Sports can facilitate the development of physical literacy, which is the ability to move with competence and confidence in a variety of physical activities in multiple environments that benefit the healthy development of the whole person.

Sports encompass many of the basic movement skills that contribute to physical literacy, including running, balancing, hopping, skipping, jumping, dodging, gliding, falling, lifting, swimming, kicking, throwing, and catching. Additionally, sport sampling, or trying out a variety of different sports and physical activities rather than focusing exclusively on one sport, can help develop physical literacy.