Come winter and most of us stop indulging in outdoor sports and pack-off till springtime. This happens with most of us and is pandemic in nature. It is the sting of the harsh winter with attendant health complications that we get put off with the idea of sports. But rationally as a sportsperson, there should never be such long breaks from sporting activities, which is not only detrimental to your physical abilities but also damaging to your mental capabilities of competitive spirit.
I think most of us sportspersons are to be blamed for laying off from sports during winters. After all, this mental block that playing sports means playing outdoors should be thrown away out of the windows as early as possible. We need to realize that there are many indoor sports which are as much demanding and invigorating as the outdoor ones, if not more. With this as the backdrop, let us examine the top 5 Indoor Sports that we should take up during winters, which will keep us physically fit, mentally happy and more importantly, preserve our fierce competitive spirit.
Badminton is a popular and fast-paced indoor sport which can be played by two or four players, just as in Tennis. It requires opponents to stand on either side of a net. From one side of the net, a feather- shuttlecock is hit with the help of a good quality badminton racquet by a player, on to the other side of the net. The opposing player then has to return the shuttlecock to his opponent without dropping it on the ground. In this game, one has to be very accurate, fast and flexible with good reflexes, since the shuttlecock travels fast once hit. Players have to maintain excellent physical conditions. The game demands a high degree of reflexes and speedy movement to all corners of the court.
As we can appreciate, Badminton demands speed in movement around the court with strength in legs and arms. Hence this game is a great sport to improve fitness and agility along with lightning-quick reflexes. It is believed that on an average, badminton burns up 450 calories in an hour.
Basketball is a wonderful indoor game which requires immense stamina, speed and whole-body coordination. If played with expertise, this is a very rhythmic game which exercises the whole body and mind. It is very fast-paced and rigorous and demands supreme physical and mental fitness. It is played by 5 players on each side of a centre line. The opposing teams have to dribble a football-sized ball with hands, pass it to own team players if required, and put the ball inside a basket of the opposing team. Since the ball can be thrown and intercepted by opposing players within the limits of the court, it becomes very fast-paced with constant short sprints and 360 degree quick turns by the players. This becomes exhausting since you have to constantly change directions while sprinting with or without the ball. It is opined by experts that basketball burns up 900 calories per hour, which is quite alarming. Hence to competitively play this game one has to maintain excellent fitness standards with stamina and a lot of weight training for legs and arms.
Foosball is one the main attraction of winter sports. It has all the fun of football and playing with your friends and family. The foosball is a table based on football. It’s played on a foosball table on which transverse axes with player-shaped levers are turned by the players to hit a ball.
Futsal is a football game, played indoors, with variations applied to suit indoor restrictions and requirements. It has 5 players to each side, one of them being a goalkeeper. The smaller size of the team demands that opposing players have more contact and interactions with each other, during the run of the play. This ensures that each player has to be a specialist in all departments of the game, be it dribbling, ball control, passing, shooting or running with the ball.
In Futsal, the ball is smaller in size and has less bounce. This ensures that players have more ball control in an indoor environment. Similarly, the goal size is also kept smaller, almost equivalent to a hockey goal, keeping the constraints of an indoor sport in mind. This game is a wonderful opportunity for football players to improve their football skills during winters while keeping themselves fit and competitive.
Hockey is a well-known sport, which is mostly played outdoors. However, this team sport is also played indoors with the same rules as the outdoor variety. Indoor hockey stadiums allow the game to be played in winters and in inclement weather conditions, where the weather has no debilitating effect on the players and the game. It is played with 11 players on each side, with one of them as goal-keeper. The size of the goal post is much smaller than that of football, and it is played with a cricket sized ball. This ball is hit and dribbled by players carrying a hockey stick. Both teams endeavour to score a goal on the opposing side by putting the ball past the opponent’s goalpost.
Since the hockey ball is hit with a stick, it can generate tremendous speed and can travel from one corner of the field to the other in a matter of seconds. For this reason, this is also a very fast-paced indoor game which will require the players to be supremely fit. There is a requirement of great hand-eye coordination, which improves the mental faculties of a player. All in all, it is one of the most recommended indoor sports to increase your fitness, stamina, speed and balance.
Squash is an individual as well as team sport which is played indoors within the confines of a four-walled squash court. Like Badminton, it can be played by one player against another or two players as a team against an opposing team. Players hit a small high-density rubberized ball with the help of a squash racquet. The ball is hit with force against a wall in a confined space of a small cubicle shaped squash court. This results in the ball rebounding from the wall, which travels back to the players with great speed and acceleration. One has to be quite agile and nimble-footed or can get badly hurt with a missile-like ball flying back to the players.
Game of Squash requires oodles of stamina, strength and staying power. It is an energy-sapping game and calls for extreme fitness and stamina from the players. It is a delightful sport to play and watch with thrilling rallies which can last for a very long time. It is the perfect indoor sport to remain in shape for any sportsperson during winters.