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Sports Girl Soccer Player Running
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Tiffany Meh / Spoon

Becoming a New Non-Athlete

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at San Francisco chapter.

Did you play a sport your whole life and then suddenly it just stops? Maybe you got hurt? Or you just stopped loving your sport? Maybe you got to college and decided not to play anymore?

 If you read this and thought “yup” to any of those questions, then you might be experiencing a drastic change in your life. Your body and mind go from working itself almost every day and having a continuous routine, to doing practically nothing and being considerably more stagnant than what it’s used to. Unless you kept up with your fitness after retiring from your sport, your body might not feel like it did while playing.

 Personally, now that I don’t play soccer anymore, I can get bored easily and can see the change in my own physical and mental health. When my soccer career ended it was a very surreal moment that came way faster than it should have, and way faster than I expected. With all the free time that new non-athletes have on their hands, they get to explore and try new things that playing a sport may have prevented them from doing before. If you fall under the category of a new non-athlete here are a few recommendations of ways to keep yourself and your body busy

If you miss the physical fitness that your body used to endure, then I strongly recommend going to the gym or finding a workout class to join to keep your body at its finest. You could even find some other people who also used to play your sport and go out to play a game once a week, it could be good and fun for your body and mind to do something it’s used to. You could even join your school’s intramural team if they have one available. 

If you want to try something a little more lowkey that doesn’t involve physical activity, or because you’re too burnt out to do it, I recommend reading. Reading is a great way to keep your mind focused and working, like it would during a game. Set a goal for yourself, like reading 5 chapters a day and see if you can do it. It gives yourself a way to keep up the competitive nature of your mind with these reading challenges. 

Or if you don’t want to challenge yourself because it stresses you out too much, then just pick up a book and try to finish it. Reading was something I got into during the pandemic when I couldn’t play soccer and had the time to try new things, now it’s one of my favorite activities in the world. 

Another option for dealing with this specific change could be getting a job if you don’t already have one. If you have too much time on your hands, where you don’t know what to do to keep yourself busy, a job is a great solution. A plus to having a job that the other recommendations don’t have, is that you get paid! 

Having your life routine change drastically one day can be pretty intimidating and scary. But it can also be freeing, it allows you to experience and partake in new creative outlets that you might not have been able to experience before. 

Trust me when I say that change can be really good for a person even when it seems scary, step outside your comfort-zone and try something new!

Samantha Ortiz

San Francisco '26

Hi everyone! My name is Samantha. I am so excited to be part of Her Campus San Francisco as a writer!