The term sport is used to describe a wide range of activities and social interactions. It encompasses many forms and disciplines, from social games to competitive sports. The activities in a given sport are organised and regulated by a recognised organisational structure, which oversees the processes and results of the activity. This structure lends a sense of formality to the activity.
Sports have long had a socializing role in American culture, influencing children by instilling values such as fair play, teamwork, and justice. They also play a role in racial and social integration. In the early days of the United States, sports were promoted as an exercise to promote physical fitness. Throughout the 20th century, athletes, coaches, and television personalities played an increasingly important role in shaping a child’s attitude toward exercise and athletics.
Sports develop positive attitudes and leadership skills. They develop a respect for the opposing team, and foster the “killer instinct” to win. They also teach perseverance – the idea that success is just around the corner. Sports can help develop a positive body language, too. And finally, sports can teach young people how to handle stress.
Sports have also played a significant role in defining national identity. For example, the English game of cricket, which is associated with upper-class Englishmen, has a strong sense of nationalism. It has become the focal point of national identity.