Age: Age can affect people’s performance in no matter what sport. As you get older, your body starts to lose some of the aspects it had when you were younger and starts slowing down. We become less flexible and our bones become more brittle and easier to break. This means we can’t do things as sufficiently as we’d like to. Muscles lose some of their capacity for effort and long endurance so endurance and strength are reduced.This means that as we get older, we are less likely to take part in contact sports as we won’t be as fit or flexible to do so. Our limb speed and reaction time also slows down with age.It is good that as we grow older, we still participate in activities as it helps us keep good health.
Disability: As we become older, we will become less mobile; our vision will get worse, along with our hearing and other things and we become unable to do things that we once used to be able to.There are also people who could have been affected by disability either mentally less able through inherited conditions, accidents or illnesses or physically.An example of physical disability is arthritis that can affect anyone at any age but is most likely to affect you as you get older.
This disease causes inflammation in the joints and when you move it becomes very painful. Medicines that have development have made differences to these conditions.As the years have passed, technology has found things that can allow disabled people to participate in sport, such as the wheelchair and prostheses. These allow people who could naturally not participate in sport, play.Training is still important for disabled people when participating in sport as just like un-disabled people, if they stop training, they will lose their skills and techniques.
When they train, they can also improve their weaknesses, just like the would if they weren’t disabled.Gender: There certainly are differences between males and females physically. Men are more naturally bigger and stronger than women. That is why women can’t participate in sports with males as there is such a big difference between explosive power, speed and strength in males and females.Not too long ago, women could not take part in as many sports as they can nowadays. Men thought that they couldn’t keep up with the physical side of things in sport and that they would hurt themselves if they played sport, maybe causing them to not be able to have children. Men also thought it would make women ‘un-ladylike’ and too aggressive and competitive.Now women can participate in a wide range of sport such as rugby, football and much more in athletics, where they can now throw the javelin, the hammer or the shot.
They are also thought of not to be ‘too fragile’ to run the 400m or the 800m any more. But still, most sports don’t advertise women sports as much as men’s and the prize money at the end for winning a tournament is lower than the men’s.Women also become more brittle as they grow older.
This is because of hormonal changes in their body.Another thing stopping women from participating in sports is sexism. Sexism still exists in the world and women competitors suffer a lot of abuse from sport fans for participating in sports which is surely a put off. This is called social attitudes.Physical differencesSomatotype: Somatotypes are just a way to put different peoples physiques into categories. Every person is different; small, tall, overweight, underweight, everyone’s physique differs. In sports, physiques can count as an advantage or disadvantage, depending on the sport you’re playing.
For example, you wouldn’t want a tiny person playing basketball, you’d want a tall person playing. And you wouldn’t have an overweight man running the 100m, it’s just not right.Somatotypes are split up into three different groups:* Ectomorph: An ectomorph is usually a tall, thin person who is only slightly built. They usually, not always, have long limbs, narrow hips and narrow shoulders.
A sporting example for an ectomorph would be an endurance runner.* Endomorph: An endomorph is usually someone who would be called ‘fat’. They usually possess broad hips yet narrow shoulders, hence the name ‘pear-shaped’. A sporting example of an endomorph would be sumo wrestling.* Mesomorph: A mesomorph usually has narrow hips, broad shoulders and is muscular. They are referred to as an ‘athletic build’. They are also the opposite of an endomorph. A sporting example of a mesomorph would be a javelin thrower.
We all have some aspects of each somatotype in our physique, but it usually tilts towards one or two types. Very few people are purely ectomorphy, endomorph or mesomorph.The three groups are split up into a triangle, which allows people to see which somatotype they are. Most of us would appear somewhere near the middle of the triangle with two or three of the somatotypes as part of our physique.Weight: Bodyweight is obviously a key aspect in sports. Speed and mobility may be seriously affected if you are overweight and this would of course hold you back from joining in in team games like football.
This is because you will not have the speed and most likely the fitness, to keep up with the run of play.There are, however, sports where bodyweight can matter like sumo wrestling or weightlifting.Weight can change people’s somatotype and if you have a lot of it, you are most likely to be an endomorph.Height: In sports, height can matter.
Ectomorphs, usually tall, thin people, obviously have a big advantage when doing sports like the high jump or basketball and maybe even the hurdles as their tallness will make it easier to dunk the ball in basketball rather than a 4ft 5 person, as they’d have to jump a long way off the ground to dunk the ball. Also in hurdles, tall people will have an advantage because their legs are longer so they won’t have to put as much force in when jumping over the hurdles.However, gymnastics is a sport where tall people will struggle, as they find it hard to control their limbs as they are so long, especially when doing complex moves. Mesomorphs would be the most likely type of physique that people would have who participated in gymnastics, as they aren’t too tall so they’d have the advantage over the other somatotypes as their height is just right.A healthy dietDiet: Some foods are good for us whereas some foods aren’t too good for us.
