Sports is commonly defined as a physical game which involves some level of skill, including tennis or football. Many forms of motor racing and some outdoor games are also classed as sports. A professional in a particular sport is often described as an athlete.
The term ‘sport’ itself has been used to describe numerous different physical activities. It is very common for people to use the term ‘sport’ when they mean ‘physical competition’. However, there are many other terms that can be used to describe different sports, including recreation, party sport, spectator sport and competitive sporting events. Some sports might also require specific equipment, like bicycle racing or ice skating.
The idea that there is a link between sport and physical fitness is not new. Ancient Greece and Rome repeatedly witnessed conflicts over who should wear what, who should step on what patch and so on. Ancient Greece and Rome were awash with disputes over who should be allowed to participate in any given sport. People in these societies constantly used their energy and mental fitness to out compete their neighbours, sometimes literally.
Modern attitudes to sports, particularly the attitude of the media, have changed the meaning of the word ‘sport’ considerably. In the modern era of television, radio and even the internet, it is almost impossible to go to a public stadium and not see live sports either, which means that we rarely, if ever, come into contact with real-life sports unless it is through television. This has had a rather negative effect on the attitude of society towards sports, but it is fair to say that modern sport has had a less negative impact on society in general.
Because most major sports involve contact with another human being, especially rugby, football and hockey, and because the physiological dangers are far higher than for other games, rugby league, for example, enjoys a much higher degree of popularity than other common sports such as horse racing and ice hockey. Much of this popularity stems from the fact that most people would happily sit in a stadium or watch a match without ever leaving the comfort of their own home. A lot of the reason for this is that unlike other sports that require specialized equipment and training, or a large amount of physical fitness, most sports that can be enjoyed by the entire family can be enjoyed by almost anyone, and this has led to a huge growth in youth sport.
Youth sport encompasses a great deal of sporting activities. Basketball, baseball and soccer are the most popular sports, although tennis, rugby, swimming and climbing have also become popular as alternatives. There is a growing trend towards total involvement in sport as young people learn to be accountable for their own fitness and physical fitness, as well as learning to develop and nurture a strong sense of social responsibility through sport. The mental well-being of sport fans is an important issue that should not be ignored by parents and coaches alike.