If your teen is riding the bench on their sports team or realizing they don’t love the sport they are playing, it may be time for a change.  There are many sports out there, and each requires its own rules, strategies, and skill sets. Below are four non-traditional sports that may be good for your teen to try out.

Cross Country

One of the best things about cross country is that anyone can run. Someone doesn’t need to be fast or in shape, and they can run with a group or alone at any speed. The sport doesn’t require special equipment, either— just good running shoes and some motivation! 

When choosing a new sport for your teen, make sure it fits their personality and interests. The demands of cross country may seem intimidating at first, but it doesn’t take long to see that the benefits outweigh any initial concerns.


Rowing is an excellent sport for individuals as well as teams. If one person isn’t pulling their weight, the whole boat slows down—there’s no slacking if you want to win. Having to rely on each other to succeed in competition is one of the things that makes rowing so attractive: it forces everyone to trust their teammates.

Similar arguments can be made for sports like basketball or soccer. But unlike those more-commonly played sports, rowing has tons of opportunities after high school. Rowing has one of the highest percentages of athletes who receive college scholarships.

Getting into rowing isn’t simple, so one recommendation is to try out a rowing summer camp. These camps provide the necessary equipment and teach the basics of the sport. 


More indoor pools are being built and more people are taking up swimming as a sport.  Taking part in swimming can help you become fit, benefit your mental health, and improve your physical health.

From beginners to experts, swimming is a sport that your teen won’t have to quit after high school or college – it’s accessible to all ages, sizes, and skill levels. The same may not be true for other sports that require a lot of equipment or players. Think about it, when was the last time you saw a pickup game of tackle football? 

Another huge benefit is that injuries are uncommon in swimming since there isn’t any physical contact with other athletes or hard contact with the floor.

Ultimate Frisbee

Ultimate frisbee is a very social, team-oriented game that requires excellent communication and teamwork. This sport is simple to learn and is fast-paced with elements of soccer, football, and lacrosse. 

Ultimate frisbee is a somewhat new sport but has recently gained a lot of traction nationally with some tournaments being broadcasted on ESPNU and CBS Sports Network. If this momentum continues, it is only a matter of time until ultimate frisbee leagues will be available everywhere. 

Perhaps the best part of ultimate frisbee is that, unlike most sports, the setup is simple. All that is needed is a frisbee disc and a field. 

Don’t Limit Yourself

There are a lot of sports out there if teens want to try something different. Don’t limit them to one sport or activity—try something new! If you aren’t sure what sports they would be good at, look at where their skillset may excel. Cross country may be the right choice for those who have a lot of endurance. A sport like ultimate frisbee or swimming might be a good fit if they have speed.

More than anything, remember that the purpose is to have fun. No matter how great a scholarship or success may be, it isn’t worth much if they aren’t enjoying what they are doing.