A. Read these seven tips. Now listen to the programme. Tick (✓) the five things the psychologist says.
1 Be realistic about what you choose.
2 Always take up a new activity at the beginning of the year.
3 Don’t think you’ll be bad at all sports just because you’re not good at one.
4 Don’t give up an activity before you’ve given it a good chance.
5 If you’re learning something new, don’t think you’re going to become the best in the world at it.
6 Always take up a new activity with a friend.
7 Learning something new is a good way of meeting people.
B. Listen again. What examples does she give for each point you’ve ticked?
1 3 4 5 7
1 Don’t take up sailing if you can’t swim.
3 Just because you were bad at gymnastics doesn’t mean you won’t love tennis.
4 Carry on for at least a few months. / Have a break and then try again one or two months later.
5 If you take up tennis, don’t expect to become Wimbledon champion.
7 You’ll meet other people who have similar interests to you.
I = Interviewer, P = Psychologist
I Hello and welcome to this week’s edition of All about you. Today’s programme’s about taking up new activities, and how to succeed at them. With us is psychologist Dr Maggie Prior. Good afternoon.
P Good afternoon.
I Dr Prior, what tips can you give our listeners who are thinking of learning to do something new?
P Well, first of all, I would say choose wisely. On the one hand, don’t choose something completely unrealistic. For example, don’t decide to take up sailing if you can’t swim, or parachute jumping if you’re afraid of heights. But, on the other hand, don’t generalize and think that just because you aren’t very good at one sport, you won’t be able to do any sports at all. I mean, just because you were bad at gymnastics at school doesn’t mean that you might not love playing tennis.
I So think positive?
P Definitely. And never think you’ll be bad at something before you’ve even tried it.
I OK, so, let’s imagine I’ve started to learn to play tennis and I’m finding it very hard work.
P Well, first don’t give up too quickly, carry on for at least a few months. It often takes time to begin to enjoy learning something new. Another thing that can help, if you’re having problems learning something, is to give it a break and then try again, perhaps a month or two later.
I But what if I carry on and I find I really really don’t have a talent for tennis?
P I think the important thing is not to be too ambitious. I mean if you’ve never done much sport and you decide to learn to play tennis, don’t expect to become the next Wimbledon champion. Just aim to enjoy what you’re doing, not to be the best in the world at it.
I But if even after all this, I still feel I’m not getting anywhere?
P Well, sometimes you do have to accept it and say, ‘OK, this really isn’t my thing,’ and you need to give it up. But why not try something else?
There are lots of other things you can learn to do. But remember that if you take up an activity that you’re really interested in, even if you aren’t very good at it, you’ll make new friends, because you’ll be meeting other people who have similar interests to you.
I So it might be good for my love life.
I Dr Maggie Prior, thank you very much.
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