When most people think of a sport they think of soccer, basketball, football, lacrosse, baseball, tennis and so on. They think of sports that require extreme athleticism and that are very popular in the United States. Let’s take football for example. Football is one of the most popular sports in America. It requires the athlete to train at the highest level to have the most endurance and be able to run the fastest. These attributes are why we look at football being a sport.
Being from Florida and growing up close to Daytona International Speedway, I grew up loving the sport of NASCAR. As we wonder if NASCAR is a sport or not let’s look at the definition of what a sport is. I looked it up and the definition is “an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.” Let’s break down that definition for NASCAR. When driving for NASCAR, the cockpit gets to about 120 degrees every race and the drivers race for about three hours. For a driver to last that long they must be in good shape. The best driver, Jimmy Johnson, has a rigorous fitness plan. These drivers are also in impeccable mental shape. In a race, the driver is using a ton of mental energy at any given point in time and any lapse will cause them to wreck.
The drivers also work within a team to win races. They have a pit crew that can change four tires, put gas in the car and do other minor fixes to a car in 15 seconds. That is awesome. I am not saying NASCAR or the drivers are like NBA or NFL players because they are not. What I am saying is that there’s a lot that goes into races that are similar to other sports. It is a more mental sport for the drivers, but for the pit crew it is a very physically demanding sport. Just watch a pit crew on YouTube. It’s pretty amazing.