Most Demanding Sports

The Top Ten
1 Motocross

Yes for sure without Doubt! I have been very active in many sport like soccer hockey and boxing and long distance running 100% motocross is the most physical demanding sport out there specially if you want to win!

As a privateer professional rider I can tell you this is the most physically/mentally demanding sport there is. These pro races are 30min plus with your heart rate ranging from a low of 165 and max of 200 or maybe even more depending on the rider. To be able to sustain that max heart rate you must dedicate everything to your training on and off the track. From diet to riding to training everything must be at a 100 percent and these riders put their life on the line every single time they swing a leg over the bike. There's no time outs, no breaks, nothing just racing.

I have played almost every sport there is. Swimming, football, track, tennis, basketball, hockey, etc... and those are walks in the park compared to motocross. Football is 5 seconds of sprinting followed by 30 seconds of rest. Swimming is a minute or two all out. Motocross is 10-30 minutes of going as hard as you can, and never letting up. There are a thousand and one things to think about when racing, and skipping one of them might end up losing you the race, or putting you in an ambulance. There is no off season. You are running and lifting the day after the season ends in order to be in shape for next season. And the horrible thing is, it is never enough. No matter how good of shape you are in, you are still gasping for air the second the helmet comes off, trying to uncurl your cramped hands that are dripping in blood from blisters popped and skin tore off from just holding on. God help you if you ever go down with any significant speed. The best way to demonstrate crashing on a ...more

Training year round, riding in full riding gear including a helmet in 100 degree temperatures at times on top of maintaing a heart rate in excess of 160 plus to 200 beats per minute, while battling 20-40 other riders trying to take you out with a 220# plus machine. Motocross requires training year round in various terrains and weather conditions. No air conditioned gym here. And the mental game is huge, you watch tape, condition yourself to think you can do anything, push yourself to the edge of control just to reach the next plateau. I haven't even mentioned the expense of $100-$350 average per race with gate fees, entry fees, membership fees and travel expenses. Motocross is not for the faint of heart.

2 Swimming Swimming 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.

Swimming is most definitely the MOST demanding sport. I have been swimming for just over a year, and have worked my butt off, and am now at the level of swimmers who have been at it for years. Compared to other swimmers, our practices are relatively easy, and they ARE NOT EASY! Swimming uses every single muscle at the same time. Every set, you move your arms like lightning, every race, your legs feel like they are going to snap off. In a set, even if you are the fastest on the team, you swim a 200 sprint with limited breaths, and guess what, once you finish, you get 5 seconds rest and have to go and do it again, faster this time, than the absolute fastest you can go. Swimming is not just going back and forth, just like track is not just running around in circles. Swimming is the most physically taxing sport around because of you feel like you are about to die, go beat your best time in a 100 free. And if you miss the best by one hundredth of a second, you break down in tears because ...more

I have been swimming for two years, and I know people believe their sport is the hardest, because over time during your sports your body starts getting sore, but for swimming your body gets sore immediately. If you don't believe me, try it out. I swear its very hard

Most demanding thing ever. You think your sport is hard...try swimming. Many people think, "oh swimming is so easy! I do it every summer! " Want to know why you find it easy, because your not waking up at 4:30 AM to work your body to its limits. And morning practice is just the beginning. Later on there's an hour at least of dry land and weigh training, and then a 2+ hour practice. And not to mention the amount of work we do during training! The amount of times I have thrown up is crazy! I've even had 3 overuse injuries because I am pushing my body too hard! Also, it's not cheap either. A solid pair of goggles is at least $30, and a tech suit is $400 dollars at minimum! Also, to swim for a good club that will train all day everyday, you need to pay $2,000! Next time you think "swimming is easy" think again.

Hardest sport I trained in. Even the football players I knew that had to take a swim class said it was much harder than what they did. Think about it, not only are you swimming aerobically for hours, aerobically in between, using every muscle group, You have to hold your breath while you're at it. To swim at a competitive level you have to have skill and technique. Most people don't have the same type of experience when they swim for leisure. Its not even close to what you do when you swim competitively.

