Top 10 Hardest Sports to Play

Hardest sports to do that take the most skill but not given credit to.
The Top Ten
1 Gymnastics Gymnastics is a sport involving the performance of exercises requiring strength, flexibility, balance and control.

I am a gymnast, and everything in this article is very true. Moreover, there is much more work put in than what is said in this article. People don't understand that gymnastics is so much harder than the log rolls we have to do for gymnastics in gym class. They don't understand how often we get injured, and how much work is put in. It's harder than it looks.

To be honest, gymnastics is the hardest sport. I was a level 8 before I had to quit because I fractured my back. I moved to swimming and am hoping to go to the Olympics one day, but Lord help me. Gymnastics is scary. You have to force your body to do things people can't even begin to do. Don't get me wrong, swimmers. It's hard. The endurance swimming takes is a lot. It's tiring. However, we don't get many injuries. It's pretty hard to drown, and we mostly get a scrape or the occasional cramp. Gymnasts are hands down the bravest and some of the most capable people in the world.

Honestly, no other sport can possibly compare to gymnastics. When I quit three years ago, I tried out some other sports. I competed in swimming, horseback riding, and cheerleading for quite a while. I have respect for everyone who pursues these sports, but they just weren't the same level of challenge as gymnastics.

I came back to the gym this year despite the grueling practices, the pain, the inevitable injuries, and coaches who yell at you after every mistake. Gymnastics is just so hard because you are chasing perfection while doing crazy difficult things. It's a mind game. You have to force your body to get over the fear to do insane skills on a 4-inch balance beam, and don't even think about missing your hands! If you have a bad fall, you're expected to get back up and do it again until it's right.

Little girls and boys train their childhoods away with hopes of someday reaching perfection in the hardest sport in the world - gymnastics.

Finally, people always think that gymnastics is such an easy sport. Well, they obviously don't know what they're talking about. Trying gymnastics when you're little doesn't count. You don't have to do anything. All you do is prance around the gym and do nothing. If you're serious, you will get somewhere. Training for an hour after school for cheerleading is pathetic. Level 4 gymnasts train for at least three hours, four days a week. And we don't mess around when we condition either. When you commit to this sport, there is no turning back. Gymnastics is the hardest sport in the world, and for all those people who think that it's just so easy, why don't you go try to do what we can do?

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.

I personally think swimming is the hardest sport I've done. I've participated in numerous sports (gymnastics, tennis, lacrosse, basketball, etc.), but the hardest for me has been swimming. I have no animosity toward gymnastics. It is very challenging, but I found swimming to be more so. In gymnastics, I didn't have to hold my breath or adapt to cold temperatures quickly. I never had problems with breathing in gymnastics, but controlling my breath while swimming was not easy. Gymnastics is hard, but my vote goes to swimming.

Okay, I've done a lot of sports over the years, and swimming is definitely the hardest of them all. People complain about doing conditioning for most of the practice, but swimming IS conditioning. It demands every muscle in your body, and believe me, you have to be tough. In my opinion, swimming and gymnastics are the top two hardest sports. Swimming is so underestimated. Seriously.

I absolutely hate when people argue over the hardest sport because it's 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, but it's so much more than that. The sets we do are utterly grueling and demanding on 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 it's really hard to get back into practice. Swimmers are incredibly fit, and it's important to eat ...more

My whole family is made up of swimmers. I am the best according to age and skill because getting to the top requires hard work. Olympic swimmers are among the best athletes, as they dedicate so many hours to practice. This is not a sport where showing up at practice will automatically make you better. You have to give more than 100% of both your physical and mental energy.

Swimming has taught me many things, among them how to set goals and how to achieve them. But what happens when you don't achieve them? When you lose? What happens when you miss your goal by a few tenths of a second? You learn how to deal with disappointment, which is the greatest lesson of all.

You get back up. You stand tall and try again. You tell yourself that you have to keep improving. You do better than you thought possible. Your lungs burn more than you thought they could. Your legs feel heavier than lead. Your arms are sore. Your feet cramp. You choke on water. Your goggles are foggy and ...more

As a swimmer, let me tell you: swimming is brutal. You go to practice a minimum of four times a week and swim a minimum of 2.5 hours each time, with no breaks. Finished your freestyle? Time for butterfly. Came behind by 0.01 seconds? Sorry, you won't make it onto the team. The coach shouts improvements at you while you swim lap after lap. The chlorine water fills up your goggles to the point where you can't even see. Your strokes tear away at your exhausted arms and legs, all while you struggle to breathe.

In which other sport are you underwater to the point where you can't breathe? In soccer, you're on land and can at least breathe. In swimming, if you breathe, you lose time. If you lose time, you lose all those hours you spent because you didn't make the team or didn't make the cut for an event. You'll breathe only when your lungs feel like they'll burst and you'll die. There's also such precision required in the form. Do you know how hard it is to do a fast breaststroke? Or ...more

3 Horseback Riding Horseback riding (or Equestrian) is one of the most intense sports known to man. Not only because it's physically challenging, but it takes more than athleticism. Horseback riding takes commitment, time, patience, and most importantly building a bond with your horse. If you don't have a good relationship with your horse, you're not going to have a good experience. You need to spend as much time with your horse as you can, riding and on the ground. You need to learn how to work with your horse, not against your horse. It's a team sport, a team of two. more.

In no way does the horse do all of the work. Heels down, toes up, calves back and on, supporting the horse - back straight, shoulders back, hands low, and still in constant contact with the horse's 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 worrying about exactly how fast or where it's going. You're posting or rising up and down in the saddle with almost no help from the stirrups. You're 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 being constantly aware of every part of your body and your horse's at every second while moving at 20 mph, making hairpin turns, and jumping fences. Despite the speed, ...more

I've ridden for ten years. Believe me, it is the most difficult sport. Anyone who says differently is wrong. Most people argue that equestrian isn't a sport because the only experience they've had is a beach ride while on vacation. That is not riding.

I'm a show jumper. Here's what I do: I mount a 1,500-pound animal, trained all winter and at its peak, and hurdle myself over four-foot obstacles that are often three feet wide. I whip around corners as fast as possible without knocking anything down.

Yes, the horse plays a significant role in the sport, but when I'm racing around the competition ring, who do you think is keeping that animal balanced? Who is telling the horse exactly where to place each foot, every single step of the way? Moreover, in judged classes, you have to make it look smooth and elegant.

Many people say you don't have to be fit for equestrian. That's not true. While I admit I'm not a runner or a swimmer, most people can't match the power in my ...more

It is the thing that keeps us breathing, living, and being. It is more than a sport. It is a life. One little thing - one millimeter more rein on one side - and you could die. A butterfly could change whether you ride off or are taken away in an ambulance. You are going 45 mph toward something that won't move if you hit it. Your teammate is something ten times bigger than you and can kill you as easily as you breathe.

There is no safety. There is no perfection. And there is no redo. There is no bench. We ARE the secret athletes who put our lives in the hooves of a flight animal, and others say it's easy. There is no easy. There is no turning back. You have to commit, or you are falling off.

