Sports Teach Survival Skills for a Lifetime

Guest Post Written By: Eileen O’Shanassy

Sports That Teach Survival Skills for a Lifetime

Sports can certainly increase a child or teen’s interest in exercise, sense of well-being, and foster a respect for teamwork, but did you know that some sports also work to instill survival skills and have been practiced since ancient times? Here are six sports that teach some survival skills that, with practice, will remain for the rest of your life.


Whether you use a compound bow, a simple longbow, or an Olympic re-curve, archery is simple: use a bow and arrow to hit a target at a predetermined distance. If you can make a bow and arrow in a survival situation, you can potentially use your marksmanship skills to bring down large or small game to survive. It’s a great skill to have and a great way to exercise arm strength and coordination.

Track and Field

Cross-country running, the 100-meter dash, hurdles, and other track and field events promote cardiovascular fitness and breath control while under constant stress, which can keep you motivated and active in any survival situation. It’s important to be able to exert yourself for long periods without losing energy, even though in the wilderness you should try to conserve energy by moving as little as possible. Running is great for overall endurance and can help work to make your body ready for many kinds of stressful situations.

Martial Arts

Depending on the type of martial art, these forms teach different fighting skills that can be used to protect yourself from an attacker. When learning martial arts, it’s best to focus on schools and styles that emphasize sparring as well as forms. In an urban environment, martial arts could potentially help defend against a mugger.


Competitive swimming emphasizes speed, efficiency, and proper technique when moving through the water. If you should find yourself in the ocean or other body of water during an emergency, you can use some swimming skills to keep yourself afloat until help arrives or get yourself to shore.

Weight Lifting

Weight lifting isn’t just about raw strength, it’s about proper breathing and coordination of muscles. Ensuring that all parts of your body can work together in harmony can help you carry heavier loads. There’s also the strength-building aspect to consider in this exercise form.

Competitive Fishing

Competitive fishing, especially for bass, can give you the skills to catch an evening’s dinner from a nearby river if you’re out in the wild and have the necessary tools. At least, competitive fishing will hone your angling skills. Cleaning and cooking the fish is its own skill set that you must work at.

There are many different types of exercise and training that can help prepare your body to be ready for anything, but a few can also help with practical survival skill as well.


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