Top Ten Hardest Sports

horseridr_chrldr_babe
Hardest sports to do that take the most skill but not given credit to.

The Top TenXW

1GymnasticsGymnastics is a sport involving the performance of exercises requiring strength, flexibility, balance and control.

I am in gymnastics and it is definitely the hardest sport. People think it is easy, but they are so wrong! I have been doing gymnastics since preschool and I have never had an easy practice. Your hands rip from the bars and conditioning is probably harder than football players do. I wish people would understand how hard it is!

Now add a horse to this and you get vaulting. I don't do it, but I can imagine how difficult that is. You have to have crazy amounts of strength and fitness, balancing yourself and others all while doing it on a moving animal.

Definitely the hardest. The conditioning is really hard. So are the practices. You practice in any weather in any condition. It can be 100 degrees in the gym, and gymnasts still practice. The pain; many of us have to endure it. It's really hard but we know how to hold it in.

Gymnastics is definitely the hardest sport. One wrong move can mean life or death. We are constantly on our feet. Yes a lot of people say that cheerleading is basically gymnastics but it's not the tumbling part sure but I am the head of my varsity cheerleading squad and it is way easier than Gymnastics I am a gymnast and a cheerleader so I would know this from my personal experience. Cheerleaders they only need to remember one routine one dance one cheer. Gymnasts have to remember four routines. We have coaches yelling at us if we put an extra step in a routine. If we fall down and get hurt we are expected to get back up and do it again even if were not hurt we have to get back up and do it again and tough it out. In competition we get docked points for not pointing a toe. Before and after everyone of our routines we have to salute to the judges and that's part of our points. On beam if we wobble on one little thing we get points taken off same thing and all of our other events if we ...more

I am a gymnast and it's super hard. You train for hours in the gym and have to do all four events. Not to mention how you could get hurt in many ways.

V1044 Comments
2SwimmingSwimming is an individual or team sport and activity. Competitive swimming is one of the most popular Olympic sports, with events in freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly.

I've been swimming at a high level for most of my life now and I can honestly say this sport is CRAZYYYY demanding. I don't think its as bad as gymnastics because we don't have the threat of dying everyday, but we do work just as hard as them. What people don't understand is that as a swimmer every muscle in your body is used for every single stroke and kick. Not any other sport in the world does that. We not only swim for hours a day we train on land for hours. So basically its like ok your done one practice, but now your expected to jump in the pool and swim as hard and as fast as you possibly can every single day. And for all the people that say they taught themsevles how to swim and its not diffuicult at all anyone can do it, YOU ARE DEAD WRONG. This is not your back yard pool swimming, we are really swimming. After every practice you can barely walk you are so sore, and getting changed is so hard because you can't even lift your arms over your head. When you have meets, every ...more

Actually swimmers have the threat of dying every day. We could drown or have a heart attack or stroke and we are at highest risk for ebola

To all those people saying "i have tried swimming it's easy" or "anyone can swim". That'd be like saying "gymnastics is easy because I can do a cartwheel" where as those who actually train for gymnastics would probably tell you a cartwheel doesn't mean you can do gymnastics, and it's a similar thing to what you call swimming and what a swimmer calls swimming are different things... Swimming is one of the hardest sport train for... (the reason I say one of the hardest is because once you reach a certain point on the list, the difficulty of training for the sport is going to vary dependent on how hard each individual athlete is willing to push themselves).

swimmers don't go don't to the pool and do what you call swimming and swim at a leisurely pace we train to complete exhaustion every morning and afternoon for over 30 hours per week as well as gym training and crossfit training. You spend your training sessions sprinting and pushing past your ...more

I used to do competitive swimming and I even did gymnastics for 7 years. Neither were hard, the only sport that actually made me frustrated was football, it's the hardest sport I have ever played - _SoccerGirl

Okay, I've done a lot of sports over the years and swimming is definitely the hardest of them all. People complain of doing conditioning for most of the practice, but swimming IS conditioning. I mean it demands every muscle of your body, and believe me, you have to be TOUGH. In my opinion, swimming and gymnastics are the top two hardest. Swimming is so underestimated. Seriously. I absolutely hate when people argue over the hardest sport because its like comparing apples and oranges, they are all different in their own way. A lot of people think that at swim practice we just swim back and forth the whole time and that's that, but it's so much more than that. The sets we do are so utterly grueling and demanding of your body. I've seen many people (myself included) throw up out of pain and exhaustion during practice. Also, if you miss a few practices you immediately get out of shape and its really hard to get back into practices. Swimmers are all so fit and it is so important to eat ...more

I'm a competitive swimmer and I know how hard it is. It's very hard on your body over a long period of time. It takes strength, endurance, work ethic, powerful lungs, determination, and a tough mind. To all those who think it's easy, try to do what I can do and tell me that again. Have you seen how many muscles professional swimmers have? Do you know how hard they had to work for those? Do you know how much that had to hurt? No, neither do I but I bet it was a lot. As much as I do others do better and I can't imagine how that feels. It's extremely difficult.

