Americans love to participate in and watch different kinds of sports. Many people consider sports to be an American pastime. Most Americans are introduced to sports at an early age, as all schools offer some sort of physical program.
Children who are interested in a particular sport can become a member of a city or a private sporting organization. Many communities offer low-priced baseball football, soccer, basketball, gymnastics, swimming and ballet programs for children under high school age (14 years or younger). In high school children can join the school sports team for free.
Sports follow a definite seasonal pattern in the United States. Summer is the time for baseball. The professional players are known affectionately as the "boys of summer". Fall is a football season for professional and school teams alike. Soccer and tennis are also played during fall. Winter is the time for basketball volleyball, and ice hockey. In spring, track and field competitions take place at high schools and universities. Golf, field hockey, and Softball (very similar to baseball, but played with a larger ball, and usually only by women) also take place at this time.
High schools follow the same sports pattern. But they play baseball and Softball in spring, as there are no classes in summer. High school sports teams compete against other high schools in the city. If they are very successful, they may move to a country or state competition. Training for sports is considered an extra-curricular activity, it occurs only after school. If a high school student is particularly talented, he or she may be offered a sports scholarship to a university.
Universities offer the same kinds of sports as high schools. But they tend to be much more competitive and one must be really gifted to play on a university team. Often playing for a university team leads to a career in professional sports. Universities are also the training grounds for Olympic athletes.
To sum up, Americans like sports and games, by teams or as individuals. They may say competitions are the challenges. But the challenges in sports lead to the development of special skills to face any challenge in real life with dignity.
to offer low-priced sport programs — предлагать недорогие спортивные программы
affectionately — нежно
track and field competitions — соревнования по атлетике
a pattern — модель; схема
to compete against smb — соревноваться с кем-либо
an extra-curricular activity — внеаудиторное занятие; дополнительное занятие
to lead to a career — вести к карьере
the training grounds — тренировочная площадка; тренировочные площадки