The list of sports to suit our athlete personas is as diverse as we are.

Some of us are born athletes and natural competitors, always on the quest for a new challenge. Others of us are about as athletic as pickles but still want to enjoy the social aspect of sports.

Then there are those of us who found our sports early on, whether a team sport or an individual sport, and we aren’t looking to change.

Regardless of what athlete persona you identify with, you can explore these lists of sports to help you determine which sport is best for you.

Ideal List of Sports for Weekend Warriors

group of bicyclists list of sports for your persona

Photo by Pixabay

For those who juggle a busy workweek but relish the thrill of physical activity during the weekend, the term ‘weekend warrior’ might resonate with you. You’re not alone. Many people try to compensate for weekday inactivity with intense weekend workouts.

The ideal sports for you, as a weekend warrior, should offer a balance between physical exertion and fun. They should challenge you physically but not exhaust you to the point where you can’t enjoy the rest of your weekend. Check out the top weekend warrior sports to make our list.

  1. Mountain Biking: Mountain biking is immensely popular amongst the weekend warrior crowd. It’s a great way to get your heart pumping, enjoy fresh nature air, and experience thrilling rides. Additionally, it’s a sport you can do alone or with friends, adding flexibility to your weekend plans. If you’ve been curious but nervous about mountain biking, check out Ninja MTB Skills Camps around the country. They are a great way to learn skills and build your confidence as a rider.
  2. Paddleboarding: If you live near an ocean, river, or lake, paddleboarding is another ideal choice for weekend warriors. You can opt to make it a vigorous workout to burn calories or a leisurely ride to escape the stress of the week.
  3. Hiking: Minimal gear requirements make hiking a popular fitness activity with the weekend crowd. It’s another great option whether you want to fly solo or make it a social outing. If the hike is challenging, you’ll torch a ton of calories to boot.
  4.  Organized Sports: Sports like soccer, baseball, softball, lacrosse, and rugby (along with many others) offer adult leagues that often schedule games on weekends.
  5. Cycling: Many cyclists take to the streets on weekends, whether on solo rides or in packs with other riders. Cycling is a great sport choice for weekend warriors to get a calorie burn while enjoying nature’s tapestry.

List Of Sports For The Social Butterfly

woman and man on golf course posing with drivers
Socializing on the golf course

If you’re an adult athlete who likes to focus more on the social aspect of sports than the competition, there are plenty of options for you.

You can play a sport that is social simply by design. You can also find a social sports league.

Some social sports leagues offer competitive options, but their primary focus is on creating connections among their members. You’ll find these types of adult sports leagues everywhere. Check out Atlanta Sport and Social or SPORTSKIND, to name a couple. Or jump over to our blog post with more than 100 social sports leagues.

Social sports can range from traditional to nostalgic, like the ones on this list.

  1. Volleyball: Whether on sand, grass, or an indoor court, you’ll find most social sports leagues offer volleyball. It’s a fun, casual sport.
  2. Dodgeball: We can all remember the grade school days of dodgeball. For some, it’s a better memory than for others. As an adult, dodgeball is a nostalgic sport incredibly popular in social sports leagues.
  3. Kickball: Kickball is one of the most popular social sports league offerings. While it can get competitive, kickball is typically a laid-back, casual, and fun adult sport for all skill levels.
  4. Cornhole: Yeah, cornhole is more of a pseudo-sport. Nonetheless, it’s a great option for adults who want to participate in some type of activity while they socialize. If you like competition, you can certainly make it part of your cornhole game.
  5. Pickleball and padel: Pickleball, and its up-and-coming-cousin, padel, are inherently social sports. You usually play recreational padel and pickleball games in doubles. That setup, plus a small court, makes the sports very socially interactive.
  6. Golf: There are different levels of golf, but most are social to some extent. How can they not be? A significant amount of your time on the course is either spent walking or riding in a cart with someone to your next hole. If you’re playing 18 holes, you spend an average of four hours on the course. It’s a great time to socialize–whether you’re blaming the wind on not sinking your putt or simply chatting about tips to improve your game.

List of Sports for the Hardcore Athletes

Hardcore athletes, you’re in a league of your own. You like to push the boundaries of physical strength, endurance, and skill in your chosen sport. You’re the type who relishes challenges, who thrives on the grind, and who’s not afraid to sweat it out day in, day out.

You’re best suited for sports that require intense training, rigorous discipline, and an ironclad will to finish. Nothing stops you. While others would buckle from the physical and mental pressure, you embrace it. Here are some sports to suit your unique athlete persona.