V698 Comments
3Figure Skating

As someone who has done competitive swimming, field hockey, ice hockey, dance, gymnastics and figure-skating, I have to agree that gymnastics and figure-skating are defiantly the hardest in-terms of overall skill, determination and commitment. Although I found that swimming helped me a lot with my cardiovascular fitness and ice hockey was really good in terms of a short, intense full body workout I actually found figure skating the most mentally, physically an emotionally challenging as well as gymnastics however I did not reach as high of a level in gymnastics as I did in figure-skating. I started figure-skating when I was 6 and skated until last year where I had to drop out because of injury. I took dance and gymnastics at the same time which helped me a lot with my flexibility and strength which allowed me to progress quickly. By 11 years old, I was the Eastern Ontario Champion and Competed provincially in both 'solo figure skating' and ice dance. I started off with 3 lessons per ...more

I think figure skating is at least the second hardest sports because it takes will, determination, and gut. I am a figure skater my self. Every day you go to practice and train and work your butt off just to be the best. To get a jump right you have to jump it exact just to land it and get full points for competition. You have to jump and land on a blade that is thinner than your finger. And every day you practice and practice and it seems like you are going no where and not improving in any of the jumps that you are learning but when you land that jump it feels like all your hard work, pain, and tears is worth it and you realize that you are one step closer to your dream that you had since you got foot on the ice for the first time. When I first started skating I had a coach that told me that whatever I did was correct. When I was ten I got an new coach and I had to learn everything from the beginning. All that years of training for nothing. When I was twelve my coach left out of the ...more

Men are much more adept at figure skating than women.

Besides, Princess Peach is AWFUL at Figure Skating.

I have been a figure skater for my entire life. This sport requires a lot more time than many other sports (though I do respect that pretty much every sport requires time). Most figure skaters are young and attend school. However, many also choose to home school to get enough time in on this sport. The earliest I have ever had to wake up in the morning for figure skating was 3:30 am. Granted, I live further from the rink than most of the others, but the idea is that you have enough time to warm up before stepping on the ice at 5 am (at least, that's when my rink opens). Figure skating requires an extreme amount of stamina. At the Olympic level, a routine lasts around 4 minutes and 30 seconds. In order to be able to pull this off, one must have incredible strength and stamina. From my own experience, lactic acid burn starts usually about 20 to 30 seconds in, and it burns. Part of training is building up a tolerance to this pain. All summer long, we have interval stroking where we ...more

They are SO nitpicky! They dumb down everything as if you've never done it, and they expect nothing shy of perfection. My mom says they tell you when and what to eat at what time and when to go to sleep and wake up. You go through 12+ hours a DAY of practice, perfecting every move, getting yelled at and put down to TEARS if it's not how they want you do the move. And then you have to do this like 37,000 times a day. I've skated for 20 months now, and it's already insane what they expect of you. Poor figure skaters! I'm seriously considering being done with skating. I love being on the ice, but I don't want someone telling me how to live and spend every waking moment. Maybe I'll go for theater...

V222 Comments
4Water Polo

I understand why some people might think that gymnastics is harder than waterpolo. I will share with you my one experience as a fellow water polo player.

I jump into the freezing ice cold water and stare at my huge opponent, #9. She grumbles and glares at me, with a snort she shouts out, "I've got 16! " The ref throws the ball to me and blows the whistle. I sway around in the water for about a second, trying to watch my teammates to see if they're open. One girl is being blocked, another is being pushed down into the water and the ref is ignoring them, #3 screams for the ball. I see #9 pushing through the water towards me, for a huge girl she moved through the water quickly. I throw the ball to #3, #9 punches my elbow, causing the pass to go to the left. #3 and her defensive player sprint for the ball. I see her head go under and the defensive player swim ahead. I swim towards the goal hoping to get open In case she gets the ball. I watch on the sidelines as the ...more

I don't see how this is third. I think everyone misinterpreted hardest sport with most barbaric sport. I'm sure it takes skill to play this but does it really take that much.

Nobody's ever attempted to rip my swimsuit off and use me as a human backboard while swimming... Just at water polo. As somebody who does both sports, I'd say that water polo is definitely tougher. It requires more stamina to continually release in the water and sprint back and forth. Even the times when you have more rest, you're still treading water, which takes energy. And at the same time, you have to be aware of the other players in the pool and the position of the ball, and try to pass and shoot while other players are pressing you. Players are also extremely dirty, because the refs can't see most of it - they will dig into pressure points, kick off other players, elbow, gouge, scratch, twist, anything that they can think of to get an advantage.

Haha no sorry but just no. Water polo is not harder than gymnastics, gymnastics was proven by ESPN the hardest sport. IH yeah and we can't turn on the air conditioner as you mentioned because most gyms don't have them and even so our conditioning is by far harder than yours. We have 2 hours of conditioning everyday 6 days a week so 12 hours of conditioning a week! And it isn't just sprinting or running its hardcore. 150 push ups, 200 pull ups, climbing the rope 25 to 50 times, 250 squat jumps onto the vault, also running 50+ laps around a huge gym, 150 mini kips, pike and straddle hangs off the bar for 5 minutes each and so much more that I'm not bothered to write down because there is to much. Oh yeah and if one of us drops or messes up the whole team restarts from 0 no matter how far we have gotten or if our hands are bleeding or our bodies in pain. In fact at the end if conditioning at least 3 girls are crying because of the intense pain and at least 2 girls have puked and the ...more

Water polo is way harder than just swimming.

V196 Comments
5Competiton Cheerleading

Competitive Cheer is by far the hardest sport there is. With all the flexibility of a gymnast and all the strength of a foot ball player, cheerleaders do a lot. While I can see why some people would say other sports are hard I personally think that cheerleading is the hardest.

Flyers literally are flung up into the air doing all sorts of different twists and tricks. They have to find their footing and balance in the hands of their base. Switching from pose to pose is not easy. Ever tried doing a tic-tok? A tic-tok is when you switch legs when switch stunts. It's harder than it looks. You have to shift you entire body from one position to the next all within the span of a few seconds and make it look easy. One wrong step or laps in concentration and the stunt goes crashing down, literally. And falling to the ground is not my idea of a fun time. Without doing those stunts being up in the air isn't amazingly easy either. Besides balance, concentration, and strength, you have to ...more

Cheerleading actually doesn't require all of the flexibility of a gymnast and you have 3 people throwing one tiny person up. I am not saying cheerleading isn't hard but it definitely isn't the hardest. In gymnastics people don't throw you, you have to jump high enough to do a flip. Lets not forget about beam, bars and vault. One wrong step on beam will cause you to fall and probably hit the beam on the way down. If you think doing a back tuck is hard try doing it on a piece of 4 inch wood. On bars you are getting whipped all around the bar and you have to stand up on the bar and jump to the higher bar and even sometimes do a flip to it. The strength of a football player is also not true. Cheerleaders are tiny and you have 3 people throwing a little girl up in the air.

