Competitive sports for guys over 40?

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by mtmartin71, May 29, 2013.

  1. mtmartin71

    mtmartin71 Silver Supporting Member

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    I'm 43. I "thought" I was in good shape. I work out frequently with weights and I started doing body weight circuit and other conditioning, but I haven't played a competitive sport in a long time. If you don't count softball (and who would!), then it's probably been since my 20s when I played in a basketball league. Since trying Crossfit and now volleyball just recently, I've had two rotator cuff capsule sprains in the past 6 months and a pulled hammy. The first rotator cuff capsule sprain came from doing snatches in Crossfit. Literally heard a pop and was worried I tore it. That healed up and just recently I started trying volleyball. I went to go for my first spike in a skills refresh class and re-sprained it although not as severe as the first time. The next day I played in a pickup game for beginners and thought I tore my hamstring when I abruptly dug my leg in on grass service to dig a low ball. Thankfully it appears only to be a mild to moderate sprain.

    Here is what I've learned since trying to get back into group/competitive fitness endeavors. First, I need to properly stretch before doing anything. Second, I need to take care of my right shoulder by focusing on some targeted strengthening exercises...I want to avoid surgery to correct it. Third...I need to somehow turn off my competitive mind from my 20s. Every time I do something where it's a competition, I get after it and my brain thinks in terms of where it used to be vs. the reality of my body today. This is what happened at Crossfit. I'm in a room of people and I'm probably the oldest guy and I'm competing to lift the heaviest weight. Volleyball...same concept. In each case, I went after it with no holding back and hurt myself in the process.

    My questions go out to TGP folks in my age range. First, how do you guys dial things back? Do you just avoid competitive sports altogether or did you find a way or a sport that didn't create that conflict? What competitive sports and type of leagues have you been able to play in where you can stay relatively healthy? Golf is not something I'm interested in by the way. I'd really like to see if I can stick with volleyball (co-ed) but that may not be good on my body or realistic at my age.
     
  2. clarkram

    clarkram Member

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    I don't know how the rotator cuff fits into this, but I would suggest tennis, in my area there are many teams, and several leagues for men and women, all ages, seniors are considered 45 plus.

    very competitive.
     
  3. MGT

    MGT Member

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    I'm 48, a hockey player and I don't dial back at all. I played in two leagues this past season...one was the most competitive division of old timers (which is 35 & up) and the other was a church league (where the only thing church like is the name of the teams!) where most of the players are in their twenties.

    While I have lost a bit of speed in the last few years, playing smart and having excellent conditioning is what makes the difference for me. I also find that my diet & rest make a huge difference in my recovery or ability to play each game....when I was in my 20's/30's, it didn't matter so much. A good warm up & stretching routine also helps.

    I work out with weights 6 days a week - 3 heavy days and three light days where I teach Body Pump at Good Life (it's a fitness/gym chain in Canada....maybe the US, too?). In the summer, I play pickup hockey twice a week....no matter how much I work out, there is nothing quite the same as actually playing to keep me in game shape. Some sort of interval training would help, though, I'm sure.
     
  4. Ron_R

    Ron_R Member

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    I am 40 and had many injuries from competitive sports (downhill skiing, MMA, bodybuilding) over the years and got really sick a couple of years ago.

    Competitive sports are out for me, but I cycle for exercise. I compete against myself and the clock on the GPS on my road bike.
     
  5. charveldan

    charveldan Member

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    "Boomer-itus" ... term by medical pro's to describe sports injuries of middle age & older men.

    :munch
     
  6. redgold

    redgold Supporting Member

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    I gave up my weekly basketball game in my early forties. I started to get frustrated trying to chase 20 yr olds. I would love to find an over 40 game. These days I have a catch with my son or we play tennis.
     
  7. neil99

    neil99 Member

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    Just turned 46, still play ice hockey one or two times a week. Hang out on D, let the kids go for the glory. Competitive(ish), still gotta get up for work in the AM.

    Definitely lost a step or two over the 20something guys that show up. Age and wisdom can still triumph over youth and exhuberance (now and again)
     
  8. psychodave

    psychodave Member

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    I practice Martial Arts. I can compete in non-combative or combative tournaments. I can do as much or as little as I want/can do. The benefit is not only exercise, but I know how to defend myself as well. I'm in my 40's... :)
     
  9. RichSZ

    RichSZ Member

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    The problem is you. Seriously. I'm laughing because I'm the same way. Going to be 43 in June. Competitive crossfitter, hockey player, softball guy (lol), and soon to be novice Olympic Lifter.

    After a few injuries in my late 30's and very early 40's you really have to adjust your mind. I thought I could still do the same sh!t as I could on my 20's. And some stuff I can do better now but the potential for injury is greater now. It's just a fact that our bodies are older, less flexible, and more prone to injury.

