Sports—particularly school and professional sports—are more than just fun and games and entertainment for the masses. Athletes, coaches, parents, and fans are drawn to the training, focus, discipline, loyalty, competitiveness, identity, and individual and team performances that are hallmarks of sports culture. For young people, sports are a means to physical and emotional well-being and the development of strong leadership skills like communication and organization. Sports can play a potential role in alleviating a wide range of social problems in communities that may otherwise be afflicted with high rates of substance abuse, crime, academic underachievement, and lack of a cohesive social identity. Fighting to win draws on cooperation, concentration, coordination, and creativity—all goals worth striving for in their own right. Why are some people so involved in competition? What is the motivation for continually improving performance?
Sport and Competition
Why People Love Athletics and Competition
Do Athletes and Fans Take It Too Far?
From elementary school soccer trials to the Olympics, individual and team sports are an increasing arena of pressure for recreational and professional athletes alike. Performance optimization and coaching is on the rise across the board. In the world of sports fans, a team can become an extension of the fan’s identity, self-esteem and sense of belonging. Teams and their players are connected to their fans like family; they are a community, like any other. Win or lose, they share the same feelings of honor or failure and react accordingly.