I like how everyone else is saying that cheerleading is stupid and cheerleaders are stuck up brats who do the sport for popularity, and none of the cheerleaders have said anything mean to anyone about their sports... And we are the mean ones? Also I dare anyone who does not think this is the hardest sport to watch a competitive cheer team's practice like California allstars they condition for at least three hours and run at least six miles... As a warm up then for the next two hours they stunt until they are about to faint then we tumble. You know? The thing we make look easy when really we have to hold the perfect body position to literally DEFY GRAVITY while our muscles are the tightest they will ever be. Then we do our entire routine around 15 times which includes the hardest tumbling stunting and dancing we are able to do. If someone says one more thing about how cheer is not a sport I might go insane... You truly have to do the sport and take it as seriously as we do to know ...more

Cheer is extremely hard. Try combining weight lifting, intense cardio, and skill/technique into one sport: that's cheer. You have to learn to work as a team in order to hold/throw girls into crazy positions, you have to learn how to make it work. You have to memorize intense routine sequences. You have to master tumbling, it is not easy to throw yourself across the floor doing multiple front and back flips, twisting and flipping every direction in tons of different ways. Level 1 stuff is easy, cheering at games is easy. COMPETITIVE CHEER at an advanced level is HARD. People underestimate cheerleading because all they see is the stereotypes created by media through movies portraying cheerleaders as clueless, attention-seeking, pretty-girls. Cheerleaders practice strength, cardio, agility, form, and countless other skills. It takes years of dedication to master skills like a roundoff-backhandspring layout full. It takes endless amounts of practices to be able to show off a kick-souble ...more

Think it's not hard? Meet me on the mat.

V862 Comments
6Bull Riding

Well the fact of the matter is that you have thousand pound animal strapped between your legs and your told to hang on. I'm not just saying this because I have seen bad stuff happen, but I was the person that has all the injuries to show it. So I have no idea why they put horse back riding before bullriding. Cause I train horses for a hobby and they aren't that tough to ride.

Dude your on a bull!
The fear from just that makes it hard!
Besides the fact that the bull is jumping and twisting and you can't really hold on that well...

Many people have died from bull riding. If you've rode a mechanical bull before, riding an actual bull is like 10x harder. People don't realize how hard it is but here's a little summary: it feels like you're standing on a gravel rode while a massive earthquake is hitting, it throws you around and basically plays with you like you're it's doll.

definitely

V35 Comments
7Horseback Riding

In no way does the horse do all of the work. Heels down, toes up, calves back and on, supporting the horse, back straight, shoulder back, hands low and still in constant contact with the horses mouth without pulling too hard, look where you're going. Maintain this position perfectly while controlling a 1,000 pound animal with a mind of its own.
This involves moving it with just one leg, constantly supporting it and worry about exactly how fast or where it's going, posting or rising up and down in the saddle with almost no help form the stirrups, turning with a bit of leg rein, weight shift and looking, but not too much or too little of anything while maintaining speed and perfect position. Try reining in a 1,000 pound animal going 20 mph with just your arms, but not pulling too hard. Try having to be constantly aware of every part of your body and your horse's at every second while moving at 20 mph, making hairpin turns, jumping fences and despite the speed always be three steps ...more

The reply that say have you ever seen a true equestrian flew is suppose to say flex

I have ridden for ten years. Believe, me it is the most difficult sport. Anyone who says different is wrong! Most people say Equestrian isn't a sport because the only time they've ever ridden is on the beach while on vacation. That is NOT riding.

I'm a show jumper. This is what I have to do: I get on a 1500 pound animal, who has been trained all winter and is at his peak, hurtle myself over 4 ft obstacles that are often 3 ft wide, whip around corners as fast as possible while not knocking anything down.

Yes, the horse plays a big part in the sport (obviously) but when I am racing around the competition ring, who do you think is keeping that animal balanced? Who do you think is telling the horse exactly where to put each of his feet, every single step of the way? And, in the judged classes, you have to make it look pretty and smooth.

A lot of people say Equestrian isn't a sport because you don't have to be fit to do it; that's also not true. I admit that I'm not a ...more

Arm wrestle how bought you do actually wrestling were your facing another killing machine who wants to kill you not just accidentally kicks you and were you do all the work no team mates or partners to help or carry you.

Horseback riding is such a broad spectrum, but in the majority of it's disciplines it is definitely one of the hardest sports. (Behind gymnastics, that's just crazy hard props to all you high level gymnasts out there) There are a lot of things in the horse world that can't be learned from a book or watching videos they have to be felt. As a rider one has to feel every movement of the horse underneath them and understand what each means. They need to be able to come down from a full gallop to a walk using their leg ans seat without pulling on their horses mouth.

Western Riders have to control their horses with shifts of body weight, leg positioning and touches of rein, if one part of the body moves incorrectly they are telling the horse to do something entirely incorrect and could end up on the ground. Now try doing this going 30 MPH around barrels.

I ride a lot more English than Western and primarily event but have shown hunters jumpers and eq. Hunters have to look ...more

This sport should be higher in this ranking. Everyday, we equestrians depend on a animal with a mind of its own with our lives. Every other sport either has a ball, a track, or a pool. Our ball has a mind of its own. Try galloping a 12,00 pound animal over a solid obstacle with your only communication being your legs, seat, and upper body. When people say that riding isn't a sport, they probably only rode on a nose to butt trail or on the beach on vacation. That is not riding and the fact that people who have only ridden like that once or twice think they have the facts to say that disgust me.

