The important impact of sports on American society is acknowledged by the U.S. Government. The fact that sports and participating in sport activities help individuals develop character, discipline, confidence, self-esteem, and a sense of well-being is especially recognized by The President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports (PCPFS). It serves as a catalyst to promote, encourage and motivate the development of physical fitness and sports participation for all Americans of all ages. The PCPFS believes that physical activity and fitness offers important health benefits. In June 2002, President Bush presented his Fitness Agenda tasking the council with the communication of his Administration’s message on fitness and health.
Sport plays a major role in American society as it accounts for the most popular form of recreation. Many Americans are involved in sports – either as a participant or as a spectator. Amateur sports distinguishes between recreational and competitive sports. Favorite recreational activities include hiking, walking, boating, hunting, and fishing. All of these are liked for the recreational value as well as for exercise. But there are also many other sports activities in America which attract millions of participants for personal enjoyment, the love of competition and for the benefits of fitness and health. In addition, sport teaches social values like teamwork, sportsmanship, self-discipline, and persistence that are highly regarded in U.S. society.
All these requirements are well covered in team sports such as baseball, basketball, football, volleyball that gained increased emphasis in the 20th century. Individual sports like swimming, golf, tennis, bowling, skiing, track and field are equally popular. The Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) takes care of the interests of amateur sports.
Americans also take part in sports as spectators – actually at the contest or via television. It is great entertainment for sports fans to watch their teams and athletes competing in professional sports. Favorites are typical American sports like baseball, basketball, and football. In the western states rodeos are also very popular sports events.