3 Rugby

It is a beautiful combination elegance and speed, and brutality and strength. Top level athletes train like olympic sprints, lift like olympic lifters, and are capable of being able to take the force equivalent of being hit by a small car multiple time in a match.

Soccer is not demanding at all! Soccer is full of all these tryhards that think that there so good. Rugby is way better because its more entertaining, physical and more unpredictable. Soccer all you do is pass the ball back and forth for 90 minutes.

Rugby involves strength, endurance, speed, agility, knowledge, and so much more in order to be successful in the game. Not to mention the extreme amount of injuries and concussions many players end up playing through.

Rugby combines strength- speed, cardiovascular endurance and mental toughness/ bravery to create what would surely be in the top 5 behind motocross, boxing, bull riding and rowing.

4 Soccer Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a sport played between two teams of eleven players each. It is played with a spherical ball. The objective is to score the ball in the other teams goal.

As a player for my school soccer team, I have had to pull through a lot of tough stuff. When a player receives the ball, they have 0.5 seconds to figure out their best passing option. This forces a ton of mental strain not to mention the fact that one wrong move, and you could screw up the game. Another reason this is, in my opinion, the most demanding sport is the fact that when a player has a breakaway, they must run as fast a they possibly can (an average of about 20 yrds in 4 to 5 seconds on my team). During practices, coaches like to work on their players core and upper body. This includes around 50 push-ups for us, 30 sit-ups, and 2 minute wall-sits after all training. This is also a plays a big factor in the reason that most teams have super tough try-outs and practices.

Soccer extremely physically demanding mentally. Your body needs to be able to explode well, reach high speeds, and maintain those high speeds. 45 minute halves with about a 10 minutes half, time and constant running. My current coach will sub out players if they stop running, because you don't stop. You legs have to be powerful for the distance, sprints, passes, crosses, and shots, so the training and preparation is grueling. Mentally you have to be either all in or out. You can't back down, especially if you're a goalie. You must know when to pass, where to pass, how to set up plays, and get open. Plus you're sprinting while doing this, and when they ball gets stolen, sprint harder.

Soccer requires back and forth movement and constant speed. Especially physically demanding for goalies. They have the hardest job on the field due to speed requirements and reflexes.

Soccer requires a lot of physical and mental preparation. The hardest part of a season is actually pre season because is all about getting in shape and building that team chemistry before season starts. In soccer you might just see 22 players on a field running up and down the field with a ball for 90 minutes and in knockout stages like in the World Cup recently 120 minutes, but what about their training; a soccer player doesn't just puts a uniforms on and heads down to the field and play, it takes a lot of stamina, y'all should see our full field sprints, suicides, running up and down hills, all our drills a also require running full speed, also them laps I once had a coach that would makes us do 10 laps around the field and we weren't jogging neither. Also doing some sort of frog squats around the field really killed me but it's all beneficial because you need strong legs and endurance to play a soccer game.

5 Skateboarding Skateboarding is an action sport which involves riding and performing tricks using a skateboard. Skateboarding can also be considered a recreational activity, an art form, a job, or a method of transportation.

You can never master skateboarding because the amount of skills, tricks and spots are endless.. There is so much more to it than standing, pushingaand jumping. People think skateboarding is simple. Its about timing, skill, balance, consistency and skateboarding is so techniqual. You need a big set of balls to skate, big gaps, leaps and just facing fears is huge. Skateboarding should be in such a better place than 25th.

There's so much technicalities and the way you have to have everything perfect or you are going to fall hard. You have to have balance, consistency, board control and a big set of balls.

Although u do not have to be as physically fit to do skateboarding compared to other sports if your constantly jumping over things and falling hard frequently, skateboarding takes a real toll on your body especially on the ankles and knees. If u want to get good at this sport u have to be willing to take a beating. To learn how to ollie gaps and skate a half pipe youd expect to have had twisted ankles, sprained wrists, grazes on the arms and legs. This I'd why I think that should put this sport in the top 10

Half pipe skating use almost every muscle in your body. Airobically equal to boxing. 5 minutes of half pipe skateboarding equal to 2 full games of rugby league.

6 Skiing Skiing can be a means of transport, a recreational activity or a competitive winter sport in which the participant uses skis to glide on snow.

