When we talk about sport, we should distinguish between sport and games. Sport includes all kinds of physical activities in which people or teams play against each other and try to win. It also might involve racing, such as swimming, horse racing, climbing and athletics. Games are usually played between two people or two teams. A game is played according to a set of rules and a referee or umpire makes sure the players obey the rules and decides who has won. The most popular games are football, basketball, baseball, ice hockey, tennis and golf. Some of them are played inside and some of them outside. There are sports that are safe, if the rules are followed, but there are also types of extreme sports where one wrong move could lead to fatalities or horrible injuries. Downhill-mountain biking, volcano boarding, bungee jumping, ice climbing are just some of the examples.
Individual sports are those in which one person races or plays against another person or people. These are sports like skiing, tennis, chess or swimming. Another type of sports is team sports where teams play against one another, such as basketball, football, hockey, water polo etc. All of these sports can be played on an amateur level or professional level. When you are an amateur, doing sport is your hobby. You do it out of your enjoyment and interest. Every day, there are people jogging, fishing, playing games or going to the gym They do it because they want to maintain good physical health and reach mental clarity because it is a relaxing activity for them. On the other hand there are professional sportsmen or athletes who get paid to do sports. Many of those sportsmen will tell you how much pleasure doing sport has brought to them, but at the same time how it has helped them to be more disciplined and rely on themselves. They claim that doing their sport has made them self-confident and able to manage life better.
It is not easy to become a top athlete. You have to start young and be prepared to work hard. The competition is generally very strong. You should train several times a day and have a healthy lifestyle. As a sportsman, you should give up night out with your friends. If you do all this, then maybe you´ll become a top football or hockey player and earn a lot of money. Famous sportsmen are usually popular with people and are loved and admired by sports fans who are ready to travel long distances to watch their idols play an important match. Nowadays in the era of social media, people also look up to them in their personal life. Therefore, the sportsmen have a difficult task of being a role model not only on the field or court, but also in everyday life situations.
There is another group of people involved in sport – the fans. Many of them are not keen on doing any physical activity regularly but love watching sporting events, either on TV or at the stadium. When there is an important sporting event, like a world championship, the streets are almost empty. People go home and watch their favorite sportsman or a national team. At the stadium, they carry their national flag and sing their national song to support the team.
Athletes are banned from taking thousands of chemical substances that experts believe will give them an unfair advantage. There are five main categories of drug that are banned:
• Anabolic steroids – these help athletes to build muscle, and to recover faster from training
• Peptide hormones – these are substances that occur naturally in the body, but which produce similar effects to anabolic steroids
• Strong analgesic painkillers – such as morphine and other opiates
• Stimulants – drugs like amphetamines and cocaine can raise the heart and may improve performance
• Diuretics – chemicals that help the body to lose fluids and may, for instance, be useful in helping boxers to meet their fighting weight
These substances can be easily spotted in testing at the beginning of a match or a race; they are easily recognizable so that it is highly unlikely that an athlete could take a legal substance and register as positive in a doping test. However, there are some areas that could catch athletes out. Some cold and cough remedies include banned stimulants and some herbal remedies contain them as well. Athletes are warned about this and should always check the ingredience list.
1. What does it take to be a great athlete?
2. What physical qualities should an athlete have?
3. What mental qualities should an athlete have?
4. Does sport build an athlete´s character?
5. Which sporting event would you like to visit?
6. What do Olympic rings represent?
7. Make a list of sports you consider to be extreme and explain why.
8. Talk about possible role of advertising in sports
9. What do you consider aggressive behavior in sport?
10. Talk about the possible effects of doping on athletes.
Read the following recommendations on how to reduce violence in sport and explain which ones you consider the most important and why. If you disagree with any, explain your reasons.
- Non-aggressive role models for young athletes
- Low tolerance and severe and swift penalties for athlete to athlete aggression, athlete to referee, coach to referee, and for coaches who support and promote aggressive play
- Remove stimuli that provoke aggression
- Provide positive reinforcement for appropriate, sportsman-like displays of behavior
- Teach and practice emotional control
- Ban alcoholic beverages
- Make it a family affair
- Hold media responsible
- Point out when media builds up the tension
- Keep the contest as a means of achieving excellence rather than fighting the enemy
- Heavy and swift fines for unruly spectators
Look at the pictures. Compare and contrast them. Say:
- Where the sports can be practiced
- What people need to play them
- What possible injuries they could face
- Which ones are individual sports
1. Obrázky - www.google.com
2. Bérešová J. a kol. (2008) Nová maturita z angličtiny - Vyššia úroveň B2
3. Kálaziová I. (2019) Úspešná maturita - Anglický jazyk - úroveň B2
4. Bérešová J. (2005) Nová maturita - Anglický jazyk - Interná časť
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