I am a cheerleader. I get thrown 20 feet in the air. Every time, there is a possibility that my team will not catch me. If they don't, I land on 3-inch mats. But in riding, when I fall from that height, there is no one there. There is no one to catch me. I am falling either on the ...more

I have been horseback riding for five years. I've also participated in gymnastics, played softball, swam competitively, and played golf for eight years. Not to take anything away from other sports that require hard work, but horseback riding is by far the most difficult. In no other sport do you have to control both yourself and an animal that is ten times stronger than you. A horse can spook, go after other horses, and buck you off, and you have to control him with your leg. Do you have any idea how much strength that takes?

Let me emphasize: you control a 1,400-pound animal with your leg. I only weigh 80 pounds, so it takes considerable muscle. Not only that, but you also have to maintain posture with all parts of your body, as well as the horse's body. Did I mention that you still have to hold that position while jumping a three-foot fence?

You can never be perfect at horseback riding. There's always room for improvement.

Not only is it one of the most ...more

4 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.

Figure skating is for sure the hardest sport. In addition to what everyone else has said, there is a huge mental aspect to it, something that most sports players don't even understand. Sometimes you can be so afraid to fall on that hard ice that you psych yourself out and can't even execute the jump you've been attempting for years.

Gymnasts and cheerleaders feel pain, but the floor they work on gives in and is slightly bouncy. Ice is 100% hard and hurts much worse than any fall I've taken in gymnastics. I have a bruise that has been on my knee for at least two years, and I keep falling on it, so it will probably never heal. It hurts sometimes when I put just a tiny amount of pressure on it.

People often think that once you learn how to skate, you will suddenly be able to perform all the spins and jumps we do. That is ridiculous. You will break something if you try to figure skate after just learning how to glide around the ice.

I am a figure skater. I started four months ago and am now in freestyle 1. It is so hard! When you fall, sometimes you don't want to get up. But you have to! To be able to do any jump, you must be flexible. When you watch the Olympics, it seems like the girls' legs are naturally flexible. They were born that way.

Achieving height is so difficult. One of the most basic jumps, the waltz jump, isn't easy to execute with height without making it look ungraceful. It looks so easy, but the reason it looks easy is that the skater is so skilled. Don't judge a sport until you've tried it. You might not get tired if you've never ice skated before and are just going for fun. But you have to admit it is hard!

Just skating is hard. Not to mention that more than half the people who go ice skating don't even skate. They walk on ice as if they were walking on the floor! Most people don't even know how to tie their skates.

It's very difficult because it's not only physically demanding but also mentally demanding. Most of the time, you aren't with a team, so it's all on you to do your best. Everything has to be perfect in your technique to be the best. Even if you have great jumps and spins, your expression also has to be perfect. They don't care if you're smiling or not in football.

When you are synchronized skating, like me, you have to work together as a team both mentally and physically. If you don't, you could cause a collision, and someone could get seriously hurt. Judges judge you on the ability to perform movements in unison. There are many other aspects that go along with figure skating: dance, moves in the field, freestyle, synchronized, and pairs.

Figure skating is my favorite Olympic event by far because it's actually entertaining to watch. It's not fun to watch football because you know what they're going to do: run across the field with a ball and maybe throw it a few times. ...more

I have only dreamed about figure skating up to this point, but one thing is clear: it takes dedication, skill, and many other things that I hadn't even considered. You have to condition your muscles and take ballet to even be considered for entering a competition. This is, of course, after you take many courses, and possibly even private lessons if you can't get the hang of it.

Many people practice for years and cannot make it to nationals because the mental, physical, and emotional strain is too much. To think that walking backward is hard enough. Consider the courage and skill it takes to skate at high speeds backward. Then, at the perfect timing, you jump into the air, spin, and land on the edge of a 4 mm blade. I believe this is the sport of aerodynamics and warriors.

5 Ice Hockey

You can imagine Zdeno Chara as a star basketball player, or Pavel Datsyuk as a speedy soccer player. You can even imagine Jarome Iginla playing professional baseball because he actually did. But can you imagine LeBron James, Cristiano Ronaldo, or Miguel Cabrera quickly getting into hockey? No. None of them have likely ever worn ice skates. While anyone can mount a horse, throw a football, wrestle, or row with a slight amount of practice (I understand the difficulty of becoming skilled), hockey requires the ability to skate. And not just a little bit. You NEED to be an excellent skater to play the game at all. Hockey is tough. Period.

Hockey is the hardest, no matter what everybody else says! You can learn to run by the age of 3! If you can do gymnastics at 2, it's not hard. Do you know why we wear equipment? It's because there are 9 other people on the ice going 90 miles per hour, all going for the same puck! People say hockey isn't hard, but in order to play this beautiful sport, you must have the strength and power of a football player, the stamina of a marathon runner, and the concentration of a brain surgeon. So, tell me if it is hard or not. Don't give me that nonsense about gymnastics being so hard. It doesn't hold a candle to ice hockey!

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

If you go by the six sports-related skills, hockey is most likely the most difficult sport to play. The six sports-related skills are endurance, power, strength, speed, agility, and hand-eye coordination.

Hockey requires a high demand for all these skills. It frustrates me to see people saying that other sports are more difficult. Yes, they probably are really difficult in some of the categories mentioned above, but you can't say swimming and cross-country require hand-eye coordination or agility.

Let's play a game, people. It's called Figure It Out.

6 Water Polo

Nobody's ever attempted to rip my swimsuit off and use me as a human backboard while swimming - just at water polo. As someone 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 when you have moments of rest, you're still treading water, which takes energy.

At the same time, you have to be aware of the other players in the pool and the position of the ball. You 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 they can think of to gain an advantage.

Water polo is like soccer, basketball, swimming, and wrestling all rolled into one sport. Moreover, you have to avoid drowning when opponents have all their weight on you. People often think it's not a hard sport because you're just floating in the water. However, they don't understand that even if you aren't moving up or down the pool, players are still treading water.

Yes, broken bones are less common because the water acts as a buffer. But consider how hard someone has to get hit to actually break something. I've had my nose broken, and I know many other people who have as well. It takes serious strength to do that in the water. In my opinion, water polo is one of the toughest, hardest, most strenuous, and underrated games out there.

You play water polo for the first time, and you feel like you're going to die. It is the most grueling sport there is. The conditioning is harder than what swimmers do. The games are fights underwater, with additional conditioning above the surface. The mental stress put on players during the game is intense. It's a struggle not to break down and give up when your body is crying out in pain. There truly isn't anything harder to play.

Especially when the guy you're guarding gives you the look. This look tells you he wants to tear you apart and score a goal. If you ever doubt that water polo is the most difficult sport, look at the men and women who play it. You have to look like them and be strong like them to stand a chance in this sport.

I play water polo competitively. I don't think people realize how tough and hard water polo is to play. If the game is not running time, then it can go on for up to an hour. Go to your local pool and tread water for 1 hour, while swimming as fast as you can back and forth without touching the bottom of the pool. Then add in someone who is bigger and stronger than you trying to drown you, all while you're trying to keep a ball away from them and get it into their net.

When I was 12, I got a concussion from an 18-year-old guy (I'm a girl) when I was checking him for a game. I have been used as a human backboard, and the number of bruises and scratches I get is insane. Imagine playing a sport in which your opposing team sharpens their fingernails and toenails for optimal scratching effect. It's so common that referees have to check nails before every single game for fear someone's eyes will get scratched out. I have so much more to say, but I won't because I have a 3-hour water ...more

7 Freestyle Wrestling

Competition cheerleading? Are you serious? How does that make any sense? You're competing, and you have to have spot-on timing and accuracy. In wrestling, you need not only your own accuracy but also precision to a tee. Mess up a move, and you're broken. I'm talking metal plates attached to collarbones and potentially life-ruining accidents. There's no one else to help you. There's no "team" on that mat. It's just you and the other guy, nine minutes, and a lot of pain. If you get hurt, you keep wrestling. If you're bleeding, you keep wrestling. I've watched guys with broken collarbones continue wrestling because they felt as though they had to. The level of dedication it takes to wrestle is unmatched by any other sport, period.

