Sports (or physical sports) refers to various types of generally competitive physical activity that, through organised or casual competition, attempt to employ, improve or increase specific physical skill and ability while also providing entertainment to competitors, and in some instances, spectators as well. A wide variety of sports exists, including ice skating, gymnastics, golf, hockey, rugby, softball, track & field and a few others. The term ‘sport’ can be used in its broad sense, encompassing any contact sport. The more narrow focus of the term is applied to those contact sports that involve only a few participants and that, for one reason or another, are generally planned and organized by a particular association.
With the increasing popularity and proliferation of televised sports events (as well as increasing coverage of these events on the internet), the term “sport” has become much more common, even when used in a non-technical context. Many youngsters and adults alike often describe their favourite form of physical activity as a sport. Adorning newspaper columns and forum posts about sporting topics is also another popular outlet for young people to voice out their opinions about their favourite activities.
Youth and college sports programs are some of the most significant physical education initiatives of today. Young people spend a large part of their childhood both inside and outside the classroom learning how to become physically fit and strong, in order to excel in all aspects of life and sports. As most colleges and universities now offer intercollegiate and post-high school sports programs, young people also have the opportunity to participate in organized sports. Examples of organized sports include basketball, baseball, football, basketball, softball, volleyball and softball. College sports programs tend to be very competitive and, as such, they require a great deal of physical stamina and strength.
Soccer is one of the most well-known examples of an organized sport. The game of soccer has been the focal point of international athletic competition for decades. An array of nations and soccer clubs around the world compete in sanctioned tournaments every year. Some of these tournaments include the FIFA (Federation of International Football Associations) and the World Cup (national Federation). A great deal of time, effort and money goes into preparing for these prestigious tournaments; teams are forced to adhere to strict rules and discipline. A sport like soccer, which requires the players to wear uniform attire and helmets is an obvious example of how organized sports help promote good health and fitness.
Another well-known example of an athletic activity that requires high levels of fitness and commitment is American football. Compared to baseball, football is a less strenuous and highly competitive sport. However, despite this, many experts believe that American football promotes the recruitment of harmful body fats. The use of large muscle groups promotes an overall sense of fitness, but the large muscles required to execute different offensive plays also recruit fat. This is why experts continue to advise that American football players continue to lose weight, while maintaining proper body composition and proper exercise levels.
The above examples clearly illustrate the positive benefits of organized sports activities for young people. In the past, parents would often encourage their children to play organized sports because such physical activity promoted a healthy lifestyle and enhanced self-esteem. Today, it seems that physical activity is no longer seen as a necessity for childhood development. Instead, some parents are resorting to enrolling their children in sports that require minimal physical interaction, such as computer games. Such a lifestyle prevents children from developing healthy social relationships and is likely to result in negative self-esteem.