Anyone who is taller than average by a few inches has heard the question “Do you play basketball?” too many times to count. Not far behind is the question “Do you play volleyball?” Everyone knows that extra height can be useful in a game of basketball or volleyball. However, have you ever wondered what other sports it is an advantage to be tall?
Here are just a few sports you may want to consider if you are one who towers over your opponents on the court or field.
Boxing: Taller boxers have a longer reach, which is useful when pounding on your opponent. Heavyweight boxers are usually over 6 feet tall.
Hurdles: The tallest runners seem to be hurdlers. Height is especially useful in sprint distances where hurdles are the highest (42 inches for men and 33 inches for women).
Rowing: Long, muscular limbs produce strong, powerful strokes. Most rowers tend to be tall and muscular. The average height for rowing medalists in the 2012 Olympics was 6’4’’ for men and 5’11’’ for women.
Swimming: Since swimming is horizontal, taller people have the advantage, because they travel shorter distances than those who are shorter and they can begin turns further from the wall. Plus, long torsos are buoyant and slice through the water much easier than a shorter torso. The famed Olympic swimmer, Michael Phelps, is 6’ 4’’.
Tennis: A longer body can create more torque which can lead to harder serves and returns. Tennis champion Venus Williams and Russian tennis player Maria Sharapova are both over 6 feet tall.
Throwing: Those who are taller can spin a discus or hammer farther from their bodies, causing it to accelerate faster.
Water Polo: Long arms provide a huge advantage when it comes to intercepting the ball as well as having a better whipping motion when throwing the ball.