In this article, we explore the debate about which sport requires the most athleticism. Before we start to analyze each sport we need to ask the question of what the term athletic means? By definition, it is defined as physically strong, fit, and active. However, this doesn’t really answer the question. If we’re discussing pure strength and power, then we would consider bodybuilders and powerlifters. If speed and agility are taken into account, then we would consider track and field. However, these sports wouldn’t do justice.
Therefore, we need to take into account a combination of 5 categories: strength, speed, agility, endurance, and hand-eye coordination. If you do some research regarding which sport requires the most athleticism, you will have a difficult time finding a consensus. However, across the board, American Football is usually rated at the top, based on the 5 categories aforementioned.
In the NFL, a football player must have the qualities of pure raw power, strength, agility, and a quick burst of speed. These are the expectations among the players, excluding linemen and kickers. Football players are a unique breed because they’re strong and powerful.
What separates football players from other athletes is the raw speed attached to their muscular frames. For example, a 220+ pound player is expected to run a 40-yard dash at a sub 4.40. In addition to these remarkable numbers, they’re expected to take huge hits after huge hits and continue playing at a high level. A wide receiver, running back, and linebacker are typically freakish athletes; however, it’s the defensive back that’s considered the best athlete on the field.
Unlike a wide receiver or running back who runs orchestrated routes, a defensive back has to be quick on their feet in order to guard the assigned player. They don’t know which route the offensive player will be running while guarding them from 10 yards away. On top of this difficult assignment, they still need to have the tenacity to make an open field tackle.
One of the other sports ranked very high is boxing. What makes boxing difficult is having the endurance to fight a 12 round pound for pound fight consisting of 3 minutes per round. Between each round, you get a 30-second break.
Taking into consideration how much athleticism goes into sports in general, it is interesting to see which excel among the rest. It is no surprise that football is ranked the highest in overall athleticism due to the multitude of physicality that is demanded from each player on the field.