Adding onto the physical challenge of wrestling, you also have the mental pains. When someone is bending your arm behind you in an attempt to make you move and you're not supposed to, it takes as much mental strength as anything else in the world. You ...more

Whoever ranked these sports is nuts. Gymnastics and wrestling should be at the top, with wrestling ranked higher. These sports require the use of every muscle, mental clarity, speed, balance, agility, flexibility, endurance, and strength.

Wrestling always has an opponent working against the athlete as a complete unknown, countering every move. The wrestler not only has to be aggressive, but also offensive and defensive, all at the same time. A wrestler can't choose to compete only in competitions that support their strengths. He must participate in neutral, defensive, and offensive positions.

For example, a wrestler may be strong at double-leg takedowns, but has to wrestle an opponent who wrestles from their knees in a neutral position, completely taking away his advantage. Whereas, gymnasts choose to compete in their strongest areas. A person who cannot balance on the beams doesn't have to compete and can stick to floor competition. Bars, mats, trampolines - these are ...more

I think wrestling is by far the hardest sport out there. If someone tries it in middle school, it probably wasn't that hard. However, as soon as high school and college hit, the intensity level goes higher than any other sport I've been a part of or have watched.

Not only do we have two-hour-long practices in a 90+ degree room, but there is also a weight room session afterward 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. Additionally, there is out-of-practice conditioning if you want to be any good. This is usually done in full sweats or plastics if you happen to be really overweight that week.

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 if you want to be any good at it. I always wrestled in every off-season tournament that I could find. During the ...more

Wrestling is hands down the hardest sport out there. When I first started wrestling, I really didn't think it would be very hard. There's no running involved, and no real hitting, so how hard can it be? I was dead wrong. This isn't wrestling your brother who's five years younger than you in your living room. This is going against someone the same weight as you, using every muscle in their body to keep themselves up and you down.

Think of arm wrestling. You know the feeling where you're both the same strength, pushing as hard as you can to see who will quit first? Now imagine your whole body feeling that. And if you lose, you walk away after feeling that pain with nothing but embarrassment. And that's just the matches. Don't even get me started on practice, where you're worked even harder than in matches, in an 85-degree (or more) room to cut weight. It is grueling. The other sports ahead of this (other than maybe gymnastics) don't require the strength and will to compete and ...more

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

Wrestling is hard because of the time and effort required. While anyone can try wrestling, those who excel are the ones who put in the necessary effort and time. People often underestimate the level of preparation it takes to be a wrestler. It's comparable to being in the military. In wrestling, you don't even have time to think. You just act. This level of automaticity takes practice. You must drill each move at least 1,000 times to perfect it. And that's just one aspect of the sport.

Cutting and maintaining weight is another challenging part. Wrestlers often go to bed hungry and endure exhausting weight-cutting routines. Sometimes you find yourself questioning why you're even participating. The wrestlers who truly desire success are those who drill relentlessly and commit to running at least three miles a day. Yet, these dedicated individuals often go unnoticed. Critics label the sport as homosexual without understanding the discipline and rigor involved. Most of these ...more

Okay, here's the thing: everyone is biased when claiming their sport is the hardest. Sure, I can see why swimming, water polo, and gymnastics are ranked highly. However, many people don't understand wrestling and, therefore, don't recognize its difficulty. Instead, they focus on misguided perceptions about the sport's image. In wrestling, practices consist of continuous conditioning and strength endurance. You're grappling with all your might for six minutes, sometimes more or less depending on your performance, against an opponent doing the same. Additionally, what other sport incorporates both blood time and injury time?

The only people who say wrestling isn't the hardest sport are those who are afraid to try it. Wrestling demands not just discipline but also endurance, strength, speed, skill, heart, and more. That's why most people who try wrestling quit early in the season. I once invited a basketball player into the wrestling room because he claimed it was easy. He ended up throwing up during warm-ups. I've participated in soccer, rugby, rugby 7's, football, and cross country, and I can confidently say that wrestling is the hardest sport I've encountered.

Wrestling is by far the most difficult sport available. While it's tough to argue which sport is more taxing during the actual activity - since everyone insists their sport is the hardest - certain elements are undeniably more challenging in wrestling. Swimming may be difficult because you can't always breathe, but in swimming, you're not being choked for 30 seconds while fighting off your back. Wrestling demands more physically from you in a short period than any other sport. I'm more tired after wrestling all out for 5 minutes than after running a 5k in Cross Country or doing anything else.

What truly makes wrestling the king of most difficult sports is the commitment it requires off the mat. Imagine doing any of the sports on this list. Now imagine doing that same sport without eating for the previous two days because you need to make weight. Additionally, you have to run for an hour in a 100-degree room to lose weight. In the end, wrestling is, without a doubt, the hardest ...more

9 Cross Country

I have seen runners chewing on their own jerseys as they push towards the last stretch of a course. This sport is both mentally and physically challenging. I've also seen athletes sail across the finish line in record time, only to throw up anything they may have had in their empty stomachs. As any parent of a cross-country athlete will tell you, most athletes don't eat right before running.

To run competitively, you must commit to an insane amount of running, aerobic training, strength training, and physical activity per week. My son averaged 40-60 miles a week for the better part of the year to stay mentally and physically fit for this sport. His race pace averaged 6.18 minutes per mile, which wasn't even close to what he needed to be considered competitive.

He ran in rain, intense heat, muddy terrain, uphill, downhill, and slippery slopes. He competed against others who would sometimes trip competitors - yes, I know that's unsportsmanlike, but it happens - if they ...more

Cross-country is so physically demanding and takes forever to get used to. I feel bad for the 5- or 6-year-olds whose parents make them run this sport even though they can't stand it. In my opinion, that's a cruel thing and should count as child abuse. I've been doing it for over 5 years now, and I just started enjoying it, which takes a long time.

You're running up and down hills, through extreme weather late in the season, and through the most mentally challenging moments of your life. Speaking of weather, it takes almost nothing for them to cancel races. Last year, we had nationals and it had stormed the night before. The field was muddy, a cold front brought insane wind, and the wind chill dropped from the 50s to the single digits. Guess what? Another storm came in, our race got called back because of hail, and they still didn't cancel it. All they did was postpone it another 30 minutes.

Then there was another time when a tornado touched down in my town. They said, ...more

Oh, please. Do you wake up at five in the morning to go to cheer practice? Even the horses are asleep by then! How far is an easy run for you? For us, it's three miles. We don't stop. Ever.

We push through the pain, the blood, the sweat. We don't have a routine to practice. You think running is easy? If your stride is messed up, you can pull and fracture muscles and bones. You may even need knee replacements. If you're under-prepared for a race, you won't make it. You have to train all year round.

This isn't about scheduled practices. It's about getting up early before school by yourself and pushing yourself to do better, to strive for a better time. Your routine is two minutes? Two minutes can make a huge change. Two minutes of hard work doesn't compare to 45. We push. We give it our all.

