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Originally published Friday, April 5, 2013 at 11:00 AM

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That's the team spirit: Group sports are great for motivation

Consider joining a sports league with a bunch of other adults who want to resuscitate skills from childhood or are interested in learning a new sport.

Special to The Seattle Times

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FOR MANY kids, playing team sports was a normal part of the day. We got up early or spent the afternoon at practice, and we played in tournaments on weekends. We ran around a lot, and most of the time we thought it was fun.

As adults trying to stay in shape, we find out how much motivation comes into play. When left to my own devices to lift weights at the gym, I stop paying for the gym.

Put me in a group of like-minded people, however, and throw in friendly competition and my motivation can roar back to life.

With glimpses of blue sky hinting at summer, it's a great time to tap into the fun part of fitness. Consider joining a sports league with a bunch of other adults who want to resuscitate skills from childhood or are interested in learning a new sport.

Consider that team sports are great cross-training, pushing you to move laterally and challenging core strength and stability. You also can make some new friends, which I consider a mandatory part of fitness.

Seattle is teeming with sports leagues dedicated to adults who wanna have a little fun. They vary in intensity, depending on how serious you are. Note that you can get very, very serious. See: Seattle Sockeye, Ultimate Frisbee.

Even if you have never picked up a disc before, you can find kindred spirits. Most teams run leagues based on seasons, with a dedicated night of the week to play, and there is still time to join the summer season.

Here are some fun potential sports to get you started. Look around for an option that suits your schedule and go play!

Ultimate Frisbee: Seattle fields some serious heavyweights in Ultimate Frisbee. As much as we think team sports are cool, we're not ready to join national competitions with the Seattle Sockeye. Instead, check out Disc NW (www.discnw.org). It fields various leagues including the hat leagues, which are designed for beginner-intermediate players. For $62, you get assigned randomly to a team (thus the hat) and 10 weeks of playing time.

Soccer: Soccer teams are all over the city, playing under the lights and rain in winter and sweating it out in summer. Some leagues, like Seattle Co-Rec (www.co-recsoccer.com) have options for newcomers, with a beginners class, and additional rules to protect players from injury. Other leagues, like the Northwest Co-Ed Soccer League (www.nwcsl.com), are considered more competitive, enforcing different rules on the field. The Northwest league offers a place for you to be recruited, but doesn't place players with teams. Fees run $70 to $100, depending on the league.

Kickball: If you're going to revert to your childhood, you might as well take it all the way with the ongoing kickball revival. Underdog Sports League (which appears to have a tender spot for nostalgia sports) has levels including rookie and "soft-core." It costs $65 for an individual to sign up. See www.underdogseattle.com for info. Emerald City Kickball (www.kickball.com/waemeraldcity) plays in Gas Works Park, while ComeBack Sports (www.comebackseattle.com) offers games for a range of skill levels.

Nicole Tsong teaches yoga at studios around Seattle. Read her blog at papercraneyoga.com. Email: papercraneyoga@gmail.com.

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