Edge Spray ad 300x250
  1. Ultramarathons: For most casual athletes, a standard 26.2-mile marathon is intimidating. Ultramarathoners crank it up a notch, often running 50 or 100-kilometer races–and longer. If you enjoy foot-to-ground action for long periods and have intense stamina, getting into ultras could suit your athlete persona.
  2. MMA: Mixed martial arts fighting is certainly not for the faint of heart. It’s a full-contact combat sport, so if the thought of taking a fist to the face isn’t your jam, this is not the sport for you. But if you enjoy the intense training and quick-thinking strategy of this sport–and aren’t afraid of a punch–MMA is a perfect hardcore sport.
  3. Triathlons: Triathlons combine running, swimming, and biking, so you’ll need to vary your training to excel in this sport. Sprint triathlons are the shortest at 0.5 mile (750m) swim, 12.4 mile (20km) bike, and 3.1 mile (5km) run. Ironman tris are a combined length of 140.6 miles (or 226.3 kilometers) for the three sports. If you think ultramarathons will bore you and you need more diversity, triathlons could be the alternative hardcore sport for you.
  4. CrossFit: CrossFit training involves high-intensity workouts that incorporate both your body weight and actual weights. If you enjoy high-intensity workouts in a group setting, CrossFit might be your fit. You can even join CrossFit competitions to show off your skills.
  5. Bodybuilding/Powerlifting: Both bodybuilding and powerlifting focus on lifting heavy weights but with a different goal in mind. Bodybuilders aim to build muscle to meet a specific aesthetic, while powerlifters aim to build muscle to lift the most weight. Their commonality is an intense training regimen and discipline. If you thrive with a strict, regimented training plan, muscling up could be your hardcore sport of choice.
  6. Obstacle Course Racing: Maybe you like the idea of triathlons but want even more diversity in your hardcore sport. Extreme obstacle course races like Spartan and Tough Mudder offer a barrage of obstacles stretched over long distances that will challenge you both mentally and physically.

Thrilling List Of Sports For Adrenaline Junkies

If you’re the kind who craves heart-pounding excitement, sports that offer a rush of adrenaline might just be your perfect match. Here are a few to consider.

  1. Skydiving: If you’re seeking a thrill like no other, skydiving will bring it as you plummet from thousands of feet in the air. You’ll experience the ultimate freedom, exhilaration–and maybe a little fear. It’s the epitome of an adrenaline sport.
  2. Motocross: Physically and mentally demanding, motocross certainly turns on the adrenaline churn. Whether racing around a track or flying high in the air with freestyle maneuvers, motocross checks the boxes of adult athletes looking for a thrill.
  3. Whitewater rafting: With Mother Nature in play and not knowing what she might serve up as you navigate in a raft down a river, you can certainly spike your adrenaline. If tumultuous rapids lie in your path, you’ll have to think quickly and work with your teammates to forge your way ahead safely. This intense rush is what attracts many adult athletes looking for a hardcore sport.
  4. Freestyle skiing: Is the thrill of downhill skiing not quite enough for you? Turn it up a notch by adding acrobatics and aerial maneuvers, and you’ve got yourself freestyle skiing. This adrenaline-laden sport can also involve tricks on rails and moguls.
  5. Luge: Want to try a sport that doesn’t involve a motor, but you can still hit speeds of 90 mph (145 km)? Hop into a one or two-person sled, lie back, and hit these crazy-fast speeds as you fly through an icy track. It’s a popular Olympic sport, but you can see what it’s like for yourself at the Team USA Luge Camp we mention in our adult sports camps post.

List of Sports for Athletes Who Relish Competition

If you have a competitive streak, engaging in sports that foster a healthy sense of rivalry is right up your alley.

Here’s a list of sports with a healthy dose of competition. A lot of these sports even offer tournaments for adult athletes (P.S. You can find many of these adult sports tournaments in our directory).

  1. Soccer
  2. Rugby
  3. Football
  4. Basketball
  5. Hockey
  6. Tennis
  7. Track and Field
  8. Swimming
  9. Baseball/Softball

Sports List for Individual Athletes

While team sports offer a unique thrill, there’s a whole world of individual sports out there that let you shine on your terms. Individual sports are perfect for adults who either enjoy the solo spotlight or simply prefer a more solitary competition environment. Try these on for size.

  1. Swimming: Jump into a pool, a lake, or the ocean, and you can enjoy the solitude of swimming. If you like competing, you can find master swim teams for adults where you can race other swimmers.
  2. Track and field: You can sprint, long jump, high jump, throw discs, and participate in a slew of other events in track and field sports events. And if doing it solo makes you happy, these sports could be a perfect fit for your athlete persona.
  3. Skiing and snowboarding: Get on a board or snap into skis and enjoy the solitude of floating on (hopefully) powdery snow. Usually, you go skiing or boarding in groups, but the actual sport is done all by yourself so you can experience the joys of winter.
  4. Tennis: While you can play tennis in either singles or doubles, singles is the most common. Tennis is very popular in the adult sports world, and you certainly can’t go wrong if you choose it as your favorite individual sport.
  5. Surfing: Surfing is the ultimate solo sport. It’s just you and the wave battling it out to win. If your athlete persona includes upper body strength, a solid core, and a good sense of balance, it could be surfing for the win as your sport.

