The Evolution of Sports Emotions


Emotions are a central aspect of the sports experience. They reflect the athlete’s own perception of performance as well as the judgment of others. Some feelings arise before a performance, while others are experienced during the event. The subculture of a sport can also influence the way athletes react to their own and others’ emotions. For example, there are “feeling rules” that dictate appropriate behavior during national anthems and postgame victory celebrations.

Although aesthetics still play a central role in some sports, modern competitions place an increased emphasis on quantified achievement. This shift in emphasis can be traced to a change in the meaning of the word “measure”; it used to refer to a sense of proportion and balance. Eventually, the word began to refer to numerical measurements.

In the 20th century, space in newspapers was devoted to sports coverage. Even the august New York Times published a massive sports section. The public appetite for sports news was so great that sports newspapers appeared in countries around the world. One example of such a newspaper is L’Equipe in Paris, which dates its roots to the early 20th century.

Globalization also influenced the way sports are played in different parts of the world. Many athletes from poorer countries did not have the necessary resources to train and compete in a sport of their choice. As a result, their best athletes migrated to more developed nations, where training facilities were more advanced and competition was more intense. This phenomenon is known as the “brawn drain”.