V455 Comments
8Hockey

There is no sport as difficult or as demanding as Hockey. ([ ]=reasons)

[1] One of (if not) the hardest sport surfaces played on. [2] Travel at high speeds (15-30 mph) with [3] blades/knives on your feet (if you think they are safe go on YouTube and see what happened to the goalie's neck that lost to a blade). If blades are not dangerous enough for you, [4] then look out for the other team who is moving just as fast as you are and can [5] hit you as they please. Faster than you is [6] that solid rubber puck (arguably harder than a baseball) [7] that can move faster than 100 mph (Kulyash 110 mph slap shot). Don't think that'll hurt, go online and see what happened to Matt Hendrick's cup when it went up against a puck. [8] Durability is a key component, there is a reason why the average NHL career is only 5.5 years. While it is not 162 games long like a MLB season, [9] the 82 games you do play in a NHL season will wipe you out. You should also have a good dental plan, because ...more

"Horse back riding? Really? That's not even a sport! "
Really? Do you know how insulting that is? We work 4 hours a day, 6 or 7 days a week every week of every month and Every month of every year. So that 1 or 2 times a month during the summer we could have a chance to win a 20 cent ribbon. If it's not hard why do we have to work everyday of the year for a show, and still have the possibility to get 8th place. Why then, wouldn't we not work all year then go to a show and get 1st place? If it were so easy. And you say a real sport is scored and not judged, and that horse riding is judged. But it's not. Judging is an opinion. Is it an opinion... That I knocked down a rail? That I wasn't on the correct lead? That the horse took a half step before the jump? That the horse refused the jump? That we went over the time limit? Are these opinions? No. They are facts. We get scores. Knocked down a rail? 4 faults. Horse refused? 4 faults. Over the time limit? 2 faults for every 5 ...more

I dare you to go look up on YouTube just one round of Olympic level show jumping then go look up one game of Olympic level hockey and we'll get together and discuss the comparison.

Freestyle wrestling, bull riding and cross country are the only ones that should be up there in this bracket and normally there not in the top 20. I give a lot of credit to gymnastics I see it almost everyday because my sister does it but don't give me that BS that gymnastics is the hardest sport hockey should not be at # 12 first of your on ice that's hard enough me as a goalie having 90mph shots at me isn't hard I guess to some people. My equipment I have on gives me 30lbs I guess that simple to people also. Swimming is very hard but going across a pool isn't gonna cut to be the #2 spot give me a break. Hockey you're in a freezing climate 32 degrees and below. When I go to my respective Goalie trainer he doesn't take no crap I go out there with the flu pulled muscles cough headache if I'm not in the hospital in playing hockey. I have the best seat in the house and if you are 5'7 150lbs and you see 6'5 220lbs coming at you your done peoples break their necks arms legs fingers ankles ...more

You don't realize how hard swimming is, it's not just "going across a pool" is hockey just "skating across a rink", no it's not! Swimming is extremely demanding! I am in university and I swim 12 times a week (twice a day except for Sunday) for 2 and a half hours per practice, not including out of water training! We do painfully hard sets, some of which only allow you to breathe a certain number of times. You can breathe whenever you want in hockey. I have witnessed my teammates passing out, throwing up, injuring themselves, and crashing into each other head on! Hockey may be more dangerous, but it is definitely not as hard as swimming!

Hockey is definitely the hardest, most committed and most daredevil sport there is! It is very hard to keep running at someone with their stick up in the air about to smash the ball at you!

V136 Comments
9Rowing

From a strictly physical standpoint, I definitely think rowing is the most challenging; no other activity hurts the same way.
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Related to the physical hardship, I think mental toughness and motivation in rowing are harder to find and more essential to master than in any other sport.
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You have to give other categories their due, though.
First I would give it bad marks in skill: rowing involves incredibly precise skills, but often a lack of skill is compensated with more physicality, so it isn't so incredibly important and certainly not so hard to master as the skills in many other sports; gymnastics probably takes first place in this category. Perfection in a stroke means a great deal, but is neither as important nor as difficult to achieve as the skills in a sport like gymnastics, or even some others like football.
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I think consideration also has to be given to danger and risk. Altogether, rowing is among the least dangerous sports. There is some risk in ...more

Rowing is unique in that it requires both power and endurance. Power to jump off the stretchers in the boat and endurance to be able to put full pressure into that oar for almost 200 strokes over the course of a 2000 meter race.
A rowers description of a 2000 meter race:

0-100 Meters:
Teams usually start off with a short sprint to help set the pace for the race. I the first 10 seconds energy provided by the quick acting ATP-CP system is used up. This system does not use oxygen and does not build lactic acid. The body goes into the anaerobic system for energy and teams begin to settle into their race pace. With this system lactic acid begins to build in the muscles, specifically the legs and the mental game begins.

100 - 1000 Meters
Each stroke uses all major muscle groups in the body including: quads, biceps, triceps, lats, gluts and abdominal muscles. Lactic acid has built up enough by the end of the first 500 meters that each stroke is painful for your legs ...more

Rowing is one of the only sports where you can not start off as a natural as it is unnatural movements. It requires a tremendous deal of strength and technique if you are to move the boat properly. Improper timing may actually slow down the boat. There is a reason why all the heavyweight rowers are roughly 200 pounds. It is an intensive all body workout, which does not gain respite until the end of the sequence/workout. Several other sports such as football and hockey can easily swap out players when fatigue sets in and allow them to recover in addition to breaks like half-time and what not. When you start rowing you push through to the end without respite, and still throughout this time you must maintain constant diligence to keep up technique and keep up boat speed. Proper technique can take years to master, and several more years are needed for strength training. Furthermore after mass is built on the rower, you need to be toned as well. Additional fat will simply slow the boat, so ...more

Being a competitive rower, and a keen sports person, I can honestly say, I know no pain like the pain of rowing.