Best Sports List Recommendation For Duos

woman_in_volleyball_stance_sand
Beach volleyball is the perfect dynamic duo sport

Perhaps going at sports solo isn’t your thing, but you don’t necessarily want to be part of a large team, either. Duo sports might be more your speed.

As part of a duo, you’ll be involved in most plays, but you’ll also have the support of a teammate. These are a few popular partner sports.

  1. Beach Volleyball: If you’re looking for a dynamic duo sport, beach volleyball hits all the notes. Not only is it a fun and energetic sport, but it also demands communication and mutual trust.
  2. Tennis: If you love the idea of playing tennis but would rather not go at it alone, doubles tennis might better suit your athlete persona. You can still enjoy the thrill of the game but with the support of a partner.
  3. Badminton: Badminton is one of those sports that’s been around for a long time and is quietly experiencing a revival. You and your partner work together in this net and racquet sport to hit a shuttlecock across the net to score points against opponents. It involves swift movements, strategic hits, and continuous communication.
  4. Pickleball/Padel: Pickleball and padel are both paddle sports that are most popular in doubles formats. You’ll enjoy a small court and quick-moving games where you can celebrate wins with a partner.

Team Sports List For Hive Mind Athletes

female soccer team poses goofily in group
Soccer is a popular team sport

Team sports usually have an implicit structure where participants are like cogs in a wheel. Each member of the team–like a cog–has a function (or position). Without all those teammates working together, games can fall apart quickly.

If you’ve ever played on a sports team where all your teammates just gel, and you know exactly where they are going to be when you need them, it’s like magic. Team sports are popular with adults for a reason. They create a sense of togetherness that can present itself both on and off the field

If you prefer to be part of a team sport, consider these options.

  1. Basketball
  2. Baseball/Softball
  3. Ultimate
  4. Rugby
  5. Lacrosse
  6. Football
  7. Hockey
  8. Water Polo

Obscure Sports List For the Non-Traditional Adult Athlete

Underwater Torpedo League match guys trying to steal torpedo out of another guy's hands underwater.
Underwater Torpedo League

There are a surprising number of sports out there most people have never heard of. If you are the type of athlete who bucks the mainstream and is always on the hunt for something different, this list of obscure sports will serve you well.

  1. Combat Juggling: Ever had the urge to break out in a fight mid-juggle? Yeah, me either. But should the mood strike you, you can try combat juggling. Check out what combat juggling looks like on our Instagram. You kind of have to see this obscure sport to know what it’s about.
  2. Underwater Torpedo League: This one always makes it high on our list of non-traditional sports. UTL is an underwater sport where teams compete to shoot a floating torpedo into a goal at the bottom of a pool. It’s fast-paced and full contact.
  3. Yukigassen: Yukigassen hails from Japan and is otherwise known as snowball fighting. Sure, we all do it when we’re in the snow, but it’s an actual sport in Japan and has made its way to other countries. Participants hide behind obstacles and attack opponents with snowballs. How fun is that?
  4. Adult gymnastics: Most people think you have to give up gymnastics when you’re in adulthood. Not so. In fact, there are many gyms that offer adult gymnastics programs and even an adult gymnastics fitness camp.

If you want even more, check out our blog post on non-mainstream sports.

Non-Athlete Friendly List Of Sports

If you’re not naturally athletic, don’t worry; there are plenty of sports out there that are welcoming and accessible for beginners. You don’t need to have the physique of a football player or the agility of a gymnast to start embracing a sporty lifestyle.

  1. Swimming: If you’re not aiming to be an Olympic swimmer, you can still get your sport on as a non-athlete by swimming. Find your own pace and rhythm, and you’re off to the races. Plus, it’s a great low-impact sport that benefits your heart health, too.
  2. Cornhole (or Bags): Yes, this is considered a sport by some. Toss bean bags to a slanted wooden platform with a hole in the center and earn points for making it in or near the hole. If you can hold a beer while you play a sport, you can surmise it doesn’t take a high level of athletic prowess.
  3. Bocce Ball: Bocce ball is played in two teams. Each gets four balls and attempts to get their balls closest to a neutral target ball, called the pallino. It involves some strategy and teamwork, but you don’t need a high degree of athleticism to enjoy bocce ball, making it an appealing sport for non-athletes.
  4. Archery: Sports like archery focus more on technique than speed or strength, which might be weaknesses if you’re a non-athlete. Excelling in archery is reliant on precision, focus, and patience instead.