The Difference Between Playing Sport and Exercise
Sports (or physical sport) is any form of generally competitive physical activity that, though not necessarily competitive, aims to utilize, maintain or enhance certain physical capabilities and abilities while also providing entertainment for participants, and sometimes, spectators, who participate. The most common sports are contact sports like contact boxing and mixed martial arts, motor sports like motorcross and downhill skiing, racquet sports such as tennis and squash, and fitness-related sports like running, jogging, and gymnastics. Some sports also combine elements of more than one of these categories, for example, football provides excellent aerobic exercise that may be required by players engaged in different acts of kicking and catching. It also provides a great deal of stretching and muscular strengthening.
Sports may be broadly categorized into two broad categories: physical activity and non-physical activity. Non-physical activities include activities requiring only the use of the muscles and tendons. Examples of non-physical activities include climbing, walking, swimming, jogging, biking, hiking, cheerleading, weightlifting, rowing, cross-country skiing and skating. Physical activities on the other hand, tend to require strenuous exertion of the muscles and physical faculties, as is the case of jogging, racquet sports, golf and swimming. The term’sport’ refers to any particular sport, or type of physical activity.
As previously mentioned, there are two broad categories of sports: skill-based and performance-based. Skill-based sports involve athletic activity that requires the manipulation of particular parts of the body; for example, throwing a ball, playing baseball, swimming, basketball and tennis. Performance-based sports, on the other hand, involve physical activities that create measurable outcomes as a direct result of the efforts expended in completing them; for example, swimming, cycling, running and gymnastics. While each of these categories has its own set of inherent strengths and weaknesses, they nonetheless support and complement each other, thereby producing an attractive and truly balanced sporting activity.
In many ways, the discipline of sports relates to the discipline of life. As sports activities involve the use of the physical faculties, they necessarily promote self-discipline, as well as the discipline of the individual’s body in general. Indeed, the very word sport (as in “playing with a sport” or “watching a sport”) suggests that there will be some degree of self-discipline involved. For instance, when people engage in skill-based physical activity such as cycling, they are being intensely focused on the action itself, rather than just observing the sport in a detached manner.
This focus helps to promote physical dexterity. A skillful sports player needs to be able to move quickly, accurately, swiftly and effectively with the ball or object in hand. By contrast, a poor sports player will usually just let go of the ball, let go of the object, make an attempt to catch it and then just drop it into the ground without a single attempt to improve its status on the field. Sportsmanship is also a large part of the discipline of sports. Good sportsmanship, the ability to engage the other team in a positive and civil fashion, is imperative for competitive play. Individuals involved in sports will not engage in unsportsmanlike conduct.
Finally, there is the social aspect of sports. A group of friends engaging in a casual but vigorous game of darts may find that they have more fun than they would at a computer, video game or even a television. People enjoy interaction and socializing with others, so the activity of sports is important in creating and keeping friendships. Indeed, many psychologists argue that the development of our psychology depends largely on the involvement and socialization we get in various forms of physical activity.