What IS athleticis?

I’ve been astouded by some of peoples’s post on what they’ve thought were and were not atheletic pursuits. How one can perceive that the strength, agility, precision and skill required in things like gymnastics, stunting and cheeleading, ice skating, etc. are NOT atheletic eludes my thought processes!

So…what is “athleticism” in your opinion?

Oxford American Dictionary:
ath lete (ath-leet)
1: A person who is trained or skilled in athletics.

ath let ic (ath-let-ik)
1: physically strong and active, muscular in build

ath let ics (ath-let-iks)
1: physical exercises and sports

Now this is the Oxford American Dictionary from 1986. So, I’m not sure if the definitions have change.
Let me add, that I have a problem with bowling being considered a sport. And golfing. And I’m still trying to figure out “curling”. But let’s ask about billiards, too. Or poker - what card game is in the Olympics anyhow (there is one, right?)? But does a sport have to be all brawn? Couldn’t mental prowess be considered?

Mufasa, those things you listed are most certainly athletic pursuits, but I argue that they are not sports. Sports require the athletes to directly and physically react to their opponents actions. The things you mentioned are better classified as athletic competitions. Athleticism could probably be defined pretty well using your words; strength, agility, presicion, and skill combined with a certain degree of physical effort. This would eliminate things fat men can compete in like NECKCAR, golf, and bowling. It think these criteria also make the training that goes with bodybuilding an athletic endeavor, but places the actual event in the competion category, so bodybuilding cannot be correctly classified as a sport.

In my humble opinion, it’s anything that combines speed, strength, power, agility and most of all skill for the sport in question. I know not all athletic events are going to have all five of these components, but at least four of the five have to be present for me to consider it a real sport or “athletic pursuit”.As for golf, curling and bowling, I would catagorize them as skilled games of leasure. You do have to be skilled to be good at them, but not neccessarily athletic. You could also argue that there is are certain mental and emotional traits neccessary to be a good athlete. Reaction time and the ability to stay calm under pressure are two that come to mind. Good post Mufasa, I have this debate often with friends and co-workers and find different people’s views on the subject very interesting.

Oh not again.

Sorry, Gold…!!!

Ok, How many of you have ACTUALLY curled? I have, and I have for quite some time. Sure, it looks easy, but it’s not… you try sprinting down the ice chasing a takeout rock while you sweep. Yes, I know, it sounds lame, but it is not easy. High level curlers are athletes. Sure, fat out of shape people play too, but I’ve seen fat our of shape people run 9 mile road races too. I have also played golf… and no it doesn’t qualify as a sport in my book, a game of incredible skill yes, but not a sport.

Athleticism is coordination and skill. Flexibility, speed, strength help obtain these. PS: Michelle, where are you from to be playing curling? Are you a fellow hoser?

New York State… I’ve curled since High School - off and on

Golf is awesome.

well, i think gymnasts, ice skaters, etc are all athletes, especially gymnasts. I am hesitant about cheerleading though. First of all I agree there is athleticism involved in it, but not nearly as much as other sports. For example, male cheerleaders lift girls and maneuver them, throw their body weight around etc. In my opinion, this is similar to if they did something like powerlifting or olympic lifting in the heavyweights class, but not nearly as extreme. Most of the girls only weigh 100 pounds. Sure, a lot of male cheerleaders may be very strong and have a lot of muscle, but I don’t see how you are too much of an athlete if you can toss 100 pounds around. you may be athletic, but doing that alone does not make you an athlete in my book. next, we have female cheerleaders. Tumbling - this requires skill just like gymnastics, but not to nearly the same degree. let’s see what else do female cheerleaders do. They are lifted up by guys so they must have coordination in timing, they must be flexible to perform stunts, they must weigh as little as possible, and look good. Ok, the timing coordination is part of most sports, the flexibility is there like an athlete would have. Now what else, they must keep a toned body, which i do not consider to be very “athletic”. There isn’t a lot of endurance required, there is some strength required especially if the girls are doing some of the lifting and not just the stunts. It promotes anorexia and encourages the girls to way a certain weight regardless of height. So basically we have some skill, flexibility, and keeping a tone body. Sure these may be considered athletic attributes, but they are very mild compared to other sports like gymnastics, swimming, track, etc. I see gymnastics at the top of the spectrum because it involves so much of all the attributes there are to being an athlete. I see cheerleading at the very bottom of the spectrum. NASCAR, POOL, BOWLING, GOLF - I’ll be damned if that makes you an athlete. Sure, you can still be athletic and do those things, but that alone does not make you an “athlete” in my book.

Doesnt require endurance? ahhahahahah Have you ever seen anyone perform a 2 1/2 minute routine? Im not talking about just stunting and resting when you get a little winded. I got more tired doing that than i ever did playing football or any other sport. You are uninformed. Sure some of the easier stunts can be performed when winded. But it is extremely hard to do a fullup cupie when tired as hell. The very first time i ran our routine this year i collapsed on the floor when it was over. I was in the gym the other day doing one arm snatches. i tried to pick a weight that felt about what it was like to toss a girl. about 60lbs is what i came up with. Now in our routine i did that 10 times. now throw in a back tuck, Holding the stunts for the required time, and doing some of the other stuff i do in pyramids you got a hell of a tough workout. now remember that all these things have to happen on a certain count and have to be synchronized with everyone else. oh yeah. also remember that when you do your stunts you get marked down for moving your feet. You have to stay in the same place. now this is probably starting to sound a lot harder and more athletic. Now lets throw in the fact that most of these stunts are fulled up. a full up is when the girl spins on the way up to the stunt instead of going straight up. this makes the stunt extremely more taxing because there is more of a likelyhood that you will get a bad grip and have to muscle it up. and remember that in elite competition, one little bobble can cost you the championship. Unless youve done a sport, i dont believe you can comment on the level of athletic ability it requires. I was just like all of you before i started cheering. I said it was fags and that anyone could do it. One of my friends said when i first started cheering that it was the biggest waste of athletic ability ever. Hes a cheerleader now.

Not to pick on you you but when was the last time you saw a fat NASCAR racer??? Do you know that it takes a lot of time to prepare for one of those races??? Also they do weight train but they don’t train the same way most athlete do they work more on endurance and their neuromuscular pathways…

Also the top golfers like Tiger Woods are not fat either they are in shape… As for bowling I think its the same but don’t qoute me on that because I not into that sport…

Okay , you’ve convinced me that for guys, it takes a little more skill and endurance than i thought. what about the girls though? what is your thought on that. am i misinformed there or do i have somewhat of a point?

Thats a tough question. The girls require more skill than pure athletic ability if that makes sense. Our best girl is a really good athlete though. She used to be a soccer player and only cheered one year in high school. I know they dont get as tired as we do. The better girl athletes are able to do more in tumbling though. and thats what ultimately sets them apart. But any small girl with good technique will be made to look good by a good guy.