Reason 7: Longevity
Age well. Preventing ageing or at least staving off the effects of ageing is a motivation for many to be physically active. The process of ageing is irreversible and non-stoppable. But it is also amazing and inspiring to see how people who continue to participate in sports are fitter and with a more juvenile appearance and physical fitness than much younger individuals with a more sedentary lifestyle.
Reason 8: Pain Reduction
It is a very frequent experience, that many ailments and pains get better after a while with a targeted and balanced training program. Training exercises can also be helpful for restoring functionality after and injury.
Reason 9: Recreation
Sport will recharge your batteries and boost your energy level. Even strenuous physical exercise can be experienced as a mental relaxation, for somebody who has to mentally concentrate and perform at work. If the workout takes place outside, this refreshing experience might be even stronger.
If your work puts a lot of mental or physical strain on you, adequate sports activity will help you recover from it.
Reason 10: Socialising
Camaraderie, congregate in groups, social interaction, support, parental, family, peer support, imitation, social networks. Sports is a very popular place for people to come together and have some fun.
Reason 11: Competition
Compete to win. Because of all the other benefits of sports there is a saying that participation comes before winning. But for ambitious personalities out-performing themselves and others, winning, be the number one in a discipline comes at the very top of the list of their reasons to do sport.
Reason 12: Sense of Achievement
Reaching any of the goals on this list gives us a sense of achievement and proudness. And because there are so many combinations and prioritisations among these goals, sports is a great way to experience it for almost everyone. All it takes is to make up your mind and start moving.
Reason 13: Prestige
Achieving some of the goals on this list can lead to social recognition and prestige, at least in certain more popular or spectacular disciplines. Successful sportsmen can gain popularity through presence in the media. They often have a high status in society as role models especially for the youth.
Reason 14: Fun
Participating in many sport activity comes with positive emotions. Excitement, satisfaction, enjoyment, stimulation, good vibrations. They are one of the strongest reinforcements to stay motivated in the long term.
Reason 15: Curiosity
For curious individuals sport offers a wide field of experimentation and new possibilities.
Reason 16: Happiness
Sport affects the whole person with their mental, physical and spiritual needs and interests. Susan A. Jackson und Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi describe in their book how athletes experience the “Flow” as a state where our full attention gets completely absorbed by what we are doing and the awareness of our environment and of ourselves fades away. Runners call this state “Runner’s high” too. Depending of our definition this can already be seen as a basic level of spirituality. In Western traditions, the spiritual aspects of physical activity are usually neglected, while they play a central role in Eastern traditions such as yoga.
Reason 17: Entertainment
Entertaining yourself and others is an age old human activity and most sportive activities are usually quite attractive and entertaining for others especially when they are performed by highly advanced and competent athletes. This is obvious for performing artists. Some top athletes like Roger Federer or Usain Bold can compete at the top level of their discipline and still find time to entertain the audience with a funny trick which has nothing to do with the seriousness of their performance. Weightlifting was and is always a great spectacle for many and is still frequently performed on public places, circuses or variety shows to entertain the spectactors. Figure skating is as much a sport discipline as it is an artistic performance in the same time. Other performing arts are less directly based on sports disciplines but still based on a high level of physical activity. Many athletes would not define their purpose to be entertainers, but they use entertainment to finance their activity. Exercise for the sake of exercise is sometimes mentioned as another goal for participating in a sport and some trainers mention it as a rather senseless justification because exercise should always make sense and have some reasonable outcome in their view. We subsume this goal in self entertainment. Assuming that nobody does participate in a regular activity without any reason. Playing around with sports simply to be not bored might not be very reasonable but it is certainly not the worst alternative to boredom.
Reason 18: Money
In professional sports it is obviously about making money. Even for amateur athletes who spend a lot of time for their sport sometimes have an interest in being financially compensated. But I would assume that the original main motivation is usually something different and the financial aspect comes later.
In football, tennis or golf, some parents may already have financial ulterior motives if they motivate the children to participate. Again, I assume that the self-motivation of the child has no connection with such financial considerations.
Our definition of sport as non-occupational physical activity only partially covers professional sport.
Reason 19: Motivation from Outside
Not everybody has the same level of self motivation. And not everybody engages in sports out of his own drive and determination to do so. During childhood and adolescence extrinsic motivation can play an important role, where everybody is more or less obliged to participate in mandatory sports activities. The main goal for the coaches in this period should be to help adolescents find their own purpose to continue participating in sports voluntarily.