amyhan
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App to Discover and Play Sports with other Beginners

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Everyone knows that exercise is good for you, but it can be really intimidating to get started. Maybe you feel like you’re not fit enough, you’re not good at sports, and so you just decide not to start. Having friends and making things a social experience might be able to help lower that barrier to getting started and discover new ways to get active and meet people, without already needing to be really good at the sport.

My idea is for an app where users put in a sport they want to learn, and they’re matched with other people who put in the same sport and are also beginners. The app suggests a location where they can play that sport that’s equal or so distance between the people in the group, and can help book the space, if it’s a reservation-required location. 

This way, people can get started both with getting more physically active and meeting new people, without the existing barrier of needing to be good enough at something that you don’t embarrass yourself. I think this could have some interesting social and health consequences, and I hope it helps people try out new things and lead healthier lives.

Is this something you or someone you know might like to try?

7 Comments

  1. Hi @amyhan!

    I think this is a good idea! I recently started playing in a sports league my self and wish something like this solution was available to me — maybe I would have been more proactive about joining sooner.

    Couple of things to consider:
    1. There are some existing platforms (e.g. meet up) that do this. However, when I’ve seen postings on these apps I’ve had doubts on whether these leagues are still active or what the level of skills the people there would have.
    2. Our sports league uses WhatsApp to communicate on an ongoing basis. It would be good if your platform not only helps match but also facilitates future interactions between participants.
    3. A social aspect to the platform may also be good so the participant knows who they’re matching with. When I joined my sports league, I was hoping there would be individuals with similar backgrounds, interests, careers etc as me.

    Godspeed!

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  2. Hi Amy. Nice idea here. I am curious about the entry points to using an app like this. People may have resistance beyond not having the social circles to participate in group sports. I wonder if there’s some exploratory research you can do to validate that social experiences and social circles are main drivers of people getting physically fit. I’d be curious to see if there are other drivers as well and how you may be able to design this app around what drives physical fitness and sports adoption. Happy to help chat more about this if helpful.

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    • Interesting point with “drivers” for getting physically fit. What we’ve seen in previous studies on fitness and incentives is that people feel motivated by a few factors: notably, competition and monetary incentives. I wonder if it’s worth considering motivation by way of competition, points rewarded, or monetary rewards for frequency of use with your app or reaching notable milestones or goals.

      You could even combine elements of competition and monetary/points incentives. For example, if users exceed personal or group goals, they might be rewarded by points or badges that are meaningful within the app community (e.g., Reddit’s system) or by a monetary incentive.

      If you did want to go the route of monetary incentives, you could consider a few different ways to provide them including:
      – Funding through advertising
      – Funding through offering your app as a paid subscription-based service to users
      – Funding through partnerships with insurers or other health and mindfulness apps
      – Funding through external/VC money

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  3. I like your idea. It’s really clear that you put a lot of thought into it. One thing I would really like to see is actual data. I’d like to see how many people are actually using this app, and what happens to them after using it. Is it meeting their goals? Is it helping them lose weight or get in shape? How many people are signing up, and how many people are actually meeting up? If this app is super successful, you should see some data around that.

    Another interesting data point I’d like to know is how it’s helping people. Does it help them get started? Does it help them stick with things?

    If this app were around when I was in college, it might have helped me get started with playing ice hockey. I didn’t start playing for another couple years, and while I’m glad I did, I feel bad that I didn’t get started sooner. I think if this app is successful, it could help people get started earlier, and it could help them stick with it. That would be great!

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