UPDATE (2/14/12): After a massive amount of comments we have come up with the Honorable Mentions section below! We thank everyone for commenting so far and making the discussion an awesome one! Keep em coming!
These are the 5 hardest sports to deal with! These sports take a toll on any athlete mentally, physically, and emotionally.
If you do not see your sport on hear do not throw a temper tantrum at me ;). Just leave a comment and say why you think another sport should be up here. This is designed to produce thoughts and comments because I want to hear what the readers think.
The number 5 spot was really hard to choose, at first I was thinking soccer but rugby is a lot worse. The issue with rugby is it requires endurance like a soccer athlete, as it is a nonstop running game. At the same time it is a hectic contact sport almost like football. The hits may not be as hard as football because of the absence of equipment. But the reality still lies in the fact that you need to be able to take a person running full speed into you; while topping that with excellent endurance.
Notice I did not say track and field and I will explain why. Out of all the sports on this list this will probably bring the most grumblings because of the fact that people will think my choice is biased because I am a track athlete. From the outside in, all running track means to people is putting on your running shoes and running in circles. In reality sometimes that’s what the hard part about it is, can you run around in circles day in and out for 9 or 10 months?
The reason field does not make the cut with track is for one reason only, the ability for a second chance. As a field athlete you have a minimum of 3 chances to make something happen so if you mess up the first time you know you have the ability to bounce back. While in track you only have once chance to make it happen. Take the 100 meter dash for example; you train weeks and months for 10 seconds of your life. If you mess up it is practically over.
I have trained for other sports and seen how other sports train so I will say this again. Try running EVERYDAY for 9 months and tell me how you feel, tell me how motivated you are, tell me how your confidence levels are. After that it will be understood why track can just be hell on the body and mind.
3) UFC/ Mixed Martial Arts
The only reason this sport is not number one is because the training is not as insane as the actual competition is. With this sport a lot of people see the end result but that is not how they train on a daily basis or they all probably would be brain dead.
None the less the hours that have to go into mixed martial arts are insane. I remember one time I tried ground fighting with my friend, and in 25 seconds we were both out of energy. You have to work on the ground game, have sick endurance, grappling, and really the list just goes on. Throw in the weight training aspect to get stronger, mixed with the fact that you still have to make your weight class. To top all of this off, you can train forever and literally get the crap beat of you; or how about catching a broken limb, getting your brow busted open, or catching multiple elbows in the face, yeah…I’ll pass!
Ok since I been in college I have had the chance to see the sport of gymnastics in a different light. I swear they practice for like a gazillion hours a week, and even if they don’t, it must feel like it. Gymnastics requires, sickening balance, mental toughness, body control, and even a bit of speed to get to that vault.
The wipe outs in gymnastics look painful as hell, and never mind the fact that the injuries are some of the worst in sports. I have personally watched 2 athletes blow their achillies tendons, and I don’t watch it that much. Gymnastics also carries a huge mental burden on athletes. The goal of the sport is perfections. Every routine an athlete steps into they are trying their best to not make a mistake. If they make a big mistake or a small mistake there is no reset button the routine must go on.
It’s a team sport built off of every individual so no one wants to be the one to ruin it for the team. Look at it like this, most of the population of the world could not even do one practice of what people in this sport go through.
The main reason wrestling takes the number one spot is because it is one of the few sports where what you do in practice and competitions are practically the same. They go to practice and wrestle their ass off, then go to a wrestling match and do the same. Just like fighting there are multiple aspects of the game that need to be worked on; AND Just like gymnastics it is a team sports where individuals must thrive meaning no one wants to be the one to blow it for the team.
Wrestling requires serious time spent doing all types of crazy things. They have to get in the sauna constantly to cut weight, ice bath from the neck up because their whole body is mashed up, and the amount of sweat lost during wrestling is astonishing.
Wrestlers along with mixed martial arts athletes are some of the toughest athletes. They do not feel pain and fight through everything that is humanly possible to fight through. You can say what you want about the rest of the list but watch what it takes to be a good wrestler and you will agree that this sport is no joke.
Swimming, Hockey, Water Polo, Rowing, Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu…