In addition to promoting individuality and competitiveness, sports also teach moral and leadership lessons. It teaches to respect and appreciate the value of the other’s strength, to show grace in defeat, and to never give up. Success is always around the corner, and nothing is impossible if you persevere. Sports is a great leveler!
Sports date back to the ancient world. The Chinese and Aztecs had ball games that were both contests and ritual performances. The Greeks and Romans had ball games, and the 2nd century ce Greek physician Galen even endorsed them as beneficial to health. The earliest written account of ball games is in Homer’s Iliad. The ancient Greeks and Romans regarded these games as both religious and secular, though the games were not as competitive as they are today.
In medieval times, the bourgeoisie enjoyed playing archery matches. These matches were often staged with great fanfare and the patron saints of archery were paraded behind the teams. Archery matches also drew the lower classes, who were often offered contests in the middle of the matches. The matches also included grand feasts, where aficionados drank to excess.
Sports also inspire people to express their feelings. They can become emotionally charged by identification with a team and even hatred towards the opposing team. When a team’s idol becomes injured, the fans can experience despair or elation. Similarly, they can experience victory when their team scores a last-minute goal and transform a defeat into victory.