There are many different definitions for sports. A common one describes the activity as a physical contest. Although each culture has its own definition, the most useful ones clarify the relationship between sport and play or games. In simple terms, play is purposeless activity, while sports involve a competitive element. The main goals of play are to be entertained and to improve oneself, as well as the abilities of others to do so. The most common sport is football, although other sports exist as well.
Emotional processes are an integral part of any sporting activity. These emotions are often orchestrated by the players or coaches and reflect how an athlete perceives his or her own performance or that of others. Some feelings are anticipatory, while others occur during a performance. In both cases, the athletes’ behavior is often governed by rules. In many cultures, there is also a culture of feeling, and appropriate behavior is expected during the national anthem and post-game victory celebrations.
Although there are many different types of sports, there are a few common characteristics shared by all of them. Recreational sports usually focus on social and fitness activities, and are perceived as less stressful. They tend to involve lower expectations of commitment and performance, while competitive sports often feature high stakes and high competition. The purpose of competitive sports is to gain physical skills, achieve personal goals, and compete with other athletes. For these reasons, the definition of a sport is often controversial, and the terms used to define it are constantly evolving.