You can't go home and eat all the junk food you want. You have to eat healthy and keep your body clean. There's no break. No bench, no stop. You can't have water while you ...more

I don't know why everyone is bashing other sports. Why even compare your sport to others? It is what it is. All I know is that cross country is hard - deathly hard. There have been times during a race when I've actually wished my leg would break so I could stop. I have honestly never gone through as much pain as what I have during races.

It's a god-awful pain that you wouldn't understand unless you went through it. There is no way to explain that distinct pain you start to feel after mile one. It gets exponentially worse, and you've still got multiple miles left. Like I said, I'm not going to compare cross country to other sports because I haven't done them. But I can say, without a doubt, that cross country is as hard as it gets.

It literally requires your 100%. Most people don't grasp the meaning of 100%. That's it - every drop of energy you have to give. You CANNOT exceed 100%. It is impossible. If you have 10 marbles in a bag, you can't take 11 out of the bag. Ten ...more

10 Motorcross

I've participated in motocross for many years, and even a single day at the track leaves me incredibly sore the next day. I've been knocked out twice in races and have had four concussions. Motocross is often overlooked, but there's a reason for that: it requires time, patience, balance, and skill. It's a lost art, but those born into it know exactly what I'm talking about.

Some might argue that taking a big right hook in MMA or boxing requires more endurance than a 30-minute moto with two extra laps. These people have obviously never even sat on a dirt bike, let alone ridden one. In my opinion, as an experienced rider, motocross is the most physically demanding sport in the world. Cheerleading may be cool, but to a contact sport player or a motocross rider, it's not a sport. When someone talks about a motocross injury, it usually involves a broken bone, a deep cut, or a brain injury. In contrast, a dance or cheerleading injury might be, "Oh, I just sprained my ankle! Someone ...more

I've been riding for about 10 years. I've had too many concussions to count, two broken collarbones, four teeth knocked out by a handlebar, four implants, a broken rib, countless finger injuries, and a compressed spine. Despite all this, I still ride every week and love the sport. I can't get enough.

Motocross is by far the hardest sport I've encountered. I've tried my hand at soccer, American football, lacrosse, baseball, golf, and free-diving - none of these even come close to motocross. The second hardest sport for me was honestly golf. Getting that ball into the hole from 400+ yards away is no small feat. In any case, if you've never ridden a motocross bike, you can't appreciate how demanding it is. Those of us who have tried other sports know motocross is unparalleled.

Motocross is not just about sitting on a dirt bike and twisting the throttle around a circle. You need the courage to make 100-ft jumps and ride a turn at full throttle, leaning into the bike and putting pressure on the outside peg. I have been racing motocross for 5 years. During this time, I've broken my foot, bruised my kidney, and suffered three concussions. Despite these challenges, my love for the sport will never end. Riding for just 30 minutes can burn about 1,000 calories, and it's so demanding that your arms get so tired you can't even hold onto the bike anymore. If you think the sport is easy, then try to hang with us!

A guy told me motocross isn't that hard and that baseball is harder. This was my reply.

First off, it's Motocross. So you say Motocross isn't a physically demanding sport? Well, let me share some knowledge with you. Getting tackled by 250 pounds going 20 mph? How about getting hit by a 235-pound metal bike going 45 mph? Constantly squatting down and jumping explosively to block a shot? How about squatting every time you hit a jump, bringing a 235-pound bike with you by squeezing it with your legs? Getting tripped on your shin at full speed? Yeah, that's gotta hurt, but not worse than getting sideways on a bike and taking a handlebar to the gut, which can slice your insides open like bread. Get hit 200 times in a matter of minutes. What sport is that? Definitely not football, basketball, soccer, or wrestling. How about getting hit 200 times in a race with flying rocks traveling at 60 mph, cutting your flesh? I have holes in my jerseys from roost and scars to prove it too. A dirt ...more

The Contenders
11 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.

I have been playing soccer all my life, and I can tell you that it's 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've tried sprinting at your fastest speed, you can't comment.

At higher levels of soccer, you encounter more physicality. You have girls who are bigger and older than you, slide tackling you, tripping you, body-checking you, and pushing you down. Soccer also has many aspects and different roles to make a team function.

You have to have a goalkeeper who needs to be quick on her feet and strong enough to stop shots that could go over 40 mph. As a defender, I have to make the decision when to attack the ball. I need to be quick but also need to hold my ground, so I don't get run over by an oncoming attacker. A midfielder needs to have endurance. These players act as both a forward and a ...more

Soccer is definitely the hardest sport I have ever played in my entire life. I've tried just about every sport imaginable: figure skating, competition cheerleading, competition swimming, gymnastics, etc. Only some of those sports compare to the level of skill, strength, speed, and motivation that soccer requires.

In soccer, you have to have aggression for the ball, something you can't teach. You also have to engage in various types of core training and running. How is cheerleading harder? I did cheerleading, and it wasn't even that challenging. It's only hard if you aren't good at it!

Swimming was probably the easiest sport I have ever played. But then again, how hard could a combination of floating, kicking, and arm strokes in a chlorine pool be? I can agree that gymnastics is one of the hardest sports, but figure skating? Really? Figure skating was again among some of the easiest skills for me.

Soccer is by far one of the hardest sports out there. I do gymnastics, and soccer is harder. I've done track and cross country, and soccer is harder. I've also played basketball and baseball, and soccer is definitely harder. When was the last time you wrote a paragraph with your foot? That's right, never. In soccer, you use your feet, not your hands, which opens up a whole new area of your body to master.

I play midfield in soccer, and I can run up to 7 miles in a game, maybe more. I sprint, I jog, I kick, and I think. That's another thing: you actually have to think when you play soccer. In cross country, you run, but you don't think. I'm not saying that soccer is absolutely the hardest sport, but it is most definitely harder than most sports.

What the heck? 17?! Soccer is by far the most difficult sport ever. I want to see any other sport athlete control the ball like us soccer players do, run back and forth for 90 minutes, and get knocked over by the other team because soccer is a huge contact sport, and still fight through it.

With 11 players on the gigantic field and only 3 subs, there are no timeouts. You will most likely need lots of rest because we are used to doing things with our hands, which makes other sports so much easier. But in soccer, you have to do amazing things with your feet, head, and almost every other body part. Soccer is exhausting. Gymnastics is supposedly the hardest sport (according to you), and you are up there for what? 2 minutes? This is an absolute joke.

12 Competiton Cheerleading

Cheerleading is the hardest sport I have ever participated in. If you think we just cheer and shake pom-poms, you're mistaken. We do intense stunting, tumbling, and jumping. Cheerleading is the biggest time commitment I have made in my life. If you think we are weak, think again. We undergo extensive conditioning.

Cheerleading is definitely the hardest sport I've ever done. People tell me that cheerleading isn't a sport or that all it is, is a bunch of girls clapping and yelling. It's much harder and more complex than that. I've cheered for about 8 years now, and it keeps getting harder and harder.

In the past, I've played soccer, softball, and I danced. None of them compare to how hard cheerleading is. You can get very, very injured if you make the slightest mistake. It's a HUGE team sport. Cheerleaders have to rely on their teammates to keep them safe.

It's really complicated to learn all the chants and cheers because you have to remember the words and moves. Learning the dances is also very hard because you have to remember which move goes on which count, and everyone has to hit their specific move on the right count or the routine won't look right. The conditioning is also a very hard part of cheerleading. People should go out and cheer. See how long they can take it.

