Sports are social events in which a number of people participate. They are also a way of expressing and constructing national identity. It is important to consider how sports impact the mind, body and spirit of those who participate.
A major reason for this is the influence of emotion. Feelings play a crucial role in determining how athletes perform and how fans react to a game. Several factors influence the emotions that participants feel, including their motivation, age and gender.
Moreover, feelings also occur prior to and during a game. Fans might have feelings of elation after a goal is scored and despair when their favorite player is injured. These feelings are often orchestrated by stage setters, media pundits and coaches.
In addition, emotions are structured through the rules of the sport. For example, a postgame victory celebration might prompt the athlete to behave in an appropriate manner.
Throughout the 20th century, sports underwent a social diffusion. Traditionally, sport was the province of elites. However, more powerful nations provided better training facilities and offered stiffer competition. Thus, the poorer nations had a hard time developing athletic talent.
Modern sports have been marketed as signs of distinction and prestige. As a result, many athletes are recruited from the richer nations. The sports industry has become a global force.
In the United States, for example, football is a popular sport. Many fans can experience elation when a last-minute goal is scored and despair when their favorite player gets injured.