The Art of Sports and the Sport of Arts

Picture by Osman Rana | Unsplash

Michelle Daniel

Perhaps, from a surface-level, it does seem kind of absurd to think that a cellist and a quarterback have anything in common. But a closer examination of what it means to be an athlete or an artist and what each requires suggests that the principles that work for sports, apply to the arts, and vice versa. Ultimately, both arenas are for entertainment, and while one may be seen as more objective and results-oriented, subjectivity and creativity exist across the spectrum of sports and arts.

Most of us “serious” students of the arts were so busy glaring at the stadium and all the money it represented that we never really stopped to think that — Maybe we had similar life challenges and objectives and fears as those athletes.

Key takeaways from sections of the article:

Make it Look Easy

  • Sports and arts both have physical components to them. For example, a pianist also needs stamina, precision, good technique, and proper form.
  • A pianist, just like an athlete, requires muscle memory, and agility, and both are required to practice, make calculations about their next moves and draw on years of training.
  • “Whether its sport or arts, there must be evolution, self-discovery, practice—lots of practice—and fun.”

Subjectivity vs. Objectivity

  • subjectivity certainly exists in sports, but in arts it is the rule.
    • I think saying subjectivity in art is the rule may be untrue, but I could also just be thinking about design.

The Process is the Prize

The study of the piano is now so wide-spread and good pianists are so numerous, that mediocrity on this instrument is no longer acceptable. Consequently, one must study the piano for eight or ten years before performing a piece of any difficulty, even at a gathering of amateurs.

Charles-Louis Hanon
  • “Mediocrity is … unacceptable.”
  • Today, when technology has enhanced and enabled the learning and production of sports and arts, there are so many excellent athletes and artists in any field across the board, that you can’t just be decent anymore, or even good to single yourself out.
  • You have to be exceptional.
  • Being exceptional means being malleable, adaptable, and driven.

As an athlete and designer who was educated in a Fine Arts program, I also find it a bit strange that I didn’t outright make connections between sports and art. The only connection I made was maybe with the soft skills I learned as an athlete that I could bring to my art education.

Ultimately, sports or arts, arts or sports, remember your passion and be thankful you have one. That is how you “win.”

This was more of an inspirational, motivational article but it made clear points about the sports and arts connection.

Alban, P. (2013, July 9). The powerful benefits of music in sports. Holabird Sports. Retrieved January 2023, from