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the philly student’s guide to finding people to play sports with

make new sports friends in philly

If you’re wondering, “why can’t I find friends who play sports?” we guarantee you, there’s someone in your area asking the same question. 

Whether you’re in high school, freshly out of college, or well into adulthood, you already know it’s not as easy to find people to play with as it used to be. It takes a little extra effort to prioritize sports activities and to find others who are excited to meet up and play. 

But it’s possible. It’s important. And, it can be easy! At eseo, we know it is

Keep reading, because we’re sharing a few tips for students about how to find people to play sports with. 

Be a Good Teammate

It might seem like sports are all about fun and keeping score, but there is an element of social psychology to playing well. The first thing to consider: what type of person do other people love to play with? What makes them stand out? What traits do the best teammates have?

Don’t just try to look for sports friends in order to merely win a game. Remember it’s about sharing athletic experiences with others, having fun, and building community. Bring your best self to every pick-up game, practice, and tournament. If you can do this, you’ll set yourself up to find people to play with—and to have potential new sports pals approach you.

Try Different Sports Clubs

Maybe you love one sport. Or maybe you love any sport with a ball. No matter what sport you want to find people to play with, join a few sports clubs, as they’re great ways to meet people who are willing to play regularly. 

Get involved wherever you can. Make it relevant to your schedule and lifestyle! Some examples of sports clubs are:

  • On-campus clubs
  • Local athletic clubs
  • Sports complexes
  • Seasonal leagues
  • Sport training centers
  • Morning run clubs

If you want to really put yourself out there and meet new friends, try a sport you’ve never played before. Always wanted to try volleyball? Go for it. Hate running but interested in cycling one day? Give it a try and see what happens!

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Hit Up Local Parks and Recreation Centers

Start playing some pick-up games at parks, fields, and rec centers. If you feel intimidated or awkward showing up alone, grab a buddy to shoot hoops with or simply walk around until you find a game you can drop in on.

Familiarizing yourself with local recreation centers will help you meet strangers who share an interest in your favorite sports. Because many parks and rec centers tend to be on a first-come, first-served basis, there tends to be a low-pressure attitude where all skill levels are welcome.

Browse Sports Meetup Groups is a great way to find people to play sports with in Philly! There are all types of sports groups already, from super casual and fun to hardcore competitive and high-intensity. 

Some groups even meet for running and then hang out at local breweries after. There are very niche-specific athletic opportunities in Philly, including men’s, women’s, and LGBTQ+ sports groups. Plus, there tend to be a lot of college-aged students to meet in some of these groups, so you’re likely to grow some solid friendships.

Meetups are helpful if you need more accountability to play sports. When you have a group relying on you to show up, it makes the experience feel more team-oriented and social. 

Start the Sports Group You Wish Existed

It’s important for adults to play sports and stay active. If there’s an athletic group you want to join but it doesn’t exist yet, you might be the best person to create it. When there’s a vision and a high demand for something, bringing it to life is even more enjoyable than simply wishing someone else would make it happen.

eseo has plenty of resources for people interested in starting new sports clubs and fitness groups. In fact, we’ve interviewed many group founders and organizers who have shared a lot of wisdom and encouragement. Check out their voices here!

Use a Sports Social App

When you want to play a game, spread the word about a tournament you organized, or connect with sports enthusiasts, use a sports social app like eseo. The eseo app lets you search listings by sport, role, or location. Think of it like a directory app mixed with a social app where people connect with what’s going on with local sports opportunities.

Since the eseo app was created with a main focus on the Philadelphia area, it’s perfect for Philly students. Download it now to find people to play sports with nearby!

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make new sports friends in philly