Zombie Apocalypse and Other Uses of Athletic Skills: Implications for Motivation

People have various motivations to exercise or get involved in sports, for example, some do it for pure enjoyment, others for thrill of competition and satisfaction of winning, still others to improve health or maintain body shape. Some people are very practical and ask the following question: how can I use the skills I learn from sport?

The other day I was sharing my excitement about the success of Lithuanian pentathletes in the World Championship with my boyfriend, when he voiced this supportive comment: ‘You know, modern pentathlon ranks high in my zombie apocalypse survival list.’ In other words, he finds the skills of modern pentathlon (fencing, swimming, horseback riding, running and shooting) particularly useful in the hypothetical fight against the flesh eating mindless corpses. That’s what motivates him to do sports and I think it is great. Maybe zombie apocalypse will never come, but skills learnt in sport will surely be useful in life!
Here are some skills and capabilities that are developed through sport:
Athlete running from a zombieFitness – speed, endurance… to run away from the zombies, to catch a bus, or a little punk who stole your wallet.
Technical skills – kick, punch, shoot… to kill a zombie, or to defend yourself when assaulted.
Mental skills – reaction, concentration, decision making… to be efficient when fighting with zombies, or you’ll turn into one as well, or to optimise your performance at work or studies.
Social skills – communication, teamwork… to work efficiently with fellow humans in the fight against zombies, or to work efficiently with your colleagues on a project.
Organisational skills  time management, goal-setting, discipline… to stay on track and organised when fighting zombies or dealing with everyday challenges in work and life.
Sport experience is packed with benefits and even though your main reason to get involved may not be it, you will have hard time avoiding these benefits. For example, many people take up martial arts for self-defence purposes but unavoidably encounter their philosophy that often promotes a holistic human development. To conclude, I encourage everyone to find their own meaning in sport and physical activity because intrinsic motivation is the strongest! Oh and remember that sport will save the world from zombie apocalypse! 😉
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