Sports is an interesting topic in IELTS Speaking, and the frequency of facing the topic in the IELTS speaking test is high. Hence, it is important to be knowledgeable about the different vocabulary for sports when preparing for IELTS.
When answering sports-related questions, the use of sports vocabulary can significantly improve the quality of your answers in IELTS. One way you can do that is to use some useful collocations & phrases to sound more natural and native.
IELTS Speaking Vocabulary: Sport
1. To take up exercise: to start doing exercise
Example: I say I’m going to take up exercise all the time, but I always find an excuse to delay.
2. To train hard: to train with a lot of effort
Example: An athletic has to train hard to achieve their goal.
3. To do judo:
Example: My friend is physically very strong. She does judo every day.
4. To play tennis/football:
Example: At the weekends, I like to play football with friends, and sometimes I just do judo to kill times.
5. A strong swimmer: a good swimmer
Example: My father, a strong swimmer, teaches me how to swim.
6. To get into shape: to become fit
Example: My brother does many exercises, which help him to get into shape.
7. To keep fit: to stay in a good physical condition
Example: I try to keep fit by consuming healthy food and doing exercise regularly
8. To go jogging: to run around the street
Example: I usually go jogging with my mother in the park near my house in the early morning or the afternoon.
9. To set a record: to achieve the best result in a sports
Example: All athletics always want to set a record or get personal bests.
10. Sports facilities: the equipment and services needed to do a sports
Example: My university spends a lot of money on upgrading the sports facilities.
11. A personal best: to achieve the best result so far in the sports
Example: Sara trains hard to achieve her personal bests.
12. Brisk walk: a fast walk
Example: Doing a brisk walk is one of the best ways to maintain our health.
13. A big/huge/massive fan of: supporter or admirer who really like something
Example: I am a huge fan of football, and my favorite club is Real Marid.
14. To be out of condition: to be not physical fit
Example: Lacking of doing exercise and playing sports can lead to being out of condition.
15. An athletics meeting: an event where various athletics sports are held
Example: It has been my dream to go to an athletics meeting with my family to watch sports, especially football matches.
16. A football match: a game of football
Example: I have never missed a football match of my favorite club.
17. Mainstream/mainstay (noun/adj.) mainstream describes what most people in a society view as “normal,” like the mainstream view that everyone should get married, move to the suburbs, and have children as soon as they can. Something that’s mainstream is conventional, or the usual way of doing things.
18. The odd (adj) – happening or occurring infrequently and irregularly; occasional.
19. In the passing (phrase) – briefly and casually.
20. To tickle smb’s fancy (phrase) – If something tickles your fancy, you like it and want to have it.
21. Renowned (adj.) – known or talked about by many people; famous.
22. Bookworm (noun) – a person who reads a lot.
23. Martial arts (noun) – a sport that is a traditional Japanese or Chinese form of fighting or defending yourself
24. active rest: a leisure time during which you exercise.
Example: Active rest between lessons helps children to study more effectively.
25. athletics track (running track): a track for running, usually used for athletic races.
Example: The 9-lane running track is equipped to cope with competitions of all levels.
26. barbell: a weight-lifting gear.
27. blow the competition away: win easily the competition.
Example: After training for seven years, he blew the baseball competition away.
28. brisk walk (brisk walking): a sport in which people walk fast, but not as fast as a full run.
Example: Brisk walking is a great exercise for those, who want to lose weight.
29. to build muscle: to gain muscle mass.
Example: John was very skinny five year ago, but now he has built muscle and looks really strong.
30. fitness program: a timetable of activities to keep you in good shape.
31. football fan: someone who adores football.
32. football pitch: the surface on which you play football.
33. football season: a period when football is played.
34. keep-fit exercises: exercises that help you to keep your body in good shape.
35. personal best: an achievement in sport that is better than anything you have achieved before.
Example: Today I’ve ran 100m in 12 seconds! That is my personal best.
36. personal trainer (sports coach): a person who helps you train on a one-to-one basis.
Example: It’s much easier to train with a sports coach than alone.
37. sports centre (fitness centre): a specific building where people can do different sports.
Example: I practise fencing at a local sports centre.
38. sports facilities: the equipment and services needed to do a sport.
Example: I chose this gym because it offers a wide range of sports facilities.
39. sports meeting (athletics meeting): an event at which a number of athletic contests are held.
Example: The next athletics meeting will be held in November and will include javelin, pole vault, hurdles and steeplechase.
40. squash/tennis/badminton court: the surface where you play these sports.
41. strength-training strategy: set of exercises to build muscles.
Example: My dad advised me a wonderful strength-training strategy.
42. strenuous exercise: exercise that needs a lot of physical effort.
Example: It is recommended to drink a lot of water after strenuous exercises.
