What A Dream About Playing Sports Really Means

No stranger to vivid dreams? If your REM sleep often turns into psychedelic visions ranging from finding yourself in Willy Wonka's chocolate factory to flying through the galaxy, then you probably wonder what they mean. While some scientists see dreaming as a way for the brain to rid itself of "useless" information and start fresh in the morning, many psychoanalysts include dream analysis as a crucial part of therapy sessions. Sleep psychologist Rubin Naiman explained to Time that "everything we see, every conversation we have, is chewed on and swallowed and filtered through while we dream, and either excreted or assimilated," but several other experts see dreams as much more than just the brain's trash can.

Do dreams carry symbolic meaning? That depends on who you ask. While Naiman told Time that REM sleep is a "second gut" for the brain, other scientists see dreaming as a way for the brain to process experiences and emotions, to exercise memory, or even as a "rehearsal" for potentially dangerous situations (via Very Well Mind). On the other hand, psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud saw dreams as highly indicative of a person's desires and past trauma, even writing his iconic tome "The Interpretation of Dreams" on that very subject. While Freud wrote that houses in dreams symbolize ourselves, and royals represent our parents, dreaming about playing sports is just as significant (via Psychology Today).

The general symbolism of sports in dreams

Whether you got a hole-in-one, a touchdown, or a home run, dreaming about getting physical on the field is tied to your competitive nature and deep-rooted ambition. As explained by Aunty Flo, playing sports in dreams runs parallel to your work life, and represents how you feel around your coworkers, with your boss, and regarding your own success level. Do you feel at odds with other people in your workplace, or do you feel like you're in direct competition? Do you fear being seen as "not good enough," or fear you might be fired soon? Any kind of dream revolving around sports gets to the core of your goals and your steps up the career ladder.

Apart from symbolizing competition, playing sports in a dream can also be a sign you're in need of stability in life, or you still have much more to learn about yourself. As per Cafe Au Soul, dreaming about playing team sports with other people means there are several sides to you that have yet to be explored. Plus, if you feel tension between the different aspects of your personality (such as the wild party side versus the one that actually wants eight hours of sleep a night), this is a sign to seek equilibrium for more peace. Moreover, according to Aunty Flo, dreaming about playing a sport badly may represent stress or anxiety.

The meaning behind playing tennis in your dream

If you dreamed you were getting all the tennis inspiration from Serena Williams and delivering a serve across the net, you're in for a bout of good luck. According to Dream Mean, dreaming about playing tennis means you will finally receive the positive news you've been waiting for. Guide to Dreams says that tennis in dreams is classically connected to cheerful symbols, often representing financial and emotional success, sunny days, and being at ease. If you have a tennis dream, you are very likely to reach your goals, so set your standards high and keep working to achieve them. 

The very nature of tennis involves the ball bouncing back and forth between opponents, so this dream may also symbolize confusion, lack of direction, or deep indecision regarding an important aspect of your life. Are you unsure about your relationship and don't know whether to leave or make it work? Did you study years to become a lawyer, only to find yourself unhappy and wishing for that bakery you always wanted? A tennis dream points to uncertainty, so you should take it as a sign to trust your gut and make a decision stat. Since this dream is categorically a good omen, making a choice now will likely work out in your favor. As per Dreamy Obsession, while playing tennis badly in a dream means you are disconnected from your inner self, playing the sport well means you are following the right path.

Played football? This kind of dream is all about dominance

If you were playing American football in your dream, you are probably dealing with a difficult life situation or should be aware of rough waters ahead. As per Dream Stop, dreaming of playing football means you will soon go through an event that will challenge you and alter your perspective. Since football is one of the most physically brutal sports, you are likely to get caught in a storm of obstacles that will feel like you're right in the middle of a tackle. While a football dream isn't exactly a good luck charm, this experience will strengthen your spirit. Even more, you will be able to vanquish the challenge with flying colors.

Dreamsopedia states that football dreams symbolize power and the ability to move on. Since football involves pure brawn, you should take this as a sign that you're much stronger than you think. So what does your dream mean if you were playing football as well as Tom Brady does? According to Dreamy Obsession, this is a symbol for good health, or that you're on the road to healing. It also means that you are at a place of peace in life — just like the flow of a perfect play. Moreover, playing football well in a dream means you will have lots of career luck this year. If you were playing football badly, you are likely going through romantic troubles or will deal with tension in your relationship soon.

This is what playing soccer in a dream really means

Were you passing around a soccer ball in your dream? This usually symbolizes financial luck in the near future. As described by Aunty Flo, playing soccer means you will receive an unexpected sum of cash soon, but may also symbolize that you need to make an important choice. The clock is ticking, and you know that you can't postpone the decision-making process any longer: It's time to choose your path and run with it. The outlet also explains that dreams about playing soccer mean someone might be dominating you, especially a male figure. This person might be causing you to feel anxiety or stress.

