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the 'difficult' ones require a player to use a piece of equipment and handle a relatively little 'ball'. that creates difficulty in multiplying ones moves impact on the 'ball', in other words requires high precision.


little "ball" in boxing ??


actually I always thought golf was in the relatively easy category compared to tennis. In tennis you are moving and so is the ball. In golf you are reasonaby stationary and the ball sits there like a lump waiting to be hit. Also you switch clubs depending on how many yards you need to hit or if you are putting and you know exactly how many yards you can hit with a certain swing. Imagine having to switch racquets depending whether you are hitting a deep ground stroke or a volley or a drop shot !!


boxing is easy, according to tp


Easy sport -- Involves direct 'touch' factor. Part of your body is in some sort of direct contact (easy when you have the feel/perception factor)
Difficult sport involves you to use a 'handle' or indirect contact with body making it difficult to master


One word that comes to mind is the skill of "anticipation".


Easy sports are those with direct contact with the ball. Difficult requires indirect contact with the ball through a piece of equipment.


Easy- You can play with your friends at the park. Difficult- You need a lot of infrastructure to play it (or money.


The wind is a huge factor in tennis and golf which makes it difficult to play compared to the other sports in the easy category mentioned here. Since hockey is also given I have to consider the no direct contact of the body with the ball while playing which makes tennis,golf and hockey difficult.


Very true


Easy sport, you play with instinct, and requires no thinking to get started:

Human instinct:

kicking (Soccer)
punching (Boxing)
slapping (Volleyball)
m$^??? (American Football)
throwing (Basketball)

Difficult sport, requires some degree of thinking:



Stella, I'm guessing you've never played golf. Do try it. You might change your mind

Gary Moser

Ted Williams, who is the last major-league baseball player to hit .400 for a season,
used to insist that hitting a baseball was the single hardest thing to do in sports.
[ It's coming at you at 100 mph, whereas in golf the ball just sits there, etc. ]

To which a Hall-Of-Fame golfer casually replied something like:
"Yes, Ted.....but in golf, we have to PLAY OUR FOUL BALLS."


Actually, it's very easy to separate the difficult from the easy. The easy sports are the ones you've only watched, whereas the difficult are the ones you've tried. Seriously? I look at the elite in any sport, and think, "humans can't perform at that level." Table tennis simply blows me away... the speed they have to react? To get a "maximum" in Snooker, one has to hit one of 15 red balls, then a black ball (which is replaced on the table every time it's pocketed) fifteen times, then hit in 7 other colored balls, in order. Right. It's been done over 100 times.


you're right Chip, I don't "play " golf. I do go to the range and hit balls though , just as I go to the tennis court and hit against a ball machine to try for the perfect shot. I've been hitting tennis balls for 59 years, golf balls for 4 and I still think that theoretically the golf is easier -- I just haven't hit the millions of balls that I've hit in tennis

Gary Moser

"I look at the elite in any sport, and think, "humans can't perform at that level."
Does BOWLING make your cut-line for "any sport"?

I only ask because, back in my twenties, I was in a recreational company-league
for a few years, and I was absolutely LOUSY.....but on more than one occasion,
I would start a game with 5 or 6 consecutive strikes.

So, the idea of somebody who really worked at it
making 12-in-a-row for a Perfect Game of 300 just never seemed that special.


interesting Sperry --- I play table tennis year round ( and tennis in summer ) and find table tennis lightning fast compared to tennis --- plus the spins are more -- plus your partner is so close. but smashing is more fun in table tnnis !!


I hear that. And agree. I played a few games cuz some of us got together after work. One of the guys I played with had rolled 12 straight strikes... (not a 300, but at the end of/beginning of two games). He wasn't a stand out bowler. Let alone athlete. He just got hot one day. Funny... because at the same time, same job, I worked with a guy who had quit his real job to work for this company part time so that he could devote maximum time to golf so that he could take one shot at making the tour. He spent a year practicing and missed qualifying by one stroke. His story gave me a lot of respect for the game.


I can't believe my eyes when I watch table tennis. Those players are SOOOOOO fast... no... quick. Reflexes beyond belief. In the little I've watched, I've seen few lobs... but one was viewed from a camera on the ceiling. Astounding. It went from the left side of the table to the right, JUST FROM SPINNING IN THE AIR!! And then it hit the TABLE!! Zing. Off in some impossible direction. (Whereby it was promptly returned.)

