Sports in Germany
As my time in Germany sadly comes to an end, I thought it might be interesting to talk about some aspects of German Culture different from those of US Culture.
One aspect that I found intriguing was the perspective on sports, and staying active. Before you can understand this topic, it is important to know that in Germany, Sports and other Extracurricular Activities are not parts of school, but instead clubs that take place completely separate from Gymnasium.
Now, the main difference in Sports has to do with practices. In the US, most sports have practice five to six times a week, and if you miss a practice, your coach usually wants to know why you weren't there if he even allows you to miss in the first place. In Germany, it is a bit more relaxed, with most sports having practice only two times a week, and a majority of the coaches are lot less strict on missing practices.
At the beginning of the year, I wondered how anyone could possibly improve at a reasonable rate with so few practices. In the US, I run cross-country and it is absolutely critical that we get in our daily run if we wish to be competitive.
The impression that I have received is that the focus here is more long term, focusing more on getting better over the course of a few years instead of just focusing on a single season. Granted, I have a very narrow range of experiences in the subject, having only done Cross-Country or Track in the US and Basketball here.
I think it is interesting to note that most people here in Germany have more activity worked into their daily lives anyways, as a result of bikes as a method of transportation, walking more due to public transportation, and more integration throughout the day rather than being idle for 23 hours of the day and doing intense sport for one hour.
Photo is of my exchange students committee on our ice skating excursion. The rink is in the Planten un Blomen park where in the summer you can find a tremendous array of flowers.
*Please remember that I am talking about my experiences and am making generalizations. Everyone in a country can never be characterized with broad expressions, and there will always be exceptions to such statements.*