Sports is a broad term that covers a wide range of activities involving physical activity and skill. There are hundreds of sports, ranging from group games to individual competitive events. Many sports encourage participants to develop skills, while others aim to improve their physical health or mental well-being.
Sport has long been a cultural staple of Western societies. It enables children to have fun and exercise in a social setting; it helps to build relationships with other people and develop self-esteem; it is an excellent way for students to get exercise and learn teamwork; and it can teach valuable lessons about discipline and fair play.
Athletes often experience emotions such as apprehension and excitement before, during, and after competition. They may also feel a sense of obligation to perform to the expectations of their teammates or coaches.
Some modern sports are designed to enhance or promote particular cultural values, such as the importance of racial equality and gender equity. In addition, sports can be a form of political expression.
The history of sport is complex and varied, spanning from ancient times to the present. Early sports such as stick fighting and bullbaiting, condemned by Puritans, gave way to more organised games in the 18th century.
During the Industrial Revolution, a scientific approach to training encouraged the development of new games such as basketball and volleyball. Invented to specifications, these sports were developed to satisfy a perceived need for indoor activities during the chilly winters of New England.