Gary Moser

I've got a book on golf by John Feinstein where, IIRC, he focused on
a single year of the pro tour.....and the chapter he had on "Qualifying School"
to get your PGA Tour card for the subsequent year was, IMO, easily the best thing
in the book, even though the rest of it was quite compelling.
Unbelievable pressure for those guys!


I play table tennis a bit. Fast balls are not much trouble, because you can anticipate them and hit them back well as long as you give yourself space. It's balls with heavy spin that are hard to control or just to get the paddle on.


My friend, Ryan, loved golf. Wanted more than anything to get on the tour. He sat down with his wife (no kids) and they agreed: he would quit his high paying job, get a part time job, and go for it for one year. That was all they could afford. First day of qualifying, he had a bad day. Figured he had to play high risk golf the next. Last hole... Ryan had a choice: play safe or not. He thought long and hard. His score was good, not great. He played high risk, it cost him two strokes, and he missed qualifying by one stroke. Thing is, it was windy, and his "good" score was very good for the day. Had he known the scores of the other players, he'd have played safe and made it.


"No thinking" ...?

I'm thinking this is someone who's not done much participation in the "easy" sports.

I used to think American football was an "easy" sport, till I started to understand the strategy.

(Which ... I still don't think I do, really, but that's a different discussion.)

And it took multiple viewings of the second-unit footage of "Friday Night Lights" (film, not series) to help me understand that the decision - and it is a split-second decision, not necessarily some kind of "instinct" - to cut right or cut left in a given moment/play as a running back or QB can be a career-making or a career-ending one.


Speaking of which - if the implement between the player and the ball is the deciding factor (which, reading down the list, I thought it was, till I started to think about gymnastics and martial arts, which don't require implements, but if performed badly can literally get you killed) - in which list would baseball fall?

Which begs the question - where would gymnastics and black-belt level martial arts go in these lists?

F1 racing ...?

Gary Moser

I personally don't know much at all about gymnastics,
black-belt level martial arts or F1 racing.

But when it comes to "if performed badly can literally get you killed",
most people don't know that despite all the beanings that professional
baseball players have taken since the sport started in America in 1869,
there has been only ONE fatality from such an incident ---
a Cleveland Indians shortstop named RAY CHAPMAN in the year 1920.

You'd think there would've been DOZENS...


I guess depending on the opponent tennis can be tougher. But golf is incredibly tough. Ask any golfer, Tiger downward. I've never heard anyone who plays the game call it easy. It's the ability to repeat your swing, plus the size of the hitting surface, and that the ball is on the ground that make it very tough. The margin for error is tiny. Try it next time. Hot a ball, take a two minute break, and then see if you can repeat the shot.


Cricket has got to be more difficult than baseball. Imagine a ball coming at you at the same speed but can land in the ground before you. Then, after landing, it moves. Now try to hit it.


100% guaranteed Chip that I couldn't hit the same stroke twice. but after all those years at tennis I can't do it there either !! I marvel when I see close up the tennis players move go get exactly in position to hit the perfect shot and can reproduce it time after time. As I said I've been hitting tennis balls 59 years -- I play 2 or more times a week and often Jim and I go to the courts, not to play, but just to hit balls -- trying for that perfect "pro" quality shot. It still hasn't happened .


I thought curling looked easy till I tried it


O I agree with you. My table tennis game is hard hitting, smashing style with some topspin or backspin. I can play well against other players of the same style. It looks really dramatic as there are two players smashing The heck out of the ball and it goes back on the table. Now our club coach has every spin in the book. His serves are wicked. He says to figure out his spin by watching his follow through and doing the opposite but by the time I think I've figured it out it's too late and I've made myself look like an idiot


I had a friend who trained with a coach who worked with Olympic level players. We played one night. I was reasonably good, but had never played anyone with so much spin and talent. We played a few games, and I got ZERO points off his serve. Not one. He TOLD me where my return of his serve was going to go (always off the table) based on which and how much spin he was going to put on his serve. He was usually right. After a few games, it was obvious he was out of my class, and he began just trying to coach me. He TOLD me what spin he was going to use. He TOLD me how to return it. (I got the same "lecture," Stella... "watch my follow through and do the opposite." Right. In 1/4 of one second. I think not.) Didn't matter. I never got the hang of it.


So ... polo?


glad I'm not the only one who felt like a real idiot.
I go back to table tennis next week after 4 months off. It will be a disaster

Tennis Planet



My 2nd honorable mention, makes me feel very honored indeed. Thanks TP!

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