    So keep doing what you're doing but know how important proper warm up is. When you do your Oly lifts in crossfit realize that proper form is key. Yes, some can muscle through some lifts but proper form and engaging the right muscles will prolong your ability to lift injury-free. The biggest thing w/ Oly lifts is to work up to heavy weight. If you tore your rotator cuff you may need to work on your form and go lighter. Jump and shrug that bitch and drop under the bar, don't yank it or push it with your shoulders.
     
  10. Fred132

    Fred132 Member

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    Tennis. I know people still playing competitively in their 80s.

    Granted, they play against other geezers, but it's great for mobility.
     
  11. tjs

    tjs Member

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    Believe it or not Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a great option.

    First of all it is possible to be competitive with many of the young whippersnappers by being more skilled than them (though of course if they're comparable in skill to you then there's not much you can do. That's true of any sport though - skill + athleticism beats skill alone any day.) So you can feed your competitive nature without being as frustrated as you would in a sport where it's more difficult to overcome physical disadvantages.

    Second, because there's no running/jumping involved you're much less likely to suffer an exertion injury. You're not going to pull a hammy trying to run like you did when you were a teenager, for example.

    Third, the full body workout you get from that sport is second to none, and the flexibility gains you'll experience will actually help you avoid injury in the future.

    Don't get me wrong: you WILL be sore a good portion of the time and injuries do occur, but if you're smart about your training they'll usually be relatively minor and infrequent.

    I know people in their late 60s who are not only still training, but who regularly dominate people twice their size and a third of their age. A couple of them didn't even start training until they were in their late 40s, so it's definitely within your reach if you want it.
     
  12. JWDubois

    JWDubois Member

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    I played hockey until 50 until the combination of a chronic groin pull and the leagues around here going to crap made me hang it up.

    Through my forties, in both hockey and cycling I was slower at the start, but a lot of the time the young guys weren't actually in as good shape as they thought they were, and shot their wads early. Just keeping the same pace, I often ended up faster at the end of the game than them.
     
  13. ACfixer

    ACfixer Silver Supporting Member

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    They probably have a pinochle league at your local senior club.
     
  14. MartinPiana

    MartinPiana Supporting Member

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    Slow down. If you're returning to or beginning strenuous sport, ease into it. And yes, stretch stretch stretch. I'm 56, surf more than 10 times a month, take a significant surf trip each year. Strength is harder to retain, harder to regain and we're less flexible as we get older. You have to take better care of your body than before and perhaps be more aware of its limits. But to me, it's all worth it.
     
  15. straightblues

    straightblues Member

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    You aren't too old. But you aren't young anymore either. You need to go slow and build up to it and no just jump in with both feet. You can't do that at your age anymore. You need to retrain your mind. You will get back there quickly, but you do have to spend the time building yourself back up or you will get hurt. You mind knows how to do it, but you body has to catch up.
     
  16. Dave2512

    Dave2512 Member

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    I raced BMX cruiser until I was 42 and it was brutal. Got back into it at 39, raced at the expert level in my youth. Some of those guys never stopped racing so I pretty much finished last in every race. I couldn't train my way back into being competitive.

    The only competitive thing I do now is golf and believe it or not it's been the source of more injuries than anything I've done previously. My PCP knows I'm there due to a golf injury if he sees my name on his appointment list. Last year was my first year back to golf since my 20's and I don't remember it being so hard on the body. I've had to take breaks due to injuring my back, elbow, wrist, hand, knee and neck. Falling off the bike was less traumatic than golf.
     
  17. Jarrett

    Jarrett Member

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    I got out of BJJ at 38 due to injuries. But mostly it was due to rolling with MMA wannabe meatheads. And I couldn't recover quick enough between classes anymore. I wish I could find a gi school near me that rolled slower and more controlled. I certainly miss it. Know of any on the south DFW area?

    Lately (at 42) I've been biking and playing racquetball. Both are sports that I think could be done safely into later years. I'm not looking to compete in any of the above personally.
     
  18. Smakutus

    Smakutus Member

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    I still play 40 and over baseball.. I'll be 50 in November.

    Jeff
     
  19. 27sauce

    27sauce Member

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    There's a league in my town who's games I catch every once in a while. Some of these guys are OLD, but they can all play, big time. Its like watching an MLB(a couple played in the bigs) game on slow motion.
     
  20. Smakutus

    Smakutus Member

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    We use 10 on the field, no lead offs, no stealing. Guys aged 35 can play, but not pitch until they're 40.

    We have guys in their 50's and 60's still playing and guys that have played in the minors that can still bring it for an inning or so.. It's a lot of fun. I hadn't played softball in years before joining this league almost four years ago.

    I wish we could shorten the fields and play only 9 etc.. Maybe when we start a 50 and over. <g>

    Jeff
     

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