Sports and Emotions


Emotions are a central aspect of sports, both during and after competition. They reflect how an athlete judges his or her performance, and they vary in intensity. Some feelings are anticipatory, occurring before a competition begins, while others occur during and after the performance. Sports subcultures create rules for managing emotions, including how athletes must behave during the national anthem and postgame victory celebrations. However, there are other facets to sports that affect emotions, too.

Changing sports culture has meant changing the way that people view sports. In the United States, athletes compete in early morning races for the benefit of New Yorkers. Increasingly, media outlets have been saturating the sports scene with advertisements and other content, and some critics claim that the media has “taken over” sports. Some claim that the media have become a part of the problem, while others say it is a necessary part of the evolution of modern sports.

Sports have also been implicated in nationalism. Some people believe that associations between sports and nationalism are more than patriotism or xenophobia. While many football hooligans support this chauvinistic argument, others point to their historical significance as contributing to liberal nationalist political movements. For example, the 19th century Slavic gymnastic movement, “Falcon,” and the national liberation movement of the “Cape Coloureds” in South Africa are both examples of nationalist movements.