If you think sports means contact sports like football, ice hockey, soccer, baseball and so on, you’re wrong. Nowadays, sports refer to any outdoor activity that uses specialized equipment, involves a competitive element and is pursued by organized teams of people. Sports are physical games and physical exercises. This is really the key difference between sports as recreation or leisure and other kinds of physical activity.
All sports are physically challenging. Whether it’s basketball, softball, rugby, baseball, football or lacrosse, each sport requires the athlete to use his best physical capacity. There is never a moment of relaxation in an athletic activity, even if the game has been stopped due to weather conditions or an injury. Every athlete in any kind of sport needs to be in good shape. Flexibility and strength are absolutely necessary for success.
As recreation, most people don’t realize the critical importance of physical fitness. The ability to play sports well requires not only good motor skills, but also a good amount of stamina. For example, while playing golf, you won’t run out of gas in the middle of a round of 18. But unless your lungs and heart are fit, you can’t play at a high level for very long. Good sports nutrition and regular exercise are also important to develop and maintain good athletic performance.
Another difference between recreational sports and other kinds of pastime is that sports require uniformity – the clothes, equipment and uniform may all be different colors, but the most common uniform is white. Some sports may have uniforms of a certain color, but others may just be “normal” clothes. In a pastime such as bowling, a bowler might be required to wear white clothing, similar to a football player. This uniformity provides the bowler with a sense of identity – he knows what he is going to do and where he will go. This helps him focus on his game.
Unlike physical activities, it’s much easier to socialize in sports. Because it’s generally an independent, competitive and social game, it creates an environment where relationships can prosper. Many of today’s athletes identify with their sport as a way of life. That’s why the sports they choose are usually things that they are passionate about. And in a world that stresses competitiveness, that can mean the difference between a successful lifestyle.
It’s not always clear which type of physical activity is better for you. There may be plenty of debate among health experts about which type of sports is good for you. However, all athletes should realize that good motor skills and good mental abilities are important in sports. So if you are looking to play sports, consider a sport that involves those areas.