Sports (or sportsmanship) is any form of typically competitive physical activity that, through organised or casual involvement, attempt to use, enhance or refine physical skill and ability while offering entertainment to participants, and occasionally, spectators. The most common sports are those that require skill such as swimming, volleyball, golf, rugby, hockey and softball; but there are also activities such as paintball, motor-car racing, ice climbing, camping, hunting, mountain biking, skateboarding, horseback riding and diving that fall into this category. In the US alone, there are at least 20 different identified sports.
These outdoor and indoor games and activities offer a variety of benefits for participants. They improve health by increasing physical fitness, reducing the risk of injury, improving muscle control and toning, and improving mind-body connection. Participating in sports can also reduce stress and help people who suffer from depression, anxiety, high blood pressure or diabetes cope with their conditions. For adults, participating in sports has also been shown to reduce the onset and progression of osteoporosis and Alzheimer’s disease. Sports help children learn about discipline, teamwork and sportsmanship, while teaching them about staying committed and taking pride in their accomplishments. And for teenagers, sports help them build confidence, overcome peer pressure and give them something interesting to do when school is out.
If you’ve ever noticed people being drawn towards a certain sport or pastime, it may be because they find the competition tough, or because the game requires special mental acuity, skill or physical endurance that the rest of the family or community can’t readily provide. Some sports create winners, not only athletes, but people who are mentally tough and full of confidence who know how to handle themselves in real life situations. However, most sports, especially the ones mentioned above, can be enjoyed by people of all ages, even teenagers. This proves that people, regardless of age and physical ability, can have fun with sports and develop skills that can transfer over to their daily lives.