According to Dream Encyclopedia, a soccer dream might be a direct reflection of your life. If you played the game well, you are bound for all the success you desire, but if your shots and passes were subpar, you might be feeling deeply insecure lately, or a bit disjointed. You may feel that your chosen career path isn't right for you, and your most noteworthy talents are being wasted in the wrong place. Refusing to pass the ball to teammates in your dream may be a sign you are being selfish with your friends. While this dream may also signify inner anger, the game's focus on legs and feet means you should stay right where you are — your plans will work out beautifully.

Played volleyball in your dream? You're ready for a new chapter

A dream about playing volleyball is actually a highly positive sign, since it is one of the most energetic, dynamic sports out there. According to Dreamsopedia, playing volleyball in a dream means you will finally get that happy ending you've been waiting for, putting your main challenge behind for once and for all. Whether you're studying for the bar exam, almost ready to launch that candle business you've dreamed of, or finally contemplating ending a toxic relationship, dreaming about playing volleyball means your future looks bright and your efforts (even inner work) will prove successful very soon. This dream may also mean you are in for a spiritual journey soon: An event will inspire you to change, and you will reconnect with your emotional self.

Dream Interpretation also says that a volleyball dream means a conflicted stage in your life is coming to a close, and you will be able to start again with a clean slate. Since volleyball is a team support, this dream also symbolizes that you should lean more heavily on friends and family — they want to help you more than you think. Aunty Flo also sees this dream as cheerful, connecting it to joyful experiences that will come to fruition this year. Plus, it symbolizes overall well-being and having a special spark, no matter where you go.

Basketball dreams are deeply symbolic

Shooting hoops just like Devin Booker in your dream? As per Aunty Flo, playing basketball in dreams means your work life is bound to get shaken up soon: You will either get a promotion, meet a new BFF, receive a hefty raise, or have a life-changing conversation with your boss that will alter your path as you knew it. It's no secret basketball is fast-paced, involving an extreme dose of adrenaline and an emphasis on teamwork. That is exactly why basketball in dreams is a symbol for your career, and represents how important friendship, family, and great co-workers are for your eventual success (via Dream Mean). You will reach your long-awaited goal in the next few months, and will be happy you put in all that studying or work time.

According to Aunty Flo, basketball dreams hold up a mirror to your relationship with your friends: If you passed the ball smoothly to teammates and made the shot, you are a social butterfly who feeds off of other people. In contrast, dreaming of playing basketball badly means you are allowing insecurities to cloud your confidence, aren't putting yourself out there enough, or are letting chances pass you by. This is a sign to take life by the horns and give it your all. That way, you will arrive at your dream destination with no issues. Plus, as per Female First, basketballs in dreams symbolize equilibrium in real life.

The symbolism behind playing baseball in a dream

Even if you don't often watch baseball or know the intricacies of the sport's rules, you might be shocked to know that dreaming about playing baseball actually symbolizes peace and serenity in life. As Dreamsopedia explains it, this dream means you are nurturing your inner child, and working through past trauma to show up as your best self. There is a certain purity to this dream that recalls nostalgia for simpler times, which might also be a sign to put down your phone, do activities that make you feel joy, and just breathe.

Aunty Flo states that dreaming about baseball is success-driven, meant to highlight your incredible ambition and a need for bettering your situation. Being the batter in your dream symbolizes forgetting about your fears and going all-in when it comes to your true desires. This dream is about following your passions, no matter what kind of outside noise you're hearing. According to Dream Moods, baseball dreams mean you are living in the moment and have a deep sense of calm and tranquility. Still, you should start thinking about where you see yourself 10 years from now and make decisions accordingly. This dream is a symbol that you have what it takes to achieve your biggest goals.

Golf dreams might be peaceful, but the meaning is unexpected

While golf can sometimes get a bad rep for not being the most dynamic, fast-paced of sports, it requires a special skill set that's all about precision, patience, and lots of practice. It's no wonder dreaming about playing golf is a sign you need to practice restraint and mental fortitude, as well as carve out time from your busy schedule for self-care (via Aunty Flo). Whether you invest in some yoga classes, get a massage every now and then, or curl up with a book, dreaming about playing golf is your mind's way of telling you it needs some rest and TLC. Female First echoes this, explaining that a golf dream is symbolic of luxuries, and for not giving yourself enough love lately. Even if you don't like to spend much money on yourself, splurge with your time instead — go on new adventures and joyful experiences whenever possible. This dream is also a sign to slow down when it comes to your career, and to try to meditate.