43. strong swimmer: an experienced swimmer.
44. swimming pool: a place filled with water made specifically for swimming.
45. that’s the way the ball bounces: used to say that things don’t always go as planned, but there is nothing we can do about it.
Example: Dave didn’t win the game as he expected, but he never minds – that’s the way the ball bounces.
46. to be keen to do smth (to be keen on doing smth): to be very interested in doing something.
Example: I’m keen on cycling.
47. to be out of condition (to be out of shape): to be in bad physical condition, to lose strength.
Example: Lily hasn’t been training for years, she is out of condition now.
48. to be saved by the bell: to be saved from losing by a timely interruption.
Example: Evan would lose this round, if he wasn’t saved by the bell.
49. to build muscle: to gain muscle by working out.
50. to get into shape: to become fit.
Example: Paul started training in gym because he wanted to get into shape.
51. to keep fit: to stay in a good shape.
Example: I practise dancing to keep fit.
52. to run the marathon: to run a distance of 42.195 kilometres.
53. to set a record: to achieve the best result in a sport.
Example: A new record in pole vault was set two years ago.
54. to take up doing smth: to start doing something new (usually sport).
Example: I took up dancing last week.
55. to train hard: to train with effort and passion.
56. to warm up: to perform light exercises to prepare for a hard workout.
Example: A good warm-up readies your body for a hard training.
57. to work out: to exercise in gym.
58. treadmill: an exercise machine in the gym used for walking or running, while staying in the same place.
Example: Good treadmills provide a indoor workout experience as natural as the outdoors
59. trial-and-error method: a method of reaching a solution by trying various means until you succeed.
Example: I learned swimming by trial-and-error method, trying different moves until I figured out how to float on water.
60. workout : session of exercises in gym. You can do a workout for chest, for legs, for losing weight etc.
Example: My trainer suggested me a workout for abdominal muscles.
IELTS Speaking Sample: Sport
IELTS Speaking Part 1
1. Do you do any sports?
Absolutely yes, I am fond of playing football with my friends after school, because we are big fans of football, and whenever playing it, we have a lot of fun with that and feel a sense of enjoyment.
2. Do you watch sports on TV?
Football is my favourite sport to watch on TV. Since I a huge football fan, I have barely missed football matches of my favourite team including away games and home games. I prefer to spend my Sunday night staying at home to see a match with my father.
3. What is the most popular sports in your country?
In my opinion, I believe football is the most common sport in my country. This is because it is not too hard to take up sports. In terms of watching a football match, this can bring so much fun to the viewer, not to mention that the sports does not cost much money to play and watch, which allow people to find it easy to approach.
4. What kind of sport do you prefer?
I don’t prefer a specific kind of sport, but I really like working out in the gym… That helps me to keep my body in a good shape… A few years ago I had a sports coach, but now I developed my own fitness program and train alone…
5. Do you do any kind of sports during weekends?
Yes, sure! I have a lot of spare time during weekends and I do javelin on Saturdays… In summertime, I also go cycling with my friends… Generally, I don’t like staying at home all day… I prefer active rest…
6. Tell me about your hobbies. Is there anything you like to do in your leisure time?
I used to play tennis as a hobby… But a few months ago my family moved to a new place, and there were no tennis courts nearby… That’s why I took up wrestling… But I still play tennis every once in a while.
IELTS Speaking Part 2
Describe your favorite sports.
You should say:
- What is the name of the sports?
- When do you play it?
- How do you feel after playing it?
And explain why do you like it?
Since I was a little boy, I began to fall for football, and until now I have ever stopped loving sports. At the very beginning, I first came to know football when my father took me to watch a football match in which our local team played against their biggest competitor. Although our team lose that match, I knew that they had trained hard to prepare for the big match, also during the match, they showed their determination to win that game. All of this made me love our team and to start to fall in love with the interesting sports. After that, I always followed our local team and asked my father to buy season tickets, then I would never miss any games of my favourite team.
Apart from watching football, I am also into playing it. Thus, whenever I have spare time, I prefer to spend on playing football with my friends, which is not only easy for us to take up but also give us a sense of enjoyment. Though it makes me sweat a lot anytime I play with the ball, I love the fact that I always have a great time with my buddy. In addition, I was proud that by playing football regularly I can get into shape, then my relatives compliment on my fit body each time we meet.
Finally, I believe that does not matter that how busy I will be in the future, I will constantly spend a part of my time on football, and my love for football will never be faded.
IELTS Speaking Part 3
1. Should people be encouraged more to take up a sport?
Definitely yes, the most important reason is that playing sports can be regarded as a recreational activity. Indeed, while in the modern world individuals have to suffer from a high stress level at work or school, this activity can allow people to reduce stress significantly and feel comfortable. Another reason is that sports will allow people to socialize, which means they can meet and make new friends.