V170 Comments
10Cross Country

I cannot believe this is not even on the list. Honestly, there's a reason why XC people practically inhale food nonstop, yet remain the thinnest people in school. The sport is so physically taxing that it's impossible to gain any kind of weight. XC is hard because you have to do it nonstop as hard as you can. Sure gymnastics is hard and all, but they're events only last a few minutes before they get another break. XC is 100% slow twitch muscle fibers, (which your body has much less of, so it's harder to build) and it's literally 100% cardio. If you don't have a strong heart, you're gonna die. You know what I want, for EVERYONE in the aforementioned sports to race 1 meet with us... (and no, don't even think about stopping, you gotta run the whole 3.1 miles no matter kind of pain you'll experience). Since half the wusses in the above sports do track, why not try the 2 mile then? If distance running is apparently so easy? You know who do the 2 mile events? Cross country kids. Everyone ...more

I've ran 3 years of cross country and I can say that it is extremely hard. I've also ran 5 years of sprints. I've also pole vaulted for the past 4 years and am continuing in college. I will admit distance is much harder than sprints, but in no way is cross country and distance running harder than pole vault. We are literally crazy. We're also some of the fastest, strongest and most head strong athletes out there. We use almost every muscle in our body to do things you can't even imagine. And don't say that we don't have endurance cause I've been apart of plenty of meets where I'll be vaulting for hours and at points will be doing back to back jumps. That gets really tiring really fast. In my opinion pole vault is one of the worlds hardest sports. and yeah I'm biased but thousands of others will say the exact same thing.

Cross country is definitely the hardest and most mentally tough sport that will ever exist. It takes hours of practice that require so much determination that anyone who doesn't run cross country could ever imagine. I am just a freshman girl and we run at least 8 miles a day. I'm not even going to mention how many miles the boys run. It's insane! They sometimes literally just go on a ten mile tempo run at a pretty fast pace. There are no timeouts or substitutions. You have to keep going all the way nonstop. During the race you think you can't go any farther but have the will power to cross that finish line. During the summer we get to practice at 6 in the morning everyday while people in other sports are sleeping in. We run in the intense heat and literally swear through our shirts and drip sweat everywhere on our bodies. We even train for long distance track in the winter and run while it is snowing in the insanely freezing weather. I believe cross country should be ranked number one ...more

Rowing is much harder than cross country. This coming from a 4 year cross country runner - maverick88

I think it is insane that cross country isn't at least in the top 3. I understand that other sports are difficult in different ways, but for all you people that say xc isn't a real sport because "everyone can do it", try it for one week. I dare you. Try to push though our 12 mile long runs, our mile repeats, and our hill circuits, giving 100%. Try running until you have an asthma attack, pass out, throw up, or all three, just at practice. And after you experience this, don't be expecting any break. That's just how our sport goes. You'll go home and sleep, and then wake up at 5:30 the next morning to lift weights, work on core strength, and run some more. Even on our "easy days" we run 5-7 miles, oh and trust me, there's no walking either. This whole sport is based on your body breaking down so it can build back stronger.

I've explained all of the physical pain, but the mental aspect is just as challenging. You want to quit. You want to collapse so you don't ...more

People don't understand that a cross country race is twenty minutes of pure and unrefined pain. I have had volleyball players tell me running can't even be hard all you do is run. Sometimes they even say they could beat me in a race. Ya know what sweetly? Those two laps you do once a day aren't even half my warm up. Find your place.

V229 Comments

The Contenders

11Freestyle Wrestling

The only sport where the practice is the same as competition and the same level of intensity. Wrestling requires the athlete to use every muscle in their body at the same time. A wrestling match is continuous and folkstyle matches can last up to 9.5 minutes long, 9.5 minutes of pushing your muscles to failure with no breaks or rest. In a match, you are allowed only 1.5 minutes if you receive an injury, and if you take any more time the match is forfeited. Given the weight classes, practices are very high intensity and usually are held in the basements of schools with the heat cranked up to around 100 degrees. In addition to the practices, the most successful wrestlers do things such as run the streets at night - usually in many layers (a standard in practices as well) and sometimes plastic suits to lock the heat in - no matter the weather, as well as working out in a gym or at home or attending multiple practices. My senior season I walked into my first practice at 197 lbs and ...more

Dude come on seriously wrestling under cheerleading, horseback riding, gymnastics and water polo? Wrestling is no joke people work their living tails off on the mat. Wrestling requires muscle, stamina, quickness, toughness, mental toughness and believe it or not flexibility and lots of bravery. You will get slammed on the mat possibly break something if you're not tough enough simply because your opponent is more muscular than you. Its take tons of bravery to step onto a mat with another person who could possibly overpower you and not to mention you must remain aggressive thanks to the new rules, the coaches and refs. You have to sacrifice lots of eating time to make weight classes and the conditioning is extreme more muscle than other sport unlike football when players sit majority of the time. wrestlers always will either condition or break each others necks at practice and the only way to get really good is to work on technique and strength outside of practice. I've done wrestling ...more

I think wrestling is by far the hardest sport out there. If someone tries it in middle school or something yeah it probably wasn't that hard. As soon as high school and college hits the intensity level goes higher than any other sport I've been a part of or have watched. Not only do we have 2 hour long practices in a 90+ degree room, then there is weight room after to try and maintain some of the muscle that is being lost by constantly cutting 15-20 pounds for at least the three month regular season. Then there is out of practice conditioning if you want to be any good. Which is usually done in full sweats or plastics if you happen to be really overweight that week. Not to mention the regular season occurs during Christmas and thanksgiving so you can't eat anything while you have to watch everyone else feast. Plus wrestling is a year round sport, again if you want to be any good at it. I always wrestled every off season tournament that I could. During football season is have to go to ...more