Everyone thinks that any type of cheerleading is jumping around on a mat and screaming... But that is NOT the case. I want a football player to jump into our stunts, do the tumbling we do, perform the routines we do, and make it look as easy as we do. Even though I think most of us have those days where we don't want to go to practice, I don't think I could ever say wrestling is just boys rolling around on the floor with other sweaty boys because I haven't tried it before and don't know the endurance it might take. Therefore, it's not fair that people who haven't tried cheer before, and perform the 2-minute and 30-second routines we do.

People say that "it's not a sport because it has judges"... Are you serious? Do you really want to go there? What about figure skating, gymnastics, or competitive dance? People say that these are sports, but don't they have judges too? Let's have someone who plays football, basketball, wrestling, or anything else that is a typical sport come to ...more

Cheerleading is difficult because it isn't just one skill or sport to master. It's a combination of dance, tumbling, and stunts, making it like three sports in one. The sad reality is that many people don't recognize its difficulty because high school cheerleading is what's mainstream. Most high school teams, though not all, are not at the caliber they should be to be considered difficult.

Competitive or All-Star cheerleading, on the other hand, is a whole different world. I've been living in that world for about 12 years now, and the lengths to which these athletes push their bodies still amazes me. Check out some of the routines and teams from the All-Star Worlds Competition in Florida every year. If you then try to say it's not a sport, you will definitely think again.

13 Rowing

You have two choices: school or crew. Pick your poison. Crew has practices year-round, every day of the week, even in the mornings before school. It's too cold outside to run? Get on the Ergometer. It's raining and you're freezing? Put on a jacket and launch your boat. Your hands hurt? Take a 2k test. Your legs are cramping and you're on the edge of blacking out? Keep drinking water and keep rowing. If you stop, you lose the race. No lie.

Crew is a lifestyle. Unlike other conventional sports where people play for fun and pleasure, an athlete must absolutely love crew to keep working. Without a shadow of a doubt, an athlete can bring down their team and, in turn, lose the race. It's much different than shooting a ball into a basket or hitting a ball with a racket. There's more to this sport than meets the eye. It's a way of life.

So stop complaining about face masks, flat balls, or rained-out fields. Put down those protective pads, that bat, and that basketball if they're ...more

Rowing is so much harder than 13th! This sport should really be much further up on this list. I agree with other people here: cheerleading and similar sports have nothing on rowing. Try the early mornings and the extremely hard trainings where you want to vomit because you're so dizzy and out of breath. Every muscle in your body hurts.

This is not an easy sport. It requires a lot of technique and hard work. Between the cost, early mornings, and frequent training sessions, it should be much further up the list. Plus, as others have said, you need to keep in perfect time with other people and make sure you don't let them down. That means racing your hardest, no matter how much you wish you could stop or take a break. You have to keep going. This makes it a lot more demanding than anything else, especially cheerleading.

There is nothing harder than rowing. Because it's a sport that engages your entire body, you have the ability to expend all the energy you have. I train for five hours a day, six days a week, and I'm just a high school rower. In Motocross, breaking legs, undergoing surgery, and "surviving concussions" don't make you brave or a good athlete. They simply mean you've broken your leg, had surgery, and suffered concussions.

The thing about rowing is that when you want to give up, you can't. You can't even entertain the thought of giving up, because if you do, you won't be able to focus on perfecting each part of the stroke. Trust me, I've tried almost every sport on this list. The first time I rowed, I was amazed at how difficult and addictive it was.

Rowing is definitely harder than Cross Country or Figure Skating, both of which are endurance sports. In race sports like these, you can go at your own pace if you're reaching your breaking limit. However, in a rowing eight, you can't stop if you're in pain, or else the whole crew suffers. You have to keep going.

Horseback Riding and Motocross, while causing a lot of pain, don't build much muscle. A sport isn't necessarily difficult just because you're afraid of being thrown and breaking something. It simply means you can endure a high amount of pain.

Athletes from these other sports should try a 2k test, then claim their sport is the hardest. And it's obvious a girl made this list. Competition Cheerleading? Please.

14 Bull Riding Bull riding is a rodeo sport that involves a rider getting on a bucking bull and attempting to stay mounted while the animal tries to buck off the rider.American bull riding has been called "the most dangerous eight seconds in sports." To receive a score, the rider must stay atop the bull for eight seconds with the use of one hand gripped on a bull rope tied behind the bull's forelegs.

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

The fact of the matter is that you're dealing with a thousand-pound animal between your legs and you're told to hang on. I'm not saying this just because I've witnessed bad incidents. I've personally sustained injuries from it. Therefore, I don't understand why horseback riding is ranked higher than bull riding. I train horses as a hobby, and they aren't that difficult to ride.

Like one of the last comments said, you're on a bull that's a lot of muscle. It's just jumping up in the air, twisting around, trying to get you off. It may only be an 8-second ride, but every second before and after that, until you get out of the arena, is life or death.

I ride bulls for a living, and bull riding is way tougher than any other sport I've participated in. I've been in the hospital 24 times for head injuries, chest injuries, broken bones, and so forth. You are going against a 2,000-pound animal that's more dangerous than anything else.

15 American Football

Football is one of the toughest sports. Grown men colliding is always going to be difficult. However, it's not very "hard." You don't get much of a break, but you get some, and any break is better than none. It's not a very physically demanding sport. The hardest part about football? The practices. Sports like soccer, rowing, or water polo are much harder. Put a soccer player in pads and make him a running back? He'll almost certainly struggle. But put a football player in a rowing boat, and he'll place last. Football belongs higher on the list, but not in the top 10. I have played many sports, and football had the worst practices by far, but the games were manageable.

This is the worst list I have ever seen. Football at 20? Really? Competitive dancing is ten spots higher, let alone swimming being number two. I played football in parks and rec when I was a lot younger, and it was hardcore. One time, some kid got hit so hard he broke some ribs, and they had an ambulance come out onto the field to bring him to the hospital. This is parks and rec for middle school, not even a middle school team. Now, bring it up quite a few notches to the pros, and people are tearing ACLs left and right, breaking ankles, and getting concussed every week. Football is without a doubt in the top 2 or 3.

It's really hard to catch with all the gear on. The gear weighs you down too. People think that football players are weak because of the gear, but try to run, catch, and do everything else while wearing it. The helmets block your view when catching, and you can't run as fast. Also, those huge linebackers just got even bigger with that gear on. People are always saying, "Come have a football player do our practice." How about you go and do a football practice? The conditioning might be easy, but let's add in getting plowed into the dirt. Also, consider the 20-30 pounds of gear on your back.

Football is one of the most difficult sports because it requires incredible physical and mental ability. While many sports listed are almost purely physical, football requires players to process a lot of information and react very quickly. This is all happening while 300-pound players are coming at you. I know it may not be in the top 5, but it deserves a spot in the top 10. Also, the comment that a football player would lose in a rowing competition is irrelevant. Any athlete would lose when competing against elite competition in a sport they've never played.

16 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..

It's easy when treated as a hobby. You just punch and jab the bag. But when it comes to competitive training, that's where you actually understand boxing, and not many people realize how hard boxing is. You have to work on your footwork, usually the hardest part, and polish your moves such as hooks, uppercuts, and jabs. You also have to choose what technique fits you best.