All big muscles are used to its maximum in skiing competition, and I'm not talking about downhill here..

Nordic skiing is the most physically and mentally demanding sport. There is literally nothing hard

Nordic skiing is tough, 6 days a week practice, hours of hill work UP hill, intervals, plus all your equipment which easily exceeds $1000

Have you tried? It is hard

7 Weightlifting
8 Wakeboarding

Wakeboading a sport that you need dedication and practice, a extreme sport that is overlooked and actually a sport where the risks of injuries are high and a sport that you use all of you muscles

9 Ice Hockey Ice 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.

I play hockey all winter and race mx all summer...I would have to put hockey up there for sure, but mx is a more extreme beast in about every way.

Why has no one mentioned ice hockey it must be one of the most physically demanding!

This sport is the most dangerous in my opinion and should come in third on this list

10 Dance

Dance isn't just ballet, Dance has aspects of fencing, cheer, and even tumbling. Dance commonly utilized lifts and stunts, as well as tumbling passes, and acrobatic tricks. In ballet alone you can always become better. Ideal turnout is 180 degrees or more, with flagged and pointed feet that can touch the ground. You must use every muscle while making it look like it's effortless. You can always leap higher or turn longer or balance longer, get your leg up higher, hold your core, move faster etc. now those things are some of the main aspects you try to obtain in ballet along with preforming and telling a story. To maintain skills, I am unprofessional competitive dancer only dance about 17-20 hrs a week while other competitors practice 25 hrs a week. I even dance 6+ hrs straight some days with small drink and food breaks lasting about a minute or two. Many dancers, even when they know it might not be the right thing, have to dance through pain, broken feet and ankles, sprained wrists ...more

Imagine the endurance needed to do football. Imagine the strength needed to do wrestling. Imagine the flexibility needed to do gymnastics. Now combine all three, and then try to make them look absolutely effortless. That's dance. Oh, and once you turn 10 or 11, throw a couple pointe shoes into the mix. That's pointe. I dance for 14+ hours a week, and still go to school, and still have enough strength to do other sports. It's an amazing and incredibly hard sport/art. Honestly surprised this isn't higher on the list.

My daughter is only 6 and trains 10-15 hours a week. All while in school. She also stretches daily on top of that. Dancers train and work all year for 4 dance comps per year. Dance comps full of quick changes, performing in front of others, relying on and being in a team, and being judged. It's a fun but stressful thing. Full of excitement and also disappointment.

Those that dance professionally are honing their skills on daily basis for hours. They need total control over muscle groups and this requires strength. Then add pointe shoes!

The Contenders
11 Wrestling Wrestling is a combat sport involving grappling type techniques such as clinch fighting, throws and takedowns, joint locks, pins and other grappling holds.

Being a High school Wrestler myself, I can tell you that wrestling is definitely the hardest sport you can get yourself into. I understand how Motocross can be very intense and cause a lot of adrenaline, and swimming is a lot of conditioning and hard work on your body, but I can tell you right now why I believe wrestling is so much harder and should be number one.

To start off with wrestling, there is the common saying that most young people say now a days which would be that wrestling is gay. I won't deny it does get kind of weird at times in certain positions, but like my coach says don't make it gay. But, anyways just to clear the air.

So wrestling is one of the sports where you have to manage your weight the most, and I know wrestling isn't the only sport in which you have to manage your weight obviously, but this is the least of it, and to be honest it's not that easy especially when you are trying to go down in weight or cut weight which can be so physically ...more

There's a reason that wrestlers have been called some of the most hardcore athletes in the world. Each practice is generally 2-3 hours long, 5 days a week. This involves intense cardio, weightlifting, circuit training, practicing technique, being thrown around and bruised, and hardcore conditioning. But this is only the tip of the iceberg. These practices are often supplemented by outside "club" practices which require just as much, if not more, effort. This is merely the physical side.
What is often taken for granted is the amount of mental effort that is required to wrestle. Practices alone can make you want to give up, however, cutting weight to meet your weight class, losing matches despite all of your hard work, using every muscle in your body at maximum strength and speed output for 6-minute matches, all of this can wear and tear at your mind, making you want to give up. You must react in the blink of an eye in order to counter your opponent, or you lose. You must not be ...more

Wrestling is and should be the #1 most demanding sport, it's a one on one match from the very beginning! Matches are a constant struggle to over power and out position your opponent. And for the constant training need to keep us with sport.. You need to be in top physical condition to Wrestle. Plus the constant struggle of watching what you eat & drink to maintain weight for competitions. There is no team that can pick up the slack and your not riding a motorized machine! It's all you! What you put in you get out!

