we explain how to find a sport that matches your expectations, we leave you with this testimonial to reflect on:

“in actual fact, each time you start a sport, you fall flat on your face" justine, decathlon

How to find a sport that suits you?

If well-being is, therefore, a goal in itself when you start a sport, it is not necessarily the only one. We quickly recap so you get a clearer idea as you ready yourself to start a new sporting chapter.

Weight loss or on the contrary building up strength, relaxing or letting off steam, doing a sport with others or by yourself and with nearly next to no equipment... here are the options available to you when you start a sport.

So for weight loss, try running, cycling or boxing. Talking about weights, if you want to build strength, well, you are going to have lift some: head to the weightlifting gym with its stack of weights.

To let off steam, you can combine the physical and the fun doing: body jump, racket sports... Conversely, yoga or walking puts the emphasis on relaxing.

Lastly, if you want to meet people and share the experience, join a club or start a team sport! And if you want to get started without having to beef up your budget there's running, walking or physical exercising at home that let you get enjoyment with minimal equipment.

choose which sport

That's it, you've made your mind up: you are going to do a sport! But despite your overwhelming motivation, you're not sure what to give a go.

Team sport or individual sport? At a club or at home? To build muscle or to lose weight? Right, let's help you see more clearly from the wide choice of activities on offer.

It seems obvious when you put it like that, but it is still preferable to have a clear idea about what you are looking to do before getting started.

Simply put, you could avoid for example starting synchronised swimming without having started swimming first (a true story which finished off with years of competing and then coaching in synchronised swimming).

You can also spare yourself a few surprises that might be bigger than you bargained for.

"The run & bike: a horrible experience, which nearly ended up in a break-up. never choose a tandem sport when one of you has a competitive spirit and not the other!", bérangère, decathlon

New sport: first results

Now you have a better idea of what sport to choose based on sports goals that you've set yourself let's talk a bit about results. And there's a big chance that the first to arrive are those you least expected: say hello to sweat and sores muscles!



If it's not the most glamorous end product of your sports activity, perspiration is an excellent indicator of the sports' health benefits!

Obviously, when discovering a new discipline and you find yourself covered in sweat after 10 minutes, you are probably telling yourself you should do stamp collecting instead of trying out mountain biking.

In actual fact, sweat is proof first of all of the benefits of sport for your body: it's responding to physical activity and eliminating toxins. Far from being a sign that you are physically unfit, the fact of finishing your training in sweat translates your body's ability of adapting to a sports activity.

And finishing off the sports session covered in sweat means you look the part, which isn't bad for morale!

The stiffness curve

The other direct result of your sports activity is the sore muscles! In general, they have a tendency to gently kick in before peaking 2 days after your session and then dying down.

If you want to pick up a whole variety of sore muscles, eccentric movements (whilst contracting your muscle when stretching) are particularly effective. What do you mean? Slowly lowering yourself when doing chin-ups, running downhill…

In short, when your muscles slow down movement. And by the way, that it is why it is harder to go down the stairs than climb up when you've got stiff legs. The good news is that these are very effective exercises to develop muscle mass!


In general, you get sore muscles when practising a movement or an exercise that you don't usually do (such as waiting until spring to take your American football for a spin). There is subsequently a good chance that they will happily join you in discovering a new sport.

To quickly get over this feeling, here are a few tips:

- Remember to stretch after your session. Once your stiffness is there, just settle for light stretching so as not to stress the muscle any further.

- Eat foods rich in magnesium (walnuts, legumes) and drink water rich in mineral salts.

- If you can't wait for it to pass, try alternating activities and exercises, so you don't always strain the same muscles.

And lastly treat yourself: warm baths and massages are good ways to relieve sores muscles. They could even become a source of extra motivation to go back to discovering your new sport.


And what if you don't feel any stiffness after sport? Well, it's because your body has got used to your physical activity. It might be time to finally try judo again.

A sport made for you is first and foremost one you get enjoyment out of and, which fits what you are looking for. As for the surprises and the beads of sweat, they are all part and parcel of the game!

And what about your stories and your first time trying a new sport?

Share your sports stories and don't hesitate to tell us if you like this article.


Decathlon editor photo


Decathlon team editor

Playground fanatic, passionate about basketball courts, swimming enthusiast, and general sports lover.

Other advice for getting into sport?