That fact that cheer leading is higher on the list than this is sad. And by the way its wrestling period. Not just freestyle

V208 Comments
12Competitive Dancing

Why isn't this in the top tens? Its easy to master sports like hockey, soccer, football etc. But dance? You are constantly learning new moves and constantly trying to improve your technique. Yeah football and hockey are dangerous. So is dance. There are many ways you can injure yourself in dance. Landing badly on a jump, hurting yourself in a flip, I could go on with the dangers of acro and break dance. And extreme partner work can put both people at risk. Dance requires hour and hours of training, whereas in other sports you show up for practice maybe 3 times a week for 2 hours. To anyone who disagrees and thinks dance is easy. Try pointe, acro, jazz, ballet, hip hop, break, etc. Acro takes many years to do well on, and so does pointe. After pointe, your feet ache an you get blisters, it is very hard to stand in pointe, yet very good dancers can pull it off with a smile on their face. You need to do ridiculously hard moves and still smile. Think hip-hop and dance are easy? Then try ...more - dragonfly99

3 times a week is a joke

And all the sports you listed as easy to master can't be mastered your opponents are always different with different strengths with dance (if it is a sport) there's no outside pressure you learn your routine and the your set yes you need minor improvements but you also don't have to make split second decisions in the face of an opponent and try to think ahead the landings all done for you

I think if we are talking about hockey vs dance, it's more complicated than saying hockey needs strength and guts while dance needs stamina, balance, strength, flexibility, etc etc. I'm 13 years old and have been dancing since I was 3. That's 10 years. Sometimes I dance up to 12 hours a week, and I know that that's nothing compared to a lot of other dancers out there. I'm not gonna argue that dance is hard and hockey is easy or maybe vice versa, because my 10 year old sister has been playing hockey since she was 6 but she also does competitive dance.

Hockey players will have no clue how much pain we go through in an hour. We dance through blood, sweat, tears, and bodies pushed to the limit and beyond. We own the fields for strength, stamina, flexibility, speed, balance, acting, and just looking darn good... All at the same time. People definitely underestimate dance and it's obviously a sport if anyone has even noticed.

Hockey, on the other hand, requires strength, ...more

I don't think some people realize how crucial dancing is to the body. none of us want to be injured. none of us want to wear a brace, or be out for a week, or even be in a boot. we don't do it for attention, we actually WANT to dance. half the time out injuries are ongoing because we ignore it to continue dancing. dancing is hard on the hips, knees, ankle, feet, and even your back. Dancing is proven to be one of the most physically and mentally challenging sports that there is. You throw yourself in the air, to come back down onto your knees, your back, basically anywhere. You build up muscle upon muscle in order to turn more, to jump higher, to bend further- and you do it all for the love you have for it. We have bruises in places that bruises shouldn't be, we injure parts of our body that shouldn't be injured, and we keep dancing through it all. I know girls who have danced through competitions in absolute agony whilst in tears and still kicked butt because we learn to push through ...more

Dancing should be higher then cheerleading all cheerleaders do are stunts and some tumbling.

V173 Comments
13Rugby

No rugby came before American football and soccer. Then American football added sissy pads and helmets. For rugby you need to be more fit then a huge majority of sports. Mentally and physically. And no your not wrestling if you were then the rules would be different... Actually the game itself would be different in all. Brave as they are in American football? That's a joke not only did Americans mimic the sport, but like I said they wear pads and helmets! Yeah you get hurt but try getting crushed in a scrum with no protection or every tackle is followed by 4-8 different solid muscle players.

Rugby is not only a Physical sport, its super mental. As a nationally ranked team player I would know. Rugby requires the physical stamina of any soccer player. Also rugby players need to know the variations of all the rules depending on a referee. Think about it, if you were playing a game of football you get the ball run, Down. 15 second break. In Rugby its Boom hit, Get up run again Boom hit. Constant contact and constant aggression and decision making under serious pressure. Rank 14 is seriously incorrect.

As a "nationally ranked player" you should know that rugby is governed by laws not rules, maybe self praise is no praise

Rugby should be first. Rugby is like American football but with no breaks every 10 seconds, Its like cross country but you have to do it for 80 minutes and people constantly needing being smashed or getting smashed yourself. Some rugby tackles are measured at 7G (7 times gravity) and injuries seen in rugby are seen in head on car crashes with both cars going at 30MPH. You have to constantly work, when you have the ball, you have to dodge, pass, think, smash... When you haven't got the ball it is even worse! You have to: tackle, get smashed, run dummy lines, follow the ball carrier, help him, drive over and all that for 80 minutes.Why do you think rugby players are so massive!

Lol so easy and not a sport

V37 Comments
14Ice HockeyIce hockey is a contact team sport played on ice, usually in a rink, in which two teams of skaters use their sticks to shoot a vulcanized rubber puck into their opponent's net to score points.

Ya I'll be real here. I don't play this sport but I'm not going to be immature and bash on hockey. Kudos to those who play ice hockey. It IS a hard sport and this is coming from someone who doesn't even play the sport. I'm a synchronized swimmer actually and I am certainly no creampuff! I train 7 times a week each day being 3-5 hour long practices in the pool. But my point is, is that I respect hockey. And hockey players. Cause some people might think that hockey is overrated and that the guys who play it are dumb jocks, but I think it's a very physically demanding sport. Lots of injuries happen.

