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Back to School Sports

By: Sheila Borgen

As the summer winds down and autumn slowly drifts in, many students gravitate toward their favorite fall sport. Some students enjoy holding the spectator position and cheering on their beloved school or professional team. Others enjoy jumping into the fatiguing yet rewarding task of sharpening their athletic abilities.

Sports are abundant and readily available in the fall. Football, of course, is probably the most often thought of fall sport in the United States. The display of rivalries cannot be overlooked, from Friday night high school games to Sunday NFL games. There is also cross-country running that is evident with the groups of young students running over fields, on neighborhood sidewalks, and through parks. The endurance, stamina, and sheer grit these runners have is commendable. Cheerleading is a popular activity cast with only the most agile and fit individuals. Cheerleaders must naturally express relentless optimism and positivity while on display in front of hundreds to thousands of people.

There is a multitude of other well-known fall sports such as fast-pitch softball, wrestling, and volleyball that take center stage. Hiding in the background, however, is a plethora of additional sports that are not as well known. Let’s look at five of them.

  1. From its Egyptian origin in 3200BC to its appearance in America in the 1890s, bowling transitioned from using stones to roll at objects to today using balls made of plastic resin. Many schools are now introducing bowling leagues. This sport challenges the bowler’s eye-hand coordination, flexibility, strength, and balance.

  2. Archery has quite a lengthy history, from its emergence for hunting and warfare in ancient Egypt to its recognition for spiritual development in Japan. Although struggling to gain popularity in many states, its incorporation into some school programs is not unnoticed. Archery may not challenge your physical speed, but it does test your concentration, focus, strength, and endurance. For those who think archery does not qualify as a sport, I challenge you to grab a bow and head into the woods. Dinner is waiting!

  3. The Egyptians were quite inventive souls, as the root of fencing is often attributed to them. Of course, it seems as though they used sticks versus swords. Fencing is quite common in a spattering of states, but in many others, it has only recently been introduced. Improvements in cardiovascular health, agility, balance, coordination, alertness, and endurance are a few of the benefits of fencing.

  4. Though color guard is a part of nearly every high school and college football game, it is not always a recognized sport. These team members spend hours in the blistering heat, learning and rehearsing choreographed routines and dances while managing various weapons. Members become more robust while wearing sparkly, colorful uniforms.

  5. Not to neglect individuals with mobility deficits is wheelchair handball, sometimes called indoor wheelchair soccer. This game allows players to use manual or power wheelchairs to move around a basketball court during play. A volleyball is dribbled down the court and passed amongst teammates with the desired outcome of shooting the ball into a goal. Players are constantly in motion while catching, stopping, pushing, or hitting the ball using hands, arms, head, and torso. It sounds like these competitors are getting quite a workout!

Do you find that although you desire to be involved in a sport, you have pain or fear of injury preventing you? Have you been previously injured in a sport and not regained full function? Do you desire to improve your balance and coordination to outshine your teammates? If any of these are true for you, reach out to Age Fit Physical Therapy and Wellness. Schedule a Discovery Visit with their talented team and discover what therapy can do for you!

Sheila is a freelance writer for physical health, mental health, and parenting. She has four exceptional children, one adopted from South Korea. She lives in Alabama with her husband and children. Sheila enjoys cheering her children on at archery tournaments, soccer games, and color guard performances. She has over 24 years of experience as a physical therapist with a special love for the senior population. Learn more about Sheila at

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