When it comes to challenging someone, you have to be focused and time your attacks, combinations, and defenses, or else you will suffer a loss. It's not recommended to self-learn if you're really into boxing, or else you'll just develop bad habits. It's ranked as the toughest sport and it's definitely not for the faint of heart, but I love it.

Really? Soccer harder than boxing? Or anything harder than boxing for that matter? No. Imagine being across a boxing ring with a man that wants to hurt you, badly. Not only does the nerve aspect of this sport take the cake, but you must also have speed, power, endurance, durability, agility, flexibility, immense skill, and pretty much every other aspect of physical strength, speed, and endurance.

For all you people putting soccer and all those other sports above the sweet science, you probably have never been in a ring yourself or out on the road at 5:00 A.M., running your daily 3-6 miles.

I want to laugh at all the sports placed before boxing. I did gymnastics, wrestled in high school, played football in both high school and college, played baseball in high school, and also boxed during my college years. Hands down, boxing was the most demanding sport. Not only is it hard to do and demanding, but people must also understand that the objective in boxing is to punch someone to knock them out cold. That takes a lot of guts to participate in.

Boxers don't tap out like MMA fighters, nor do they wrestle or do groundwork where some rest period can be taken. Over 70 to 80 percent of their punches are aimed at the head of your opponent. I've done other "games" too, like golf and bowling, and I call them "games" because although they are difficult to master, they are definitely not manly "sports." Anytime you are dressed to go to church, you can't call that a sport.

I used to think I was in really good shape from football and basketball until I went to my first boxing class. I sweated like crazy. A lot of people think that all you do is just learn to punch. However, you have to learn to be fast, strong, and patient. You also have to be able to be physically and mentally beaten, but still put your all into it.

My classes are incredibly hard. We are constantly working out and just wishing for the class to end. We aren't trying to impress judges. We are trying to knock our opponent out, and he is doing the same. It's pretty hard to look at who you are fighting and see his cold eyes. People say they know pain tolerance, but try to withstand getting punched repeatedly by a trained person who can make his punch have its full power. Boxing is a tiring and rigorous sport, but an amazing one.

17 Basketball Basketball is a sport played by two teams of five players on a rectangular court. The objective is to shoot a ball through a hoop 18 inches in diameter and 10 feet high mounted to a backboard at each end.

Here's the thing about basketball that many people don't understand. Whether you play professionally or just in an average pickup game, you're going to get hit - hit hard in your face, sternum, hip, or any other vulnerable area. This also applies to highly talented players. It's difficult to defend against a skilled player without fouling them. You can also roll your ankle occasionally.

Playing basketball isn't easy. You can easily get injured while playing. I am a basketball player and sometimes I hurt my ankle because I play really hard.

If you want to be a basketball player, you have to have the skills to fit into the game. Consistent practice is crucial. On our team, people run 12 to 15 laps for practice. To keep our skills sharp, we start with running 5 laps every practice and gradually add more to improve our speed.

Basketball isn't as easy as it seems. The sport involves running, lifting weights, hand-eye coordination, fast reflexes, courage, agility, and accuracy. It's like taking one part from every sport and putting it together to create basketball. The training is intense, and injuries are common. Whether it's turning too quickly, getting ankle-broken, or being elbowed, injuries happen easily.

There's way more to basketball than people think. It requires physical strength, agility, focus, and hard work, among other things. It's not just about shooting a ball at a basket. To be a basketball player, you need extensive knowledge about the game and a lot of talent. It takes athleticism and mental focus. Basketball is more than just scoring. It's more than running up and down the court, and it's more than being able to shoot. Basketball is underrated.

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

I can't believe tennis ranks so low on this list. While I don't think it's the most physically demanding sport, it is by far the hardest mentally. I've been a tennis player since I was four, aiming to go professional. The physical aspect is incredibly hard. You cry, tear muscles, play through pain, and even throw up. However, this is the case for most sports.

I think it's ridiculous to place any team sport ahead of tennis. In a team sport, you can help each other, but in tennis, you're alone in the sun for 2-3 hours. People who haven't played tennis at a reasonable level can't understand how much of the sport is mental and the amount of pressure on players at all times. They don't realize that you could be a set and 5-0 up and still lose due to a loss of momentum from a single point. Overall, I believe tennis is the most difficult sport to play and is seriously underestimated.

Tennis is #20? That is an absolute joke. In a couple of weeks, you will probably (once again) see Rafael Nadal play Novak Djokovic in the finals of the Australian Open. As usual, they will play for about 5 1/2 hours in 100-degree weather with no significant stoppage in play - no halftime, no endless basketball timeouts. They might be only a day removed from having both been in similar semi-final matches, plus the accumulation of punishment from the rest of the tournament. Add to that the lack of an off-season. Make no mistake about it, people: if you tune in to the Australian Open Finals, you will be watching the two best athletes on the planet. Period. End of story.

I appreciate the grace, strength, and focus necessary to be an elite gymnast, but their routines are short with long breaks in between, and always in a climate-controlled environment. I could go on and on, but the bottom line is: pick a gymnast - ANY gymnast - and if you think that person is a better athlete than ...more

I highly disagree with everything on this list. People will naturally vote for sports they have been playing or favor because of their own experiences. First, we need to define what "hard" means. Then, perhaps, we can have separate voting categories based on factors such as strength, durability, dexterity, endurance, and flexibility. I honestly don't believe tennis is the hardest sport in the world, although I do think it's in the top ten. I'm disappointed that tennis ranks behind sports that can be learned and played at a national level in just 3-4 years. It took me that long just to be able to play a semi-consistent forehand. In conclusion, this entire list is completely subjective and lacks any sort of validity.

Tennis is greatly underestimated! I expected it to be in at least the top ten, but 21? Tennis requires a lot of agility, strength, and mental fortitude - unless you're a beginner. People underestimate this sport because, when they play, a point lasts only about 5 seconds. However, the better you get, the longer the rallies become, and the harder you are able to hit. The pressure in a game is extremely intense, and hot weather only exacerbates it.

You have to play for hours in the scorching sun while maintaining a close focus on the ball. Technique is crucial. A single twitch can make the ball fault or hit the net. A lot of strategy is needed too. You have to identify your opponent's weakness and exploit it. In summary, tennis should rank higher on the list than gymnastics or dancing.

19 Synchronized Swimming

Synchronized swimming is definitely the hardest sport. It requires endurance, flexibility, strength, mental strength, and a lot of determination. If you think synchro is easy, you're wrong. Have you ever tread water for hours? Have you ever been pushed into a two-foot oversplit? Have you ever had six-hour practices every day?

Have you ever been kicked in the face or the head but had to keep on swimming with that fake plastic smile? Have you ever had to memorize every move and every count for every routine? Have you ever felt your lungs burning and dying in your chest, but knew that if you came up, your coach would kill you? Have you ever swum sprint-free for 20 minutes straight? Have you ever had aches in your toes and knees from extending them too hard? Have you ever had to do all that and live with the fact that people think it's easy? Try doing that, and let me know how it's going.

The top two most difficult sports on this list are gymnastics and competitive swimming. Why don't you try putting the two already challenging sports together to create synchronized swimming? Imagine, you're standing in a line with your team of eight while watching the team before you swim their routine. The nerves build up as you get closer and closer to your turn.