I play hockey and I'm a girl. Hockey is really hard. You need to have the strength and power of a football player, the stamina of a marathon runner and the concentration of a brain surgeon. Sometimes it seems like the other team is chasing you with clubs trying to kill you while you skate down the ice dodging people. Other than gymnastics, hockey is by far the hardest and I think it should be higher up in the list.

Being checked into a wall and face planting into the ground and getting hit in the eye with a puck and stick and getting scratched by skates.. People really think hockey isn't hard I have had a major concussion from someone tripping me and I hit my head. I have had a ice skate cut from my wrist to my elbow it hurt like hell

I think ice hockey is a really hard sport. I play ice hockey and I'm a girl. Ice hockey takes a lot of skill. I played one boys team and I was the only girl and it was hard with the boys, even though I was the tallest kid on the team. They would still hit me hard into the boards I think ice hockey is a HARD sport

V26 Comments
15Motorcross

I have raced motocross since I was 3 and I'm almost 16 now. 13 years, 13 broken bones, 2 surgeries and 8 concussions later I'm not scared, embarrassed to say motocross is by far the most physical demanding and tough sport in the world. People think you just sit and turn the throttle. It take balance, strength and skill to be fast on a dirtbike!

Dangerous and physically demanding are completely different things. I think you've confused the two.

When people say its just sitting down and holding the throttle its funny because you don't sit down unless your going around a turn, also, its burns 700 to 800 calories and I have never lost my breathe so quick in my life.

Motocross is not just sitting on a dirt bike and twist the throttle back around a circle. You have to have the balls to jump 100 ft jumps and to ride a turn full throttle leaning the bike and putting pressure on the outside peg. I have been racing motocross for 5 years and I have broken my foot and have bruised my kidney and I've also had three concussions. Yet I still love the sport and my love for the sport will never end. You burn about 1000 calories just being on the bike for 30 minutes. Your arms get so tired that you can't even hold onto the bike anymore. If you think the sport is easy than you get out there and try to hang with us!

Very hard. Need lots of training and exercise

V228 Comments
16WrestlingWrestling is a combat sport involving grappling type techniques such as clinch fighting, throws and takedowns, joint locks, pins and other grappling holds.

Wrestling is so hard because of the time and effort into it. I mean anyone can wrestle, however it's the people that can wrestle well who really put the effort and time that the sport requires. People do not understand the preparation it takes to be a wrestler. It's like being in the army. When you are wrestling, you do not even have time to think about what you need to do. You just have to go out there and do it. Of course this takes practice because for your moves to be automatic you must drill them at least 1000 times before getting it perfect. And that is only one part of the sport. When a wrestler is cutting and maintaining their weight, they usually go to sleep on an empty stomach. Cutting weight is very exhausting and sometimes you question why you're even doing it. It's the wrestlers that really want it who drill the hardest all the time, and the ones who push themselves to go run 3 miles a day at least. But these people get unnoticed my the many people surrounding them. They ...more

One of the hardest sports ever it take so much energy, power, strength it is one on one which makes it harder also you have to be so mentally and physically fit and it takes more skill then any sports

I've done wrestling one year just started it and it is mentally and physically tough! You train as hard as you can for a week for a four and a half minute match. No teammates just you and an other player going head on head as hard as you can. And yet wrestling gets no respect.

You control every aspect of what happens. Winning is 100% in your hands. Almost not other sport is like that. Anyone who says anything is harder than wrestling, has either never wrestled, or never got to the point where you actually have to be dedicated. "Once you've, everything else is easy"

V45 Comments
17SoccerAssociation football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a sport played between two teams of eleven players with a spherical ball.

90 minute game running through down a grass field smashing into other players and trying to beat 11 people fighting for the exact same thing. Speed, teamwork, endurance, high level foot/eye coordination (which is extremely hard to develop), strong bones, perseverance, a balance of aggressiveness and calmness, rapid foresight (ability to see the play before it happens and move accordingly), fast reflexes, clear understanding of the strategy (to play well or coach. ), instinctive body language reading (to understand where the player may try to move), good ability to communicate under pressure and a natural ability in at least one position (this is the most important, the best are born with ability and develop it, the worst aren't born with a natural ability and have no chance even if they try hard. ) Not to mention a high injury rate, if your not good enough you get hurt. Not knocking other cardio-sports but soccer requires a type of skill not visible in any other game, a near complete ...more

Soccer is for sure one of the hardest sports. People think, oh well you just kick the ball into the net, honestly that isn't how it works. When a soccer player receives the ball, millions of things are going through their head like, whether to dribble, whether to pass, whether to shoot. Once they decide, even more things go through their head. If they decide to take the ball themselves they have to decide where to dribble to, if they need to do any trick moves, and when they need to get rid of the ball. Then if they decide to make a pass, they have to think about timing, how hard the ball needs to be played, who to play it to, what kind of pass needs to be made, and then once they get rid of the ball, they have to make a run elsewhere to try to get open to receive a pass. If they shoot, they need to think where to place it and how hard to shoot it, they also have to follow up their shots.

Decision making isn't the only aspect of soccer that is important. You have to be fast ...more

I have been playing soccer all f my life. And I can tell you that it is one of the hardest sports. Obviously rugby and gymnastics beat us in strength and endurance, but soccer takes a lot of skill. First you have to be able to sprint around with a ball which might sound easy, but until you have tried sprinting at your fastest speed you cannot talk. Also at a higher level of soccer you are more physical you have girls that are bigger and older than you slide tackling you, tripping you, body checking you, and pushing you down. Soccer also has so many aspect and different roles to make a team function. YOu have to have a goal keeper who needs to be quick on her feet and strong to be able to stop shots that could go over 40 mph. As a defender I have to be able to make the decision when to attack the ball. I need to be quick but also need to hold me ground so I don't get run over by an oncoming attacker. A midfielder needs to have endurance these players are a forward and a defender. So ...more

You appear to have no idea of the amount of skill it takes to do gymnastics.