A healthy, balanced diet provides us with a range of foods that allow us to get the nutrients we need to stay healthy and not catch an illness which we simply get by eating particularly one of the food groups too much. A balanced diet consists of seven types of food: carbohydrates, protein, fats, minerals, vitamins, fibre and water.* Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates give us energy. They are high in glucose (energy) and are good for us in everyday life, not just sports. Energy is stored in the body in the form of carbohydrates and is needed mostly by endurance runners who may not be able to get energy during their race. If this is the case, they may ‘carbo-load’ which is where in the days leading up to the event you eat loads of carbohydrates so come the day of the event, you will be full of energy. Carbohydrates are found in foods like pasta and rice.
* Protein: Protein is needed t build new tissue in the body and also provides us with about 10% of our energy. Protein also helps with the development and growth of hormones and haemoglobin in the blood which are both essential when taking part in sport. Haemoglobin is the thing that makes red blood cells red. It attracts oxygen to the blood cells so when the blood passes through the capillaries surrounding the alveoli, oxygen moves from the lungs to the red blood cells. The more red blood cells you have, the more oxygen you will take in. We can find protein in foods like fish and meat.* Fats: Fats contribute to about 70% of our energy requirements and there is many types of fat in the body.
Although fat does us good as it provides us with energy, it can also do us harm. If we eat too many fatty foods then we many become overweight. Dieticians suggest that we consume no more than one third of fat in our daily nutrition. Fats can be found in things like chocolate and fried foods.* Minerals: Minerals are needed in our body to build tissues. The most common ones are: Calcium – forms teeth and bones, Sodium – regulates body fluids, Iron – helps in the transport of oxygen by red blood cells, Iodine – used in hormone formation, Phosphorus – serves as the main regulator of energy metabolism in cells, helps the body absorb glucose and transport fatty acids and Potassium – helps keep normal water balance between the cells and body fluids, helps maintain normal blood pressure and helps enable the contraction in muscles.
Minerals can be found in cereal and fruit.* Vitamins: Vitamins are chemical compounds found in the food we eat and they occur in two main groups: fat soluble vitamins – vitamins A, D, E and K and water soluble vitamins – vitamins B and C. Vitamins are especially important to people who participate in sport. They aid growth, increase resistance to infection, regulate some body functions and help the metabolism of certain foods. Vitamins are also needed to prevent some deficiencies. Low amounts of vitamins can cause deficiencies in eyesight and bone growth which are both common in poorer countries.
Vitamins can be found in eggs and milk.* Fibre: Over the decades, studies have shown how important fibre is in our diet. Fibre regulates the digestive system and is found in fruit and vegetables.
It is an important component in the removal of waste products as faeces and helps to retain water in the intestinal tract. Fibre also helps you to feel fuller longer, causing you to not eat loads of food which may help you to become overweight. Fibre can be found in bread, cereal and potatoes.
* Water: We are made up mostly of water. 70% of our body is water. This shows just how important water is in our diet. Water is a key aspect of us not overheating.
Water takes in the heat that we produce when we exercise and then gets rid of it by sweating. This is why it is important to drink water whilst exercising so that we still have enough water in our body so we don’t dehydrate. If we get too hot and short of water then we have to stop exercising which is what happens with heat exhaustion. The water in our body also helps remove unabsorbed waste products and is needed for our body’s chemical reactions. Water us also essential for our blood which carries oxygen and nutrients around the body. Also, when eating lots of fibres, it is essential to drink water, as our body doesn’t digest fibres so drinking water will help the fibre go through our digestive system with ease.
Water can be found in water and any other kind of drink.Lifestyle influencesEveryone is affected to a certain degree by what we see happening around us. We are easily influenced by what we see in other people’s lifestyles. These factors can do one of these two things: they can damage our health and/or they can have a negative effect on sporting performance or on a sport as a whole (cheating).Drugs:* Smoking:* Alcohol:OthersWeather: Weather can affect a person’s performance greatly.
For example, if an athlete trained a hot place like Africa then there bodies would get used to the heat, meaning they would perform better in hot climates rather than cold ones and a person who trained in a cold climate like the UK would perform better in cold climates as they would be used to it. Our bodies change to perform well in our climates.Injury: Injury is another aspect that can affect our performance in sport. If we get injured and are out short or long term, we cannot train. This may cause us to lose some of our abilities in the sports we do, making our strengths worse and it doesn’t help us to improve our weaknesses.