I've competed in HS football, baseball, soccer, wrestling, college wrestling and track. I've ridden motocross dirt bikes hard, mountain bikes hard, skiied, slalom water skiied, swam competitively. Other sports can be demanding but wrestling is another level harder than the others. Anyone who doubts it - try it once with a relatively equal partner and try to win for 6 minutes - then vote. I've helped coach for years and even many of the toughest strongest kids from football and other sports walk after a practice or two.

12 Rowing

Rower's cross their aerobic threshold within the first 20 strokes of the race. Then they have 200 more strokes to go. A typical top level crew will train 600-800 hours a year for a 6 minute race. At the end of a race, if you can get out of the boat then you didn't race hard enough. People think rowing is poetic, but they're wrong. Rowing is not poetic. Inside the boat, each rower is pushing him or herself to the point of passing out and poetic movements are the last thing on their minds. The only thing each rower wants is to put their opponent in so much pain that they give up and quit. That is how a rowing race is won- enduring more pain than your opponent and not giving up. This endurance of pain is what makes rowing the most demanding sport.

As an active rower, in high school to say the least, I feel it is my duty to inform those on the demands of rowing. I will acknowledge that no one sport can truly be proven the "most physically demanding" as it will vary for each person, but I can say with absolute certainty rowing is a living nightmare. Races range from small 500 meter sprints (these are rare and for beginners), to 6000 meter races (this is a fall race such as HOCR). On races from 2000 meters and under, rowers start off unlike any other athlete would in their right mind. Rowers sprint all out as hard as they possibly can, typically getting in 40+ strokes per minute to start off. In each stroke, rowers have to be pulling not just their weights worth through the water, but the weight of an extra coxswain, along with a 200+ pound boat. In the start alone, rowers would need to race at 40+ strokes each minute for about 30 seconds. To put this into perspective, this is like squatting your body weight + 40 or so pounds 20 ...more

In the olympics, they gave a test to all the Olympians and discovered that Rowing is one of the hardest and physically(and mentally) demanding sport. Rowing uses all the major muscles in your body (legs, arms, back, abs, etc). Some people say that a 2k test is as physically demanding as 2 basketball games back to back. Also. If you play basketball or soccer, you can end whenever you want, but not rowers. We have to row back to the dock, lift and carry the 80 pound boat back to the boathouse and all the oars. We can not just say let's leave, because even when we say that we have to row another 30 minutes just to get out of the boat.

Rowing is definitely one of the most difficult sports out there, both physically and mentally. It's certainly the sport with the highest pain to gain ratio. Let me just say that the erg is the worst machine of all time. I want to break it, but it always kicks my ass. The ergometer (rowing machine) displays how fast and powerful your every stroke is, so there's no hiding or pretending your effort. It requires every muscle in your body, and your body to be in synch with those of your teammates. You're dying while going backwards for 2000 meters, what more can I say.

13 Endurocross

I have raced snocross, which was the toughest thing I have ever done...until I tried endurocross. 10 laps of snocross racing was easier than 4 laps on an endurocross track.

How is this not #1 when the races are so long it is hard to think of anything more demanding in one continuous period.

The same as motocross, but races last a lot longer, between 3hrs and sometimes up to 6 hours+.

I do this and it takes skill, performance, strength and fitness!