Dream Symbolism says that dreaming of playing golf represents getting "closer" to something — perhaps a career path or a full-blown relationship with that special someone you've been crushing on for months. Just like a golf ball gets closer to going in the hole, you are inching your way to deeply-rewarding success and happiness.

Running dreams are all about wanting to escape

Dreaming of running is actually common, symbolic of a need for freedom. Times Now News explains that running in dreams means you have a desire to escape reality, and are trying to avoid a difficult situation that has you feeling seriously anxious. You may doubt if you have the strength needed to confront the issue, so you dream about running far, far away instead. You may feel an intense sense of fear you've never felt before, and are convinced the only option is to run. Aunty Flo agrees with this interpretation, stating that a dream about running is usually indicative of preferring to act as if a problem doesn't exist instead of facing it head-on.

This dream may also symbolize one all-encompassing goal you've had in mind from day one. Instead of running from something, you might actually be running toward your most crucial desires and needs. In fact, says Aunty Flo, a dream about running is related to feeling powerful for the first time, and realizing your true potential. If you were running alone, chances are you're on a solitary journey and know exactly where you're headed. Still, you might be scared of the passing of time, and feel the clock ticking as you sprint toward your goal. Times Now News also states that this dream is connected to major future achievements, especially if you woke up with a feeling of contentment.

The deep meaning behind swimming in your dreams

Similar to running, dreaming about swimming is usually seen as a good omen. In fact, says Guy Counseling, water is classically associated with life itself, a symbol for purity, revitalization, and cleanliness. According to Psychology Today, Sigmund Freud's "The Interpretation of Dreams" talks extensively about the importance of water in dreams, tying the symbol to birth and the bond between mother and child. As per Swim Jim, dreaming about swimming is a sign you are entering a new period in your life that's full of calm, serenity, and quiet. You are currently dealing with a challenge that has you searching for answers, but this dream shows that it will soon pass and you will be able to start fresh and put the past behind you. On the other hand, if you dreamed about swimming in rough waters, you might not be doing enough to put yourself on your intended life path.

As described by Regular Dream, psychoanalyst Carl Jung saw swimming in dreams as a symbol for a person's deep well of emotions. Since swimming is an overall solitary activity, this dream is a sign you should self-reflect more and take time with your thoughts; meditation might feel beneficial to you right now. Guy Counseling states that your real-life emotions are as deep as the pool water, so not being able to touch the floor symbolizes your sensitive nature.

If you dreamed of skiing, you're a total daredevil

Snow connects with water's representation of purity, so dreaming about skiing is also representative of spirituality and clean slates. As explained by Aunty Flo, snow is symbolic of self-reflection, since you cannot see through it. Holding up a "mirror" to your journey, so to speak, snow in dreams is representative of deep inner work, our emotional selves, the ebb and flow of life cycles, and fresh new starts. If you dreamed you were skiing through mounds of snow, you are in for personally satisfying and positive experiences soon, and a newly-buzzing social life. You are going to begin a new project that you are truly excited about, and are mentally prepared to take the risk to do so.

While skiing in dreams represents certain obstacles you're dealing with at the moment, it is still extremely positive and is tied to total liberty and pure joy. As per Dream Dictionary, dreams about skiing mean you're on the cusp of figuring out a long-time dilemma and are ready to finally focus on yourself again. If your skiing was expert-level, Dreamy Obsession says that your current life is even keel and you feel at peace within your soul. On the other hand, skiing badly or falling on the snow indicates that you are being distant from a loved one, adding tension to your relationship. The icy nature of snow only adds to this notion of "coldness."

Surfing dreams symbolize your connection to nature

If you dreamed about surfing, you either had a downright serene dream under the golden sun, or a nightmare that involved a mix of storms and sharks. Whether you woke up with a smile or drenched in cold sweat, a dream about surfing is deeply symbolic of your strength and power to deal with life's strenuous circumstances. As Aunty Flo puts it, surfing in dreams is connected to floating above obstacles, taking them on with ease. Even more, the outlet says that waves in dreams represent your emotions, so finding yourself in choppy waters may mean you have a storm brewing inside of you. While trying to let your anger or sadness drift away is best, you can also harness that tumultuous energy and use it to accomplish any goal you set your mind to. The waves in your dream may also be connected to a crucial life experience that will happen soon.

According to Female First, dreaming about surfing indicates a relaxed personality: You have decided to take life as it comes, and are nearing total acceptance of its trials. Even as onlookers wonder how you do it, you ride on and still have fun at every turn. You are the epitome of "the strong one," always the shoulder to cry on for loved ones. However, this dream is a sign to take time to reflect on your own feelings.