The Talon

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What makes a sport?

Alyssa De Fere and Ryan Mueller

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Alyssa: A sport should require both skill of cognitive thinking as well as physical talent.  A sport doesn’t have to use much motion throughout the body but should at the very least involve a person actively using muscles throughout their body.

Ryan: A sport must be something that you need to be in good shape to be successful at.  It could also be something you use to get in shape.  Because of this, the same game could be considered a sport and not a sport depending upon how it is played.  Golf comes to mind …

Alyssa: Golf is definitely a sport.  Just the swing of a club uses at least seventeen muscle groups throughout the body.  Although it is more relaxed comparing to football or tennis, after playing a round of 18, I am sore!

Ryan: But is weightlifting a sport?  Weightlifting could potentially use all the muscle groups, but is it competitive in the same way a sport is?  Like I said before, it depends on how the game is played.

Alyssa: I think that all sports should be competitive.  If they aren’t competitive then they aren’t a sport, regardless of how active it is.  And I’d agree that it depends how the game is played.  Going back to golf, if you are walking, then the player is definitely staying active… not to mention the unlevel terrain.

Ryan:  But what if a person is using a cart?  Is it a sport then?  Or is it just a game?  And what about running?  Is noncompetitive running a sport?

Alyssa:  Using a cart doesn’t necessarily take away from the athletic sense of the sport. Hitting the ball and having the talent to get it where you want it to go is the sport in itself. I don’t believe that it changes the classification entirely.  I would still consider golf to be a sport because it’s still the same game being played.  Even though running cross country isn’t as big of a “team sport”, that doesn’t change the sense that running is competitive individually between people.  The athletic aspect is still there.  

Ryan:  Ah, so a sport is something that necessitates technique and some athleticism?  But what constitutes athleticism?

Alyssa:  Well how I look at it, to be athletic you need the energy and strength to perform the physical activity at hand.  So you could be considered athletic if you golf, run cross country, lift weights, or can even run in high heels on unlevel terrain without falling over.  So you don’t necessarily have to play a sport in order to be athletic.  As long as you have the strength and energy to perfect the activity with ease, then you are athletic.

Ryan:  So there’s no standard definition of athleticism …

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