Why do people like extreme sports?

Over the past decade the number of participants in extreme sports is growing and will continue to grow making the extreme sector a multi-millions dollar industry.

Extreme sports have become the subject of debate and sometimes condemnation. There is an idea only psychologically abnormal, adrenaline addicts are engaged in extreme activities. Usual questions are: what for to do that? why? there are enough difficulties in this life! In my life and psychological practice, there are many guys (and ladies) who are doing extreme sports. So, why we need the contact with risk and even death.

The psychoanalytic direction in psychology (Hi to Freud!) says risk aversion is a veiled challenge to death and the fight against it.

Psychosocial directions claim that thirst for extreme sports is one of the types of adaptive behavior that helps us to settle down in life and society, to find our place.

Scientists suggest the presence of an extreme gene (hello, science!), which tells us a tendency to risky behaviors, a thirst for adventure. But! along with heredity, there are psychological aspects: in 40% of cases people engage in extreme sports due to acquired motives, i.e. there are more psychological factors in the fascination with extreme sports.

And so, why do we go to extreme sports and take risks?


and go beyond existing boundaries. The main drivers of why people go to extreme sports are maintaining balance and control of basic instincts, reaction, nerves, self-control effectively☝🏻 in an uncontrolled situation. Extreme athletes learn to control their emotions, gain confidence, increase self-esteem. This is a way to overcome your own mental and physical boundaries, testing yourself for strength. For the same purpose, we go to stadiums and watch videos with extreme sportsmen. This is a passive participation in extreme sports. It turns out that we are all extremals?! 😉


Have you noticed that extreme types of activity are always associated with nature and are practiced in a free or uncontrolled natural environment: air, water, land? For centuries, we lived in nature sometimes fighting with its manifestations. Interaction with natural elements affects human instincts. Man’s passion for overcoming natural obstacles is an attractive factor for athletes and for spectators. The positive impact of fear of danger is the main motive in achieving a sporting level.


As well as to your mom or to someone important to you. Mostly extreme sports are practiced individually. This is a one-man show. Extreme sports creates a situation to demonstrate uniqueness. Extreme athletes receive respect which comes with increasing skill. Everyone watches them and everyone admires them. Worship and admiration arise, fame and recognition of the environment come. The first interest in extreme sports usually appears at the age of 14-15, at the age when people are most actively searching for themselves and have a strong desire to do something remarkable, make themselves known in society. In short, we go for respect there.


The release of a large amount of adrenaline is the main distinguishing feature of extreme sports from other activities. The excitement that comes with extreme sports is very strong. Extreme sports are really a drug. Scary attractive one. Extreme sports cause extraordinary states of consciousness that enrich the athlete’s life with new emotions, sensations and a delicious hormonal cocktail in the blood.

The answer to the question of why people begin to engage in extreme sports should be considered in every individual case. I have repeatedly been convinced of my daily practice of psychological counseling that extreme sports are an excellent addition to psychotherapy and an effective way to solve personal problems ranging from health to relationships.