I play a very high level of competitive soccer and let me just say that it is anything but easy. Practices are painful and games are even harder. The hardest thing is that you need to combine speed, power, and finesse. It is known as the beautiful game for reason, but that doesn't mean that it is all dancing around with the ball at your feet. You need to be able to run at a high speed for long periods of time, you need to be able to be powerful but also realize all that is going on around you. You also need to be able to move without the ball, which includes making runs and trying to shake defenders. Most of all you need to be very creative.

V117 Comments
18Power Tumbling

I am a gymnast and I agree that power tumbling should be up closer to number 2 or 3 because there are a lot of people at my gym that do power tumbling and they can get hurt a lot. I have seen people break their arms and legs before in gymnastics AND power tumbling! I is very harsh to watch but I mean I am used to it now so I don't have too worry that much. A lot of people can get hurt but some wont like break any thing but most injuries are from tumbling (especially power tumbling) and gymnastics. I agree that gymnastics is the hardest sport but I am not going to give up because of that! You have to keep trying and maybe you will be an number 1 all a-rounder one day like me! :) Good luck you folks out there and maybe I will see you in the Olympics one day and you will see me too! :P

Power Tumbling should be right up there with Gymnastics. I am a level 8-9 power tumbler and it is SO hard just like gymnastics! We have to practice multiple hours in the gym each week and we condition like crazy. We have to do floor, double mini and trampoline and each has its challenges. Lets see you guys jump on a two level tramp and do a double front on and double full off. We have to get so much power on floor in a couple of steps so we can throw double whips and what not. Not to mention the pain we go through and how much we work for things. Definitely should be up there with Gymnastics.

I'm a gymnast and doing back tucks or handsprings is really hard I mean every time I come back from practice I'm always bruised but it is fun going in the por and showing your family how flexible you are

This should be like 4th or 5th instead of cheerleading it is so much harder then a lot of sports.

V19 Comments
19Long-distance Triathlon

It is beyond my belief that people believe that a long distance triathlon (or ANY triathlon for that matter) is ranked 20th overall. I know it does not receive as much media attention because other, more "exciting" sports are what the fans want to watch, but this is VERY hard. You have to be almost insane to do this sport. Those of you who were complaining about lactic acid, having to compete (or practice) several hours a day, well, tack on more than twice what you were complaining about, and you've got a long distance triathlon. 13, 14, 15, 16 hours straight of excruciating physical activity. 2.4 miles of swimming, ONE HUNDRED TWELVE (112) miles of biking (usually takes 5-6 hours) and then a marathon (26.2 miles) on top of it. Marathons themselves are an extreme showing of physical activity. Just saying, if this sport received more media attention, it would be #1 for sure. Inhuman levels of endurance and speed. The people that compete in these are the best athletes in the world. All ...more

I don't think most of you have even done a twelve hour race before? Swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles, run 26.2 miles, and then brag for the rest of your life. Not the average Joe can do one. The Ironman Triathlon is the toughest race in the world. Often called the hardest day in sport. It is not a sport for the weak minded. After a while, the body shut downs and the only thing keeping you moving is your mind. With high drop out rates, many question if they could even finish after racing a few hours into the race. Nutrition and hydration is key to a great race. This sport combines three tough sports into a monster challenge.

I don't understand how this is #27. I've been looking at various pages on difficult sports, and most "experts" seem to think that specific aspects of a sport is what make it hard (such as coordination, technique etc). NO. You automatically learn those things from being in that sport. You adapt. You can be the best basketball player, but be the worst in something else. Difficulty is NOT equal to practice.
What makes a sport hard is how hard you have to push your body and mind to the abosolute limit, to even compete. The foundation of all sports is in the Triathlon. I have done all 3 sports at a competitive level, and there is nothing like pushing yourself until you are going to faint or puke. You don't get that in other sports. Its not about practice, its about how hard it is for a body.
If you give anyone (fit) a (fair) amount of time (years) they can master any sport, just based on practice. On sports like triathlon, you don't get that. You have to have a superhuman body and ...more

There is a sport called this? This is an event right? Not a sport? Eh, either way, really tough.

V17 Comments
20Track and Field

I thought track and field would be higher up! First off especially if you do sprints this applies. Your coaches make you sprint a lap, then they don't tell you that you have to sprint 3 miles( broken into pieces). And they expect you to keep running your fastest every time. At my school we have track everyday for an hour. You go to the track and you run a lap when practice starts we stretch around the track( you know what that kinda is if you do track). Then hey don't make it easy on us we barely practice field events so running is all we do. The only way to get out of running sometimes is to be in a relay which is kind of hard. everyday we have to come back whether our legs hurt or not. All at my school you have to take 2 sports so if you do a fall sport and not a winter sport you don't really have that many options. This is really hard to explain how hard track runners work especially if your really dedicated. Asking me to describe how hard track is, is like asking me what the ...more

Track requires pure dedication and a love for just running. If you don't run everyday you won't improve. We run outside in the rain and freezing cold. We sit at meets for hours waiting for our event and let me tell you it's not fun when it's 32 degrees and windy. Have you ever tried running in the wind? Probably not. It's hard and it hurts! I think track is one of the hardest sports that requires the most dedication.

I can't believe this isn't higher on the list. Most people do not realize the kind of intensity this sport brings. You constantly must train and its like power lifting, giving 100% all the time just for micro progression. And during races it is extremely taxing on the body, you must have a well built cardio vascular system as well as muscle growth. Have you ever tried SPRINTING a QUARTER OF A MILE in 48 seconds? Most other athletes only have to worry about 100 meters much less 400 meters (1600 meters in 1 mile)

Track is super hard I will agree.

V17 Comments
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