"Sport does not of itself have anything to do with the perfecting of the human being or with his destiny, and is of no assistance in attaining either, since excellence in physical attainments is quite compatible with a weakening of the subordination of these lower powers to reason. It is only the exercise of the will that confers any worth on the exercise of physical strength, inasmuch as an exercise of the will can increase the power of a man's reason and the extent of his moral freedom. One should not imagine there is any continuum between the physical and moral orders. There is a leap involved, that only the moral will can make."
To be truthful, your entire quote was probably over my head. But I think it's saying that physical pursuits are not, in and of themselves, virtuous. I agree with that. However, to be a great athlete you necessarily need a strong will to overcome physical obstacles (cramping, inclement weather, exhaustion, etc.)
Since so many of society's sins today are sins of the flesh, I really believe the pope is on to something terrific here. A teenage boy who is not physically exhausted at the end of the day is more prone to temptations than one who is. That's just common sense. But look around at the children (boys especially) you know and think if they get all the exercise they need to tire themselves out. By and large, the answer is no.
I for one am excited about this development and I have great hopes for the new Vatican Sports Department.
This is a tautology.
One must exercise the will in order to engage in sport, and to push one's self to extend one's physical capabilities.
Therefore, sport would seem to be a very good thing, especially since enhancing physical capabilities improves the physical home we provide for the Lord.
Nope, you're off base. Sports and athletic activity can do much to improve one mentally, physically, emotionally, and even spiritually.