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

People don't realize how demanding this sport really is. You work for 30+ hours each week, and never have an "off season". Most people can't walk in a straight line, or even do a single push up. Gymnasts do standing flips on 4-inch wide beams, and flip higher than you can even imagine. You see basketball players sitting out with ice packs all over because they sprained an ankle. When gymnasts get hurt, they put some tape on, and go right on flipping. Also, I don't know if it's just where I'm from, but every time we did any type of physical activity, the gymnasts come off on top. Above the football players, above the soccer players, and above the basketball players. Gymnastics is certainly more demanding, mentally and physically, than any sports most people would think of.

I've been working out 20 hours a week plus since the 6th grade; before that it was 12-16 hours a week since before the 1st grade, and I have buddies at other gyms that workout more than me still. This is a complete year round sport, we don't take breaks and we never stop working out. When the skin rips off your hands from swinging on high bar or rings, you stuff chalk in them to stop the bleeding and keep going. I remember at 1 competition I took a bad landing on floor (first event of the comp.) and shredded most ligaments in my foot (didn't know what I did at the time) and finished the entire competition on what felt like a broken bone in my foot. Point being, most people underestimate this sport, when in reality it's high risk, high impact, and extremely demanding.

My ten year old cousin has done gymnastics for six years, and usually she is busy with gymnastics or working out training. It is insane how demanding this sport is. She worked non stop for one week during the summer until she got her roundoff back handspring full twist. She has blisters on her hands from hours of training on the uneven bars, and even cuts and blisters on her feet from beam. She is one of the most muscular people I have even seen. This sport is very high demand, she has broken many bones and torn so many ligaments. VERY high demand

I am a gymnast myself and let me tell you, it is very challenging. I've been competing in this sport for 6 years. We never get breaks, unlike many sports. This is because even if gymnasts have one day off we could lose a skill. Normally gymnasts compete in the winter and a little bit of spring and work on new skills during the summer. It's not easy, it takes so much strength, focus, and technique. I would agree with others about this sport being demanding, if you get a huge blister on your hand, you keep going, if you fall off the beam, you get back up, if your sore, boohoo. (;

15 Cycling

It's not a finish and get a medal sport. You only glory with a podium. It's not an entry level sport like triathlons. Even the beginner class or cat 5 is legit and you have to be in very fit just to not get dropped at the level. The advancement system beyond cat 5 insures that each class only has guys that had success in the previous group so the difficulty at each step up increases dramatically. It's not like a triathlete that is going for a personal best and tends to be weak except for the elite level guys. Cycling is full of strategy and structure and requires in depth training even to be a beginner.

Should be up higher. I transitioned from martial arts to downhill mountain bike racing. My saving grace was the level of fitness from karate. However I soon learned there was a lot more work. I was on my bike an average of 4-6 hours a day. Training was any combination of riding trails with jumps to hitting the gym for 2-3 hours. Sprints were the hardest: 45 seconds of riding as fast as you could from a standstill. The goal was to do as many as you could. The races, specifically downhill, are usually two and a half to eight minutes long. The format is simple, you take a lift to the top of a mountain with your bike. The course is pre marked (you usually have a day or two of practice) with a timer at the start gate up top and another timer at the finish at the bottom. The rider with the fastest or least amount of time wins. Here's the catch: ANY obstacle can be found on the course from small bridges and drops to long, rocky sections and jumps the size of buses. Of course, speed is key ...more

Bmx should be number one because you use ever single part of your body and knowledge to maneuver the bike are a circuit. it may only last 35 seconds for a pro but you are using your mental, physical and strength over the big 12 meter jumps. I'm only 15 and I train nearly every and and I'm trying my best to be one of the best there is and I have a dream of being a professional bmxer that races for Australia in the Olympic games.

Pfft 11th? Clearly most people don't know what a VO2 Max test is. cycling is the second most demanding sport in the world, only second to XC Skiing. In no other sport will you be able to burn the same calories orconsume the same amount of oxigen. Just take a look at the Tour de France (not at the commuter biker at the street). Riding 4-6 hours a day non-stop for three weeks, race pace all the time, going up docens of mountains that no horse in the world could at the pace they do. You simply have to be a cyclist to understand it.

