Sports are activities that involve physical exertion or physical stimulation, but not necessarily competitive. Sports is frequently defined as any activity that involves an elevated level of physical activity, including basketball or netball. Most sports are played by individuals, often with their friends. The most common sports that most people engage in are basketball, baseball, softball, soccer, tennis, track and field, swimming, fishing, surfing and horseback riding. A number of different types of sports can be recognized by the use of the word “professional” in their titles.
Motor skill is one of the larger components of sports, along with skill in other physical activities such as swimming, bicycling, jogging and climbing. For example, tennis players may engage in both tennis and motor skills. Swimming is often equated with great cardiovascular activity, but recent research indicates that while swimming does require physical activity, it does not necessarily require substantial amounts of energy expenditure. Many athletes who compete in swimming events also engage in both swimming and other sports, to enhance their overall swimming performance. Many middle schools and colleges offer swimming classes to help students learn both motor skills and swimming.
Children typically participate in sports for a number of different reasons. First, children love to play games, whether they are part of a team or playing independently. Second, children like to show off, which can be a problem if they are injured and have to wear a brace or cast for weeks or months. Finally, children like to be around others who are engaging in the same type of physical activity they do. In addition to requiring exercise, sports help to build social skills, and a positive social environment can help children overcome childhood stuttering problems.
There is a large body of research that indicates that there are many health benefits associated with sports. High intensity exercise has been found to reduce the risk of heart disease and osteoporosis. Regular sports help children build strength, improve muscle tone, increase bone density, and improve cardiovascular function. The definition of “physical activity” differs slightly from sport to sport, but the general idea is that any activity that requires the use of the major muscle groups and also requires the use of the extremities, such as swimming, is considered to be a sport.
The National Strength and Conditioning Association defines sports as “any contact, combination of body weight and exertion where the competitor requires speed, endurance, and/or agility.” Additionally, the US Playing Bureau describes athletic activity as “a collection of activities that require the use of physical skills designed to improve the performance of the sport.” Most professional sports refer to themselves as sports teams, and any player on a given team is considered to be an athlete. Each skill required by the game is called a “skill” and that skill is what determines the winner of the game. However, some sports rely on combinations of different skills, and these may be considered as a more complicated sport.
Sports can be broadly classified into two major categories: team sports and individual sports. Team sports involve both physical activities and mental activities within a team. Individual sports involve only one participant, such as bowling, tennis, or golf. Some examples of individual sports include track and field, swimming, tennis, badminton, volleyball, basketball, and football. With the advent of contact sports like football, soccer, baseball, hockey, and basketball, as well as greater numbers of team sports, the divide between sports has widened.