With the Olympics in full swing, let’s talk about three sports – rugby, basketball and rowing – and the nations that continue to dominate them.
What is it about certain countries and their domination in certain sports? We all know that the US is brilliant at American football, even though there are many teams playing the sport around the world. We know that countries in Europe such as Spain, dominate the league and world football. But why does this occur? Surely there is a trend that we can follow. Well, there is. It comes down to culture. The culture of a nation and how it approaches sports will almost always determine the level of investment, the scientific understanding of the sports and how our bodies need to move for ultimate performance. Let’s explore 3 different nations and why they dominate 3 different sports.
Even if you are an England or South Africa fan of rugby, you have to bow down to the might of the New Zealand team. They have speed, power, superb tactics, great passing and consistent team efforts. While other teams have this in some seasons, the New Zealand team has been the most dominant force in national rugby for quite some time. If you would like to know why and be updated about NZ rugby news, then just follow a website that is dedicated to the sport and in particular the New Zealand team. The funding of the game is brilliant, even for such a small nation. Players are brought up from about 10-14, and they go into particular schools where rugby has a long history. The development program is nationwide, with scouts for regional teams always on the prowl. You can’t say that for the other teams, the culture just isn’t as rich for players at a young age.
Basketball and the US
If you have paid attention to the latest winning of the NBA by the Milwaukee Bucks, you would have seen a special moment in the sport’s history. For the first time in 50 years, the Bucks won a major championship. Basketball is pretty much the USA’s national game at this point. Sure they have others like the NFL, but the NBA is by far the most-watched sporting league in America. And for good reason! The US team has the richest history in international play, with more wins and gold medals than any other country. This is because the development program for players starts at a young age, about 10-15 years old. The NBA scouts will even fly abroad to find their talent.
For some reason, the British seem to always dominate rowing. It must be the fact that they are an island and going seaward is just part and parcel of their culture. There is no denying that their rowing program has been phenomenal for the past two decades. They have won gold medals at just about every major event, in singles, doubles and team events. It could also be because their rowing culture and sport are tied to universities where the next generation of rowers are spotted, trained and taught about the sport.
What other nations dominate particular sports? These three have done superbly well in their respective sports and thanks to their culture and love of the sport, it won’t be changing soon.