2. Which sports do you think is best for people who aren’t used to physical activity?
In my point of view, this kind of people won’t prefer strenuous exercise, so brisk walking can be a great choice because sports do not require a high level of fitness. Also, going on a brisk walk regularly help people to keep fit and have a good effect on their health. People who aren’t used to physical activity can also choose swimming, which is easy to take up and after go swimming, they can feel a sense of freshness.
3. Why some people enjoy sports more than others?
It is a tough question… The main reason is that it’s hard to find your perfect sport… if you don’t like football or basketball it doesn’t mean you won’t enjoy cricket, for example… It’s important not to fear the trial-and-error method and you’ll inevitably find your ideal sport.
IELTS Speaking Practice: Sport
Read the following IELTS-style questions and answers below and pay attention to the phrases in bold. Use the ‘Definitions’ section at the bottom of the page to check the meaning of any phrases you don’t understand.
Part 1-style questions
Examiner: Do you do any sports?
Loiuse: Not really … no … I always say I’m going to take up exercise and try to get into shape but I never seem to get started … I sometimes wonder whether I should get a personal trainer … someone who will sort out a fitness programme for me and make me train hard ….
Examiner: How do you spend a typical weekend?
Stella: I’m a big football fan and weekends always centre around a football match … I support FC Utrecht and have a season ticket so I go to most of the home games and quite a few of the away games too … I’m really looking forward to the new football season starting soon …
Examiner: Have you got any hobbies or interests?
Theo: Yes … I’m really keen on sports … I do judo once a week and play tennis in the summer … I think it’s really important to keep fit … it makes you feel good and energized for work and your studies ….
Part 2-style task
Describe a place you like going to in your leisure time. You should say:
- what this place is
- when you go there
- what you do there
and say why you enjoy it there so much.
Maurice: I’d like to talk about my local sports center… it’s a place I spend a lot of time in … it’s a new building with all the latest sports facilities … I probably go there at least twice a week … sometimes more often … it’s a huge place … there’s an outdoor athletics track and some football pitches … I play football so I’m often out there … there are several indoor squash and tennis courts that I use occasionally … a big swimming pool … although I don’t use that very often … I’m not a very strong swimmer … there’s a gym … lots of things really … why do I enjoy going there … it’s just a really fun place to be … there’s a good social side to it all … you can enter competitions … meet up with other people who want to do the same sports … and because there are so many activities on offer it gets you interested in different things … for example I was listening to some people talking about training to run the marathon and I’ve decided I might even think about that I go jogging a couple of times a week so it would give me something to aim for…so yes … the sports center… that’s the place I really like to visit …
Part 3-style questions
Examiner: Should people be encouraged more to take up the sport?
Alejandro: I think young people should be given the chance to discover which sport they might like … watching sport is sometimes a good way to get people started … not on TV but actually getting out … take athletics for example … they could go to an athletics meeting … there are so many different sports on show one might interest them …
Examiner: Why do some people enjoy participating in sport more than others?
Florrie: That’s a good question … I suppose some people are more concerned about their health … they can’t stand the thought of people might be driven to excel … they want bests … being out of condition … other to set records or get personal
Examiner: Which sports do you think are best for people who aren’t used to physical activity?
Julie: Well … I think people like this should avoid strenuous exercise, so things like circuit training are definitely out of the question … maybe just doing a brisk walk every day … or swimming is always a good way to get started …
an athletics meeting: an event where various athletics sports are held
an athletics track: a running track
an away game: a football match played in the opposing team’s stadium
a brisk walk: a fast walk
to do judo: (not go or play)
a football fan: someone who likes football
a fitness programme: a schedule of activities to keep fit
a football match: a game of football
a football pitch: the surface on which you play football (as opposed to a stadium, which is the building)
a football season: a period in the year when football is played
to get into shape: to become fit
to go jogging: to run around the streets
a home game: a football match played in the team’s own stadium
to keep fit: to stay in good physical condition
to be out of condition: to not be physically fit
a personal best: to achieve the best personal result so far in a sport
a personal trainer: a sports coach that helps you on a one-to-one basis
to play tennis/football: (not do or go)
to run the marathon: to run a distance of 42.195 Kilometres
a season ticket: a ticket that gives you entry to most of a team’s home games during the sporting year.
to set a record: to achieve the best result in a sport
a sports centre: a public building where people can do various sports
sports facilities: the equipment and services needed to do a sport
a squash/tennis/badminton court: the surface where you play these sports
strenuous exercise: exercise that needs a lot of physical effort
a strong swimmer: a good swimmer
a swimming pool: the place where you swim
to take up exercise: to start doing exercise
to train hard: to train with a lot of effort
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