Individual sports such as horse racing, cross-fit, gymnastics, and vehicle racing, in addition to typical team sports, provide opportunities for athletes of smaller size. Horse racing has weight constraints, making it one of the nicest sports for the short and stocky. A sport that has a height advantage in our favor... oh, look, it's time for another horse race!
The most popular sports for short people are probably basketball, baseball, and football. Basketball is a great sport for anyone who enjoys shooting balls; you don't need to be very tall to play it. Baseball and football are both bit more physical than basketball, but they're also fun. If you want to try out some other sports, check with your local community center or recreation department about available activities.
Short people have played sports all over the world throughout history. Here are just a few examples: golfer Bobby Jones, tennis player Martina Navratilova, and soccer player David Beckham are all short people who have had tremendous success in their respective sports. Sports offer us a way improve our fitness and meet new people who have similar interests as we do. So if you're short on space, but not on ambition, then get out there and have fun playing a game or two!
This is due to the fact that an athlete's height and body type have a substantial influence on performance. Athletes with longer limbs and slimmer muscles, and hence a higher proportion of type I muscle fibers, are drawn to endurance activities like long-distance running and swimming. Those with shorter limbs and more muscle tissue, and thus a greater proportion of type II muscle fibers, are suited to activities in which power is important such as sprinting and jumping.
In general, taller athletes tend to dominate longer distance events while smaller individuals excel at sprinting and leaping disciplines. However, there are exceptions to this rule; for example, American sprinters Andre Coleman and Carl Lewis were both relatively short (1.77 m and 1.85 m respectively) while long-distance runners Moses Tanuwa and Paul Tergat are both very tall (2.16 m and 2.19 m respectively).
The choice of sport also depends on how much force you need to produce. For example, someone who is strong enough to throw a baseball hard enough for it to go over 400 meters (441 yards) would be useful in baseball, but not in tennis because you would need to produce too much force throwing the ball. In contrast, someone who is strong enough to lift a car off of its wheels could be a good driver but not a good athlete because they would likely hurt themselves trying.
Tall athletes, on average, can serve quicker and more successfully than short ones. Short players who thrive on tour typically do it by returning and moving better than their taller counterparts. Height, according to popular thinking, is an advantage, but only to a point. Above a certain height, more mass becomes a disadvantage because it's harder to move quickly.
The most successful players on the tour are usually around 1.85 meters (6 feet) tall, with Roger Federer being the biggest player at just over 2 meters (6 foot 7 inches). By comparison, Andy Roddick is 5-10% shorter and Pete Sampras was 1.88 meters (6 feet 3 inches) tall. Size matters, but not all that much.
There are also successful short players such as Gustav Björkman, Thomas Enqvist, and Greg Van Stratten. They use their size to their advantage by returning balls hit toward them extremely well and serving and volleying effectively despite their small frames.
Overall, taller players tend to be faster movers and serve more accurately, while shorter players are good at getting back shots that other people would walk.
The best way to understand how height affects tennis is to look at the statistics. On average, taller players win more matches than shorter players.
The key benefits that shorter athletes frequently have are quickness and agility, which is why you're far more likely to see a 5-foot-10 running back than a 6-foot 10 running back. Backs that run down to the ground and can slip under defenders' pads provide a smaller, more compact target than a taller, lankier player. They can get away with cutting blocks and other techniques that would hurt their taller counterparts.
Shorter players tend to be faster than they look because they don't take as many steps per carry or per game. They spend most of their time in the open field looking for an opening or someone to block so they can go the distance. Because they don't take as many steps, they cover more ground in less time.
They also have a advantage over taller players due to ability to squeeze through small holes. If there's a gap between the offensive line and the defensive line that's too small for the taller player, the shorter one can usually squeeze through it.
Finally, shorter players tend to be more agile than they look. They slide, dive, and do other acrobatic moves that help them avoid tackles. This advantage comes in handy when trying to escape pressure up the middle or stay ahead of slower linebackers.
The main disadvantage of being a shorter athlete is that you won't be as big as some of the better players on the field.
Clearly, height is important. Above a certain height, additional weight becomes a disadvantage.
The typical male tennis player is around 170 centimeters (5 feet 9 inches) tall and weighs about 70 kilograms (155 pounds). Women's standards are generally lower: 160 centimeters (5 feet 2 inches) and 45 kilograms (100 pounds).
Overall, being tall helps you hit the ball further because of its effect on muscle tone and body control. But above a certain height, extra weight begins to slow you down. Being too tall can be as problematic as being too small; both issues can be resolved through surgery.
In general, shorter players have two advantages over their taller opponents: they can reach higher shots and see the court better. The former allows them to return the ball more effectively, the latter makes them less prone to error when serving.
Being short presents some problems of its own. You need to watch out for servers who hit high shots at you! The same goes for defenders who want to take away your space. In general, the smaller the surface, the more difficult it is to move quickly enough to avoid punishment.