After the team ahead of you is finished, you walk onto the pool deck in an orderly fashion. The goosebumps on your skin rise sky-high as you pose along the edge of the ice-cold, three-meter-deep pool. The whistle blows, and adrenaline rushes through your veins. What if you lose your nose clips? What if you accidentally touch the bottom of the pool? What if you lose track of your counts? All of these fears and many more go through your mind over and over again.

You take a deep breath in. This is it. This is what you and your teammates have been preparing long and hard for. You see your coaches out of the corner ...more

Honestly, synchronized swimming should be ranked in the top ten for sure, not 44th! Synchronized swimmers are probably overall the best athletes. They need to be flexible, strong, and have incredible endurance. Synchronized swimming is a combination of many sports, such as gymnastics, dance, and of course, swimming. Swimmers need to be able to perform three-minute-long routines, where about half of the routine is spent underwater, holding your breath.

If you don't think that's tough, try running as fast as you can without breathing. Plus, as tough as it is, the swimmers need to smile and perform while doing it, and make it look as easy as possible. Synchronized swimming is not easy, and if you don't agree, try it yourself!

I am in synchro, and it is definitely one of the hardest sports! It should be at least in the top ten, not forty-first! It requires so much flexibility, total body strength, grace, and breath control. We are up for 10 seconds, then underwater for almost a minute. And we don't just sit underwater. We are in a figure, constantly sculling and working extremely hard to gain height.

In routines and figures, there is no break. You are constantly moving, either eggbeating or sculling. And the thing is, you watch synchro, and it looks so effortless. The athletes have these big fake smiles, but if you got in and tried it, you would be sorely mistaken. Synchro swimmers train so hard and long. The Russian Olympic team trains 10 hours a day, six days a week. It is strenuous work, and if someone thinks it's easy, they should get in and try it!

20 Cycling

I do cycling myself. I've also played inline hockey, water polo, swimming, and tennis. If I were to put these sports in order from hardest to easiest, it would be: 1. Inline hockey, 2. Water polo, 3. Cycling, 4. Swimming, and 5. Tennis. This sport requires a lot of stamina and thorough exercise. You always have to push yourself to keep up, and technique is crucial. Otherwise, you have little chance of keeping up with others. My heart rate sometimes reaches 200 beats per minute, and I am very experienced! Additionally, it's not good to sit at the PC or desktop too much, as you can get cramps during a race or training. I think this sport deserves a vote and should be in the top 15 at least.

Covering over 100 miles at an average speed of 25 mph for 7 days, then taking a day off and doing it again for another 7 days, and again for another 7 days - this is just one race in the season. People might think they're just riding a bike, but it's an incredibly tough sport due to the endurance required and the strain it puts on cyclists' bodies. Yes, there are tough sports like rugby, ice hockey, and boxing where physical contact is part of the sport, but those matches or bouts last a short period compared to a cycling race. And they're not expected to do it all again the next day.

Cycling is an extremely difficult sport. Both my brother and sister are cyclists, and my brother competes internationally. Training involves both mental and physical attributes. Mental training prepares you to understand that obstacles will always be in your way, regardless of the sport. It's about setting your mindset to give 150% or more, always. Physical training focuses on your actual body, particularly upper body strength and, most importantly, lower body strength and legs. The physical regimen involves a lot of leg work and endurance training.

Whether you're an endurance rider or a sprinter, endurance is crucial in cycling. In sprinting events, you must maintain a certain speed for a length of time before finding the strength to accelerate further until you cross the finish line. I would personally categorize cycling as one of the top 20 hardest sports. I know for a fact that it's more challenging than many other sports, such as soccer, football, or basketball. Coming ...more

I've participated in most sports and found that cycling daily is tough on your body. When professional athletes can't take ibuprofen or other medications for pain, and they crash or experience muscle pain, they have to work through it for days on end. My hat is off to the professional cyclists. It's definitely one of the toughest sports, demanding both mental and physical endurance.

21 Volleyball Volleyball is a team sport in which two teams of six players are separated by a net. Each team tries to score points by grounding a ball on the other team's court under organized rules.

People don't actually realize how hard volleyball is, both mentally and physically. Some people say, "Oh, hitting a ball over the net is so easy and doesn't require mental strength." Those who say that have never played competitive volleyball. You're under immense pressure not to mess up during an hour-long game or longer. Everyone must be in the exact right position at the exact right time, or you could lose the game.

Passers must get to the ball, possibly running across the court, in under three seconds. Additionally, you must quickly decide how to hit the ball. Will you set it? Pass it? Dive for it? You must also determine how hard to hit it, how high, and where to aim - all within three seconds. Then, the setter must reach the ball and set it up perfectly for the hitter, all while ensuring the set is legal. They must decide what type of set to use and whom to set it to. Every set depends on the capabilities of the hitter. Plus, the setter must get the ball to the perfect ...more

Volleyball is extremely difficult, especially when played competitively. This sport is a complete mental game. Once someone gets in your head, you're cracked, and the game is over. You have to think about everything you're doing at a fast pace. You need to know where you're supposed to be when the opponent is hitting, how high your platform should be when you're passing, and how much leg muscle you should use to push a hit. Footwork differs in passing, setting, and hitting. You have to master every aspect of volleyball to succeed, plus conditioning.

I've run track, and I think I do more running and conditioning at a volleyball practice than I did in track. I practice for four and a half hours every Saturday, just to prepare me for an all-day tournament. You don't see swimmers swimming for six hours, or any other sport playing six games in a day! So, volleyball is extremely hard because it's both a physical endurance sport and a mental sport.

Honestly, this is pathetic. Whoever made this list has clearly never played volleyball. There's no way that competitive cheerleading should rank higher. All they do is lift a 60-pound girl with the help of two or more people. Meanwhile, we volleyball players throw ourselves on the floor while making a perfect pass, only to get up in what, three to five seconds? I will fight to prove that volleyball is almost a life-threatening sport.

When people hear volleyball, they most likely think of gym volleyball, where the focus is on underhand serving. That's nothing like an actual game. Volleyball should be in at least the top five, if not higher.

Volleyball is probably not the hardest sport in the world, but it is pretty difficult for a while. It takes strength, knowing where to be at all times, and bravery. You need strength to serve the ball, to pass the ball, to spike the ball, and even to set the ball. If you don't have strength, then you won't be able to do much.

Also, you have to know where to be at all times, because if you aren't where you're supposed to be, you lose the point and possibly the game. It is very important to be where you need to be. Bravery is also very important, possibly the most important. The whole time, you have to be brave. You have to go for the ball and fight for it.

Yes, there are so many injuries that can be caused by this game. Some include spraining your leg or arm, breaking your leg or arm, and getting a concussion. You have to be brave but know all of these things. You fight for the ball no matter what happens. Volleyball is a very difficult sport, both competitively and ...more

22 Long-distance Triathlon

I doubt most of you have even participated in a twelve-hour race. Swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles, run 26.2 miles, and then you've earned the right to brag for the rest of your life. The Ironman Triathlon is the toughest race in the world, often called the hardest day in sport. It's not a sport for the weak-minded.

After a certain point, your body shuts down, and the only thing keeping you moving is your mind. High dropout rates are common, and many question whether they can even finish after just a few hours into the race. Nutrition and hydration are key to a successful race. This sport combines three individually challenging sports into a monstrous challenge.