16 Cross Country

In my mind cross country is one of the most hardest there is around, not football, not soccer, not basketball. None of those add up to cross country. It's not only a physical state but a mental state too. I'm just starting freshman year and I've ran in junior varsity but a 5k, I really realized that point in your life when you've been running for 2 miles in a meet and your coming up on the finish and you realize you don't feel anything, nothing at all. At that point the last 100 yards to go you dig down deep and push as hard as you can. That moment nothing matters but finishing, you can hear the screams of the crowds. Peace, that's peace it's like your gliding over the course, peace. That's the best part of running and few people knows how it feels but when you do know how it feels you know. No matter how much the football players talk trash you know they have no clue what hard is until they run with you.

Cross country is definitely one of the most demanding sports. It's not what most people think it is, it's not just running around. It's about pushing you until you collapse, until you're throwing up, until your knees just can't take it anymore. Also, it's most definitely not just running, it's called cross country, you run through slippery mud, you run up hills, you run through the bumpiest trails you can find. It's demanding and takes the strongest (both physically and mentally) athletes.

The strain that the body takes for competing in varsity Cross Country is amazing. A varsity athlete in high school that is a true competitor puts in 50+ miles a week. That's usually running in the morning and the afternoon along with speed workouts, hill repeats, and training for the brutal races. Along with swimming, I believe that XC is the hardest physically demanding sports.

Was doing a very challenging cross country with my high school team at high altitude, one runner collapsed, I got an asthma attack and my coach throws the inhaler at me and says "don't stop till you collapse". Finished amongst first 20 (out of over 100 runners)

17 Boxing Boxing is a martial art and combat sport in which two people wearing protective gloves throw punches at each other for a predetermined set of time in a boxing ring..

I have watched boxing for years and not until I stepped in the ring did I understand how tough it was. It is both physically demanding and mentally draining on two levels. Mentally you have to strategies like a chess player planning five moves ahead except with you whole body and mentally on another level you have to be psyched up for taking a punch or two or three or more. Total exhaustion in 30 minutes

Boxing is by far the most physically and mentally demanding sport I have ever taken part in. It takes guts just to go to the gym and deal with the punishment from the workouts, let alone stepping in the gym. It's not like UFC at all. Only striking is allowed, and it'll put a beating on your body and mind both short term and long term.

I'm a boxer and I'll tell you right now it's not a few punches then you move on; you need serious time and effort to get in the right shape and you need to be motivated and dedicated. Once you get used to the training you just go ahead and make it harder or switch some things and if your doing it right you shouldn't get used to it in the first place. Boxing is not your grandma's sport

This is the most demanding sport. You need Speed, Strength, Mentality, Endurance, Stamina, Hard Work etc. As a boxer myself I have to train everyday improving. It demands the most

18 Hockey

Hockey is the hardest team sport that is played in the world. Not only do you have the speed of the game and the blades on your feet, you also have 6'5 250 lb men that can come at you with incredible speeds. While all this is going on, you have to focus on keeping a little rubber puck under control. If you're a goalie, you have to deal with 90+ mph shots, some reaching nearly 110 mph, as well as sometimes having your vision blocked by opponents. Not to mention all the times someone has caught a skate blade in the neck and nearly bled out.

How is swimming harder than this? Hockey requires incredible strength. The durability you need along with the finesse to shoot and pass accurately is incredible. I play high school hockey and practice is every day. Before you even think about checking or shooting, you need to skate well. Forwards, backwards, side to side and you need to skate very fast all while trying to control a puck and not get killed.

In NHL can play 100 games per year in a confined area unable to run out of bounds to avoid a collision. Likely has fewer players over age 30 than any of the major sports due to the enormous wear and tear a player endures. Factor in the extreme travel as well. No other professional sport even close.

How could you forget hockey? I'm not even in high school hockey or anything yet and we have hockey at least 5 times a week and dry land training. Not to mention it costs $700 to play it. Then there's gear expenses, and you have to pay for hotels in out of town tournaments.

19 Water Polo

I want everyone to go look at what's in the two spot. Swimming. I'm a year-round swimmer and water polo player. I used to be terrible at swimming, I played water polo, died the first few practices, then got better. You know why? Because water polo is a lot harder and you need a lot more endurance. Do you have to keep your head up in swimming? No. Is someone constantly scratching, kicking, trying to exploit you weaknesses in swimming? I think not. And while all that is happening, are you trying to score goals? No. Honestly, I don't know much about field because I'm a goalie, so for all the goalies, are you throwing your self in front of a ball going at at least 18 miles per hour (Or 60 if you're against that one guy from Croatia)? No. So don't start saying swimming is harder, it's not.

