Top Ten Coolest Sports
A subjective list based on well-rounded athletic ability
This list of top ten coolest sports is a subjective list. You have been warned! Of course there are many other sports that belong on here, but we can’t include them all. But lets first define cool. By coolest sports I mean sports that feature true athletes, those with real athletic potential as opposed to sports that are merely games. Marathon runners and the like are fringe athletes. This means they are good at one thing at the expense of all others. This is not true athleticism. A true athlete is one that needs to employ a broad range of skills to the task at hand.
One more thing about criteria is that not all of these are strictly sports. This is really a list of coolest athletic activities. This may include things that involve a large amount of athleticism but are not strictly competitive.
Very loosely ordered, here are my top ten coolest sports…
10. Water Polo
Water polo may not sound too cool, but it really is. I played briefly myself and I can say in absolute honesty that it is a gruelling game that requires peak fitness. During a game of water polo players are sometimes required to swim up to and beyond 3km. In addition to this you have to block shots, tread water between plays, propel the body out of the water to take a shot, push and shove and do all that while reading the game all within four quarters lasting seven minutes each on average.
9. Ice Hockey
Many Americans and Canadians might criticise me for putting ice hockey at number nine on a list of top ten coolest sports, however there are others further down that deserve recognition.
Ice hockey is a tough game that moves at a fast pace. It’s like playing American football or rugby on a hard surface at higher speeds with plenty of barriers to crash into. Oh yeah, they also do it with big sticks. Ice hockey really deserves to be on a list of top ten coolest sports because it involves both toughness and a variety of skills. A player needs to read the game while it’s travelling a blistering pace and employ a wide range of skills such as skating, power, balance, coordination, anaerobic capacity and more.
8. Aussie Rules Football
Outside of Australia this might not be too well known, unless you’re in Ireland and have played gaelic football, it’s very similar. Aussie rules is a fast pace game that happens in all directions. It looks a total mess but there really are a lot of rules to consider. The field is huge at about 150 metres long. Players sometimes run over 15km in a single game while employing skills as broad as sprinting, jumping, climbing up other players’ backs, kicking, bouncing the oval ball every 15 metres, hand passing (punching the ball to another player) and so many other things. Aussie rules football is on this list of top ten coolest sports simply because it involves so much skill, fitness and toughness across so many domains.
No I’m not referring to bodybuilding where men get on stage in their undies and pretend to be strong by flexing their muscles. I am referring to the sport where big beefy men drag trucks, lift great big stones, toss full kegs, toss the cabre, carry big barrels and all sorts of other feats of strength. This is a sport that requires a broad range of physical skills. It’s not all about strength, it also includes power, anaerobic capacity, agility, flexibility and some level of aerobic endurance. These guys are well rounded athletes.
6. Rugby and other Contact Football Codes
This list item includes multiple sports. Here I am including any code of football (besides Aussie rules) that involves teams of huge men tackling each other at high speed. The big three are rugby union, rugby league and American football. You could also add lacrosse to this item, even though it’s not a code of football. These team sports are one of the top ten coolest sports because they involve toughness, strength, speed, power, fast reaction time, agility, anaerobic capacity and aerobic endurance. Players of these sports also need to be rather tactically minded so they can read the game and apply skills of coordination and precision.
Decathlon is an obscure item to have on a list of top ten coolest sports. Mainly because it is not a sport, it is many sports combined together. Decathletes are among the fittest in the world. They need to possess throwing ability, jumping ability, sprinting capacity and middle distance running capacity. These guys really are the quintessential ancient athlete from the early Olympic games.
4. Olympic Weightlifting
I put Olympic weightlifting as opposed to just weightlifting so that people will know what I am talking about. There are still people in the world, believe it or not, that think weightlifting also refers to bodybuilding. It most certainly does not. Olympic weightlifting builds such a broad range of physical attributes such as strength and power. Also, weightlifters are some of the most flexible people in the world due to their training at extreme ranges of motion.
Olympic weightlifting is not just a sport, it is a foundational conditioning method that forms the basis of many athletic pursuits. Utilising weightlifting techniques will improve just about any athletic performance.
Yep, that’s right, volleyball. First of all let me state my case. Volleyball is a sport that involves enormous levels of explosive power coupled with reaction time and coordination. Some of these guys can almost fly through the air like superman. Volleyball really is one of the top ten coolest sports due to the fast nature of the game and the speed and power involved. Go to an elite level volleyball match and you will see what I mean. These guys are truly amazing athletes and seeing it up close really gives you an appreciation for how athletic and explosive they really are.
Ok so parkour is not really a sport perse. However this is one extreme activity that requires skill, coordination, power, speed, precision, body awareness and a big set of balls. The skills are extremely diverse in jumping from one building or object to another, climbing a wall, dropping from a bridge into a roll, clearing a moving car etc. This is the gymnastics of the urban environment except it is used as a means for getting around. Parkour is useful in rescues, running from someone (the cops maybe), running after someone etc.
Ok, a list of top ten coolest sports judged by athleticism would not be complete without a mention of gymnastics. This is one tough sport in terms of skill, strength and flexibility. Gymnastics is also, like weightlifting, a common form of conditioning for many other sports and fitness in general. Gymnasts have been noted as being some of the strongest athletes in the world pound for pound. Try an iron cross on the still rings and you will see what I mean, and that’s just a basic move.
BONUS: Mixed Martial Arts
Ahhh, you didn’t think I would miss MMA did you? Of course I couldn’t. This sport really belongs equal first with gymnastics. MMA requires toughness and such a highly developed and broad range of skills. In case you don’t know, MMA refers to martial arts competitions that involve any sort of martial arts techniques you can think of. Competitors can elbow, knee, punch, kick, use submissions on the ground, throw etc. MMA has been my own primary sport since I was 16 years old. I can tell you now, competition is tough at any level. One weakness and you’re out for the count. Skills need to be refined, fitness needs to be peak and your mind needs to be sharp. Look up Chuck Liddell, Randy Couture and brutal UFC and pride fc knockouts on you tube. Some of it will look like boring wrestling, other stuff is truly sickening yet exciting to watch.
So that’s it, my own opinion of the top ten coolest sports. All of these are judged on well-rounded athletes that require a broad range of skills and physical attributes. Other sports could be included and criteria could be changed to include thrill factor, toughness, technical difficulty or whatever. Try out some of these activities for something different to do. You may be surprised at how exciting and useful they can be.