Sports (often spelt as “sport”) is any types of generally competitive physical activity that, through organised or casual participation, attempt to employ, hone or develop specific skill and/or physical ability while also providing entertainment for participants, and occasionally, spectators. There are many types of sports. Each sport will have its own particular set of rules to protect players, equipment, and competition. Some sports will allow “free play” where players are not penalised for illegal activity. Sports can be played by teams, or individual competitors. It can even be played by the whole family, or among friends and neighbors.
The primary driving force behind most sports is competition. It may be physical, but it is often motivated by personal interests (such as a love of animals, competitive spirit, etc.) or by the development of skill, athleticism, balance, or any combination thereof. Sports can be competitive or non-competitive, with corresponding rules and strategies.
Today, nearly every educational institution provides some type of physical fitness instruction, whether it is for individuals in a class, a team, a golf program, a cheerleading squad, or an after-school athletic activity. Many high schools offer athletic programs that build physical fitness. Some homeschooling parents are encouraging their children to participate in sports because it improves their overall health and well being. In fact, the best physical fitness programs combine aerobic exercise with resistance training and weight lifting. All of these activities help develop motor skills, balance, agility, endurance, and core strength.
All of the above mentioned athletic activities require a certain degree of coordination, speed, endurance, and agility. All of those areas can be improved by participation in a sport or recreational activity that requires the development of particular sport specific skills (such as pole dancing, figure skating, tennis, soccer, football, basketball, or track and field). For example, there is no such thing as a “sport” that develops only one set of physical dexterity or athletic ability. In fact, most sports improve all of those areas simultaneously.
Physical skill and physical endurance can be developed through the proper use of sports equipment and through regular exercise. Any sport that uses the body in any way, such as sports like skiing, basketball, baseball, softball, skiing, rugby, or lacrosse, requires the development of strength, agility, and flexibility. Those skills can be improved through plyometrics, sprinting, and jumping. Any type of athletic activity that requires fast, heavy movement using the leg muscles, as in basketball, baseball, football, track and field, or soccer requires strength, power, and flexibility.
The importance of sports physical conditioning can be seen in the extensive preparation of athletes prior to, during, and after events in the various sports. Professional sports teams spend a lot of time and money maintaining proper physical fitness levels in their athletes. For example, it costs professional basketball teams about $200,000 per season to have a qualified trainer to provide proper physical conditioning for every member of the team, according to Mark Heisler’s book, Inside Sports.