I have been playing ODP water polo for the past month. It is easily the hardest sport one could possibly imagine playing. For example, I am only 13 and my ODP program requires 3 hour plus practices 3 or 4 times a week. It is exceptionally arduous, and very underrated as water polo players do not receive the credit that they deserve for partaking in such a difficult sport. It is physically and mentally demanding, for one participating in water polo is always swimming or treading water (treading water being the closest thing to a break one could get in a water polo game) and mentally demanding because one must have a strong mentality to be able to do the things required of them. Despite the fact that my overall physique is good, I often struggle to leave the pool when a heated game has come to a close.

Unlike stand-around sports (soccer, football, etc) there is no down-time when you're in the pool. Treading water is your "Standing Around." Even when you're not doing something, you're doing something.
No, I never tore an ACL, or been knocked out, but I did get plenty of bloody noses, chipped teeth, and been kicked/punched in the throat (that event will bring anybody to a full stop). I've been put in an arm-bar hold. I've seen broken fingers, noses, lots of black eyes and a dislocated shoulder (on a 50yr old masters player).
The Naval Special Warfare community (the Navy SEALs) evaluated their most successful trainees and found that water polo experience was the single most common trait.
And, it's a great sport. Really fun and a great workout. I played on a ranked college team and later in my 40's on a masters team.

I am have been a competitive swimmer since age 8 and only started water polo this year as a high school freshman. I have to say that water polo is, in fact, more difficult than swimming. I'm not just saying that as a newbie but as an opioninal fact (if that is a thing). Water polo requires more endurance and physical abilities because instead of using the water like you do in swimming you are fighting against the water and you are forced to pass, send and swim rather than just swim a straight 500 free in 6 minutes. By the end of a match you might have just swam an equivalent to a 500.

20 Full Triathlon

To do this sport, one has to also do two of the others on the list and then run on top of that. The only power comes from you the athlete. No motor on the bike. Longer races require sustaining high effort levels for hours on end. No 5, 10 or even 30 minute effort and done.

You must train like a swimmer and train for distance running- equally as hard as swimming and bike on top of it. You must've an expert on 3 areas.
Nothing I mean nothing compares to the fitness of a trial athlete! How many swimmers can run!?!? Very few.

Having trained for many sports and then adapting to Triathalon this is by far the thoughest. I raced Ironman 70.3 in 2014, Full Ironman Zurich in 2015 and now training for Ironman Maastricht in 2016- it is so hard and so demanding. The time and commitment is insane- I now look back at when I trained for just a marathon and it seems so easy compared to multi discipline sports.

Swim 2.4miles then,
Cycle 112 miles then,
Then run a marathon 26.2 miles.

Three sports you have to master.
Train every morning and every night time.
The sheer amount of dedication to training and diet. This is a 24/7 365 day sport

I do all the other sports for a laugh, they are just fun. Wanna be serious do an ironman then tell me how hard you play!

21 Tennis Tennis is a racket sport that can be played individually against a single opponent or between two teams of two players each.

Tennis is the most demanding sport. I am only 14 and take all AP classes. While doing this I train up to 40 hours a week including mental and physical training. The gym and running is a must and my diet is completely revolved around tennis. Every weekend I am shoved into a sectional or national tournament with 5AM warm ups and up to 5 matches a day. I have been doing this for 10 years and am still only on the level to play college. Tennis takes movement, endurance, coordination, and extreme strategic skill.

Tennis may not be the most demanding sport, but it certainly deserves to be top 5 on this list. Let's look at the physical, psychological, technical, and strategic demands.

