Attempting to define the nature of sport is a challenging undertaking. There are many competing views on the nature of sport. Some think it can be defined by its formal rules, while others think it can be best understood by appealing to the social and cultural values that define the sport. Whatever the case, we must remember that the nature of sport is not entirely unchanging. For example, soccer players must put the ball out of play when they need medical attention. Other sports have similar rules, but the rules of these games vary depending on the context.
The philosophy of sport is affected by the rapid advancement of neuroscience and computational science. It has encouraged research into the mind-body relationship and skill acquisition in sports. Furthermore, the study of aesthetic qualities in sport has flourished in recent decades. In order to distinguish a good aesthetic quality in a sport, we must take into account two main themes. These themes are:
According to Michael Brown (2016, p. 15), sports are any type of physical activity that involves competition. It generally aims to improve physical abilities, entertain people and keep people physically fit. Sports have specific rules and regulations, and are often played outdoors. Examples of sports include baseball, football, cricket, running, skiing, rock climbing, kayaking, and weightlifting. Despite their obvious differences, these definitions help people understand the nature of sports and how to categorize them.
Philosophers have pondered the nature of sport since Ancient Greece. Plato and Aristotle both regarded sports as an essential part of human flourishing and education. They believed that an educated Greek must strive for harmony between their mind and body. Later, Romans and medievals also reflected on the role of sport in human life. In Hellenistic culture, sports were viewed as a tool for training warriors and preparing for battle.
A mutualist view of sport considers sports to be non-zero-sum games, in which all players benefit from the activity. Competition is a positive force that motivates individuals to improve. It also provides a platform for perfecting abilities. In addition, this view of sports draws upon Alasdair MacIntyre’s notion of social practice. The basic elements of a mutualist view are the cultivation of excellence and the respect for external goods.
Playing sports improves character, teaches good values, and teaches important skills. Moreover, it reduces the stress level of the student-athlete. By participating in sports, youth develop positive attitudes and gain confidence. Positive self-esteem is key to success in life. This will benefit them in school as well. The benefits of sports for the mind and body cannot be overstated. So, why not get involved in sports? It’s not just fun; sports improve mental and physical health.
Competition in sport has rules and customs that govern it. These rules are in place to keep the competition fair. The winners are determined based on their performances in a consistent manner. There are judges who score different elements of sporting performances to determine who wins the game. Ultimately, this can improve the individual or team, and allow them to become better at playing related activities. You can even get a diploma in sport. But remember to practice! So what are you waiting for?