I can't understand why this is ranked at #27. I've looked at various pages on difficult sports, and most "experts" seem to focus on specific aspects like coordination and technique to determine difficulty. That's not the point. You automatically learn those skills by participating in the sport. You adapt.

Being the best basketball player doesn't mean you'll excel in other sports. Difficulty isn't synonymous with the amount of practice required. What makes a sport hard is the extreme limits to which you have to push your body and mind just to compete. The foundation of all sports lies in the triathlon.

I have competed in all three sports that make up a triathlon, and nothing compares to pushing yourself until you're on the verge of fainting or vomiting. It's not about practice. It's about how physically and mentally demanding the sport is. Given enough time, anyone who's fit could master any sport through practice. That's not the case with triathlon. You need a superhuman ...more

It is beyond my belief that people rank long-distance triathlon - or any triathlon for that matter - 20th overall. I know it doesn't receive as much media attention because other, more "exciting" sports are what fans want to watch. However, this sport is incredibly difficult. You have to be almost insane to participate.

For those who complain about lactic acid or having to practice for several hours a day, consider this: a long-distance triathlon involves more than twice that amount of effort. We're talking about 13, 14, 15, or 16 hours straight of excruciating physical activity. The event consists of 2.4 miles of swimming, 112 miles of biking - which usually takes 5-6 hours - and then a marathon (26.2 miles) on top of it. Even marathons alone are an extreme test of physical endurance.

If this sport received more media attention, it would surely rank as the number one most difficult sport. It requires inhuman levels of endurance and speed. The people who compete in these ...more

This is not an easy sport. If swimming is second on the list, then this must place higher than 20th, as this consists of swimming, cycling, and running. You have to master three sports and three different techniques. All muscle groups are used. It is mentally excruciating, whether it be long-distance or short-distance. You push yourself to the absolute limit every time you train. As a 15-year-old girl, I have puked at training various times due to the physical barriers I have crossed.

23 Pole Vaulting

I believe pole vaulting should be higher on this list, right next to wrestling and gymnastics. One commonality among these sports is the need for total body fitness for success. Pole vaulting is both physically and mentally demanding. Everyone is constantly dealing with some sort of pain or injury, so there are no excuses for not giving it your all. If you're getting bruises on your legs and arms, you're doing it right. The most challenging aspect of pole vaulting is that, no matter how hard you try, perfection seems unattainable. People train for years to master this one "trick," and almost everyone falls short.

Pole vault is the ultimate test of endurance, strength, and sheer willpower. There are so many dependent variables in pole vaulting that if one thing is off, it can ruin the entire vault. Furthermore, it takes a long time to improve one's form to vault higher. Additional factors like wind, temperature, and changing poles also play a role. While it may not deserve the number one spot, as I have great respect for gymnastics, it certainly deserves to be in the top three.

Pole vault should be much higher on the list. To be a great jumper, you need to excel in multiple areas such as running, strength, and endurance. There are many elements involved in a single jump, and there's always room for improvement. Moreover, not everyone can do this sport due to fear, so it's not just about athleticism. Pole vaulters are truly special and deserve more recognition.

To be a good pole vaulter, you have to have the speed of a sprinter, the strength of a thrower, the flexibility of a gymnast, and the vertical jump of a jumper. There is a lot more technique in pole vaulting than many people think. I am a pole vaulter in college and jump 17'6", and it took many years to achieve that. Pole vaulting should be number one on this list.

24 Rugby Rugby league football, usually called rugby league, league, rugby or football , is a full contact sport played by two teams of thirteen players on a rectangular field.

Rugby came before American football and soccer. Then American football added sissy pads and helmets. For rugby, you need to be more fit than a huge majority of athletes in other sports, both mentally and physically. You're not wrestling. If you were, then the rules would be different. In fact, the entire game would be different. Brave as they are in American football? That's a joke. Not only did Americans mimic the sport, but, as I said, they also wear pads and helmets. Sure, you get hurt, but try getting crushed in a scrum with no protection, or consider that every tackle is followed by 4-8 different solid muscle players.

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

Rugby is the final frontier for respectability in sport. It is a team sport requiring true fitness and discipline, not the definitions found in football or hockey. Additionally, the sport demands a wide variety of skills that need to be spontaneously deployed. Personally, I can't stand any other North American sport based on how superficially it's presented: commercials, full suits of armor as equipment, athletes being endorsed for their ill-discipline and degenerative behavior, and an army of analysts talking rubbish. Baseball is the worst. Quite frankly, I'm embarrassed simply watching it, so I can only imagine the shamelessness of those who partake in any further involvement.

Rugby is not only a physical sport. It's also super mental. As a nationally-ranked team player, I would know. Rugby requires the physical stamina of a soccer player. Additionally, rugby players need to know the variations of all the rules depending on the referee. Think about it: in football, you get the ball, run, and then have a 15-second break. In rugby, it's boom, hit, get up, run again, boom, hit. There's constant contact, constant aggression, and decision-making under serious pressure. A rank of 14 is seriously incorrect.

25 Competitive Dancing

Hi, I am a girl who has been doing dance for 10 years. I started when I was one. Over those 10 years, I've witnessed many different relationships, conversations, and new bonds forming all around me. I've also met incredible teachers over the years who I wish I never had to leave behind. I think dance is very challenging and beneficial for your body. It's good exercise and involves a lot of trust.

How is dancing not in the top ten? It requires time and dedication. If you stop dancing for even a week, it's hard to get back into it. To be a dancer, you need flexibility, balance, strength, and so much more. Consider this: in most sports, players get breaks, but in dance, there are no breaks. When you are in class, you are constantly moving. Taking a pointe class is even more challenging. You're dancing on your toes, which is difficult. You also have to be very careful because it's easy to twist your ankle.

In sports, it's physically demanding and easy to get injured, but if you're dancing on stage, there might be many people on stage with you. If you're not careful, you could easily injure yourself and others. I've been dancing for over 10 years, and I'm only 14. Dance is not only good for your body but also serves as an emotional outlet. Dancing makes me happy and feels good. In my opinion, dance should be in the top 10.

People have to start training as young as one year old just to be a professional. I have done sports such as cross country and track, and I can promise you dance is a lot more physically, mentally, and emotionally demanding. There is only one correct way to do technique. While on pointe, you are putting all your body weight on a few of your toes while jumping, turning, and leaping. Yet you still have to land gracefully without making a sound. Your job is to make it look effortless, when in reality it is extremely painful. You have to connect your emotions to the dance and each and every movement.

People pass out at the end of routines often. Your stamina and endurance have to be at their highest level. You can't stop in the middle of a routine. I cannot count the number of injuries, blood, and bruises I have gotten in the last 10 years (I'm 15). Sweat and tears go into it too. Dancers dedicate their whole life to this art that's also a sport.

Dance incorporates many different sports into one beautiful art form. We perform gymnastics like no other, but we don't have short, stocky muscles. We have long muscles to maintain an elegant appearance. Did you know that professional football players sometimes have to take ballet classes to improve their balance? We can carry all of our weight on a 3-inch platform, namely pointe shoes. Some people think we don't get hurt. However, on your first day of pointe, your feet often bleed. We perform the stunts that cheerleaders do, except there is only one person carrying the other. Do me a favor: jump in place nonstop for 3 minutes. We do that too. If you tell me dance isn't a sport, then come show me your six-pack. Most dancers have six packs.

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