Physical: Tennis is a sport that combines anaerobic and aerobic exercise to a extremely difficult level. In any match where opponents are at similar skill level (and singles players are at minimum low intermediate or doubles players are high intermediate) pacing yourself during and between points is crucial. Two hour matches are not uncommon in these situation, and in the pros, this often can expand out to 4-5 hours. But despite it being crucial to have endurance, tennis is a sport where fast sprints and constant direction change are required in almost every point. It's one thing to be able to run for an hour or two. Its another to be be sprinting half the time. And if you think that the breaks between points allow you to 'recover', think again. Sprints are anaerobic, which means breathing is limited. ...more

Tennis has a high learning curve before real enjoyment of the sport. Once at the level of a pro, mental toughness becomes the significant factor of winning. Being able to focus and play with aggression for hours sometimes five hours with wee little breaks makes this the most demanding sport.

Why is even football in the top 20. I've been playing both football and tennis my whole life and I don't get why people think football is more demanding than tennis when some football games some players only sit on the bench. No one except the top players play the whole 90 minutes.

22 Snocross

This category should be with motocross, it takes a lot of endurance and strength to hold on to those machines at top speeds, hitting jumps and half the time can't see where you are going with snow blinding the riders.

Should certainly be in the same category of motocross #1. Athletes train the same and during racing, the stamina, the physical demand is the same if not more!

I agree, Snocross is just as much demanding as Motocross and should be included with motocross as Most demanding sport!

The majority of motocross Rider do Snocross in the Winter. According to me, that was 2most harder sport

23 Football American football is a sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular field with goalposts at each end.

This is an extremely demanding sport because of the Mental and Physical toughness required to play it. As a player, I can tell you this. A) Its extremely hot. Under all of the pads (especially upper body) and on a hot day, the Oxygen you intake seems to turn to pure heat. B) Its rough. Football is not a sport for the weak and faint hearted. C) Its Exhausting. Though in between plays is a break, when the ball is actually in play, it is Physically and Mentally agonizing.

I would love for some of you people to play football. It's a hell of a lot harder than people think. It hurts. It's tough. Its hard. Its demanding you have to loft to help you. You have to know all the plays. If your a linemen you have to know all the plays and like 4 different positions and ways for each play. Running backs wide receivers and quarterbacks get hit all the time. Just because they have pads on doesn't mean it doesn't hurt

You know this is biased when the first comment is try biking instead and see how hard it is. Football is a game of seconds. You give everything in your body and every ounce of toughness that you call your own for 6 second seconds at a time. Those 6 seconds add up real fast. I wouldn't say football isn't a sport I'm sure you've never stepped on the gridiron of a high level football team

I played Varsity my Freshman year. I worked hard. But I can't say that it is as hard as Motocross or Endurocross, I race both now, and I have to say that I never worked as hard my Freshman football year then 30 minutes on a motocross track. Football deserves to be in the top 10 though.

24 Figure Skating Figure skating is a sport in which individuals, duos, or groups perform on figure skates on ice. It was the first winter sport included in the Olympics, in 1908. The four Olympic disciplines are men's singles, ladies' singles, pair skating, and ice dance.

The amount of times a skater falls before a jump is learned & until it's consistent is too many to count. The average person can barely skate never mind learning a double axel to a quad toe loop!

Figure skaters see more g force then a f 18 pilot, and hit the ground more often then a rodeo bull rider! and can do 1 legged squats all day long, marines can barely do 10!

Figure skaters are known to out do marines in 1 leg squats, they see more G force then an f18 pilot, they hit the ground more times then a bull rider, and usual;ly train 2 to 3 straight hours a day!

I am really sad right now why is skating 24th!

25 Track (Pole Vault)

You just don't know how hard it is until you hit 15' and above. Any thing lower than 15' I can see it being number 10 or below. But anything higher than 15' should be in top 3. The mental game is crazy, weather is a jerk 9/10 times, when you fall it hurts... A lot, and you fall a lot trying to get on bigger and longer poles. Plus it's a complete full body workout.

Requires incredible upper body strength, core strength, speed and balance. This is hands down the hardest sport, but probably will not win the vote because so few people understand it. Those who do will agree with me.

Son does it and all these sports are hard but running at full sprint with a 16' pole and trying to place it in a small box and then jumping completely upside down. Takes a little bit of crazy.

My daughter did this

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