The Emotional Experience of Sports

The emotional experience of sports can be orchestrated and directed in a variety of ways. The first step is the arousal of expectations, followed by the conscription of that diffuse emotional state into a series of identifiable displays. In the case of elite athletes, coaches and media pundits contribute to the emotional management of their players, while stage setters direct fans to express different emotions during games. These processes have a number of implications, ranging from the manipulation of emotion to the creation of national identities.

The cultural, historical, and linguistic dimensions of sports have also changed. While the aesthetic aspect of sports has been retained in some games, the emphasis on quantitative achievement has largely replaced aesthetics. The shift from Renaissance to modern sports can be traced to the semantics of the word “measure.” Once connoting a sense of balance and proportion, the word “measure” has come to denote quantitative measures. In other words, the word measure, which means “numerical value”, was coined in the late seventeenth century.

Whether a game is played in competition or purely for fun, a sport involves intense physical activity. The body moves through a space and uses muscles, and is subjected to varying degrees of physical exhaustion and sweat. The end result is an improvement in a body part used in the sport. It is also important to note that the level of organisation surrounding a sport is highly influential in determining its classification. In many cases, the more organised a sport is, the more people will take part in it.