The Most Difficult Sport
With the 2016 Olympic Games coming up in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil this summer, one of the highest rated spectator sports is likely to be gymnastics. Although many people enjoy watching gymnastics, few realize how difficult it actually is. Certain sports like archery are mentally tough, but do not require a ton of physical strength. Weightlifting is an example of a sport that requires a lot of physical strength, but not necessarily spatial awareness. Gymnastics is the most difficult sport because it requires all three: mental toughness, physical strength, and spatial awareness. Let’s find out why.
Gymnasts often say that the hardest part of gymnastics is that you are competing against yourself. It is a constant struggle to achieve routine timing to a degree of thousandths of a second. Gymnastics also requires a great level of self-discipline and determination. In order to achieve a level of competence you must attend practice a minimum of several times a week for three hours or more for a period of years. Lastly, you can’t afford to approach gymnastics at half-speed. In football, for instance, a defensive safety taking a play off won’t necessarily end in a bad result. However in gymnastics, a slight mental break can be extremely dangerous.
Many people don’t realize the amount of strength that it takes to tumble, twist, and vault. For example: many gymnasts train by doing handstand push-ups that require strong shoulder, tricep, and chest muscles. Take one look at the muscular physique of the national gymnastics team and you’ll see the many years of strength training required to make it to the top of the gymnastics world.
Although this is important in all sports, it is especially critical in gymnastics. Being able to have a keen sense on how your body is moving and its relationship to the ground is critical to your success as a gymnast. One way to realize first hand the difficulty that a gymnast has is to try to stand in place and try to spin three hundred and sixty degrees, landing in the exact same spot. Now try to spin seven hundred and twenty degrees while landing in the exact same spot. This will give you an idea of how difficult it is to be a gymnast.