Be sporting

For the past few days, I have been playing soccer regularly. I realized that it doesn’t matter what your age is, you simply enjoy when you start playing a sport. There is something about sports that keeps us in high spirit. Nothing eradicates disparity as quickly as sport. It is just pure fun, regardless of the result and whom you play with.

Peacekeeping - UNMIL

……………………………

As we grow up, our minds gradually become more authoritative. We start making attempts to control our destiny, trying to shape it in the manner we want it to be, expecting it to go according to our plans, looking for guaranteed returns. We carry with us, the baggage of our past achievements and our future objectives, all the time. Eventually, we begin cultivating narcissism.

But more often than not, the events in life are beyond the control of mere mortals like us. In due course, destiny makes us realize that we are just a part of something that is much greater. And every time that realization strikes, it leaves us in agony.

On the other hand, sport is something that takes us back to the basics. In sport, we are just players… like the rest. The only criteria by which we rise in sport is our talent, and its application. The one who plays better on the day, is the one who ultimately wins. There is nothing from your past that you can carry forward, and nothing that you can take on credit. It is all about how good you are on that day.

Sport, in a way, is a semblance of life, where you have no control over what will happen next. Nothing is guaranteed. The same player may perform differently against the same opposition under the same conditions, it is just about the day. And if we could take a cue from sports, life might become a little simpler.

rugby

If things do not go according to your plan, accept the fact may be it wasn’t you day. If you came second best, may be the winner played better. And if you keep coming second best, then may be you aren’t talented enough. It is as simple… at least in sport.

The best thing about sport is that, even if you lose, you don’t regret the fact that you played, simply because you enjoyed it. If we learn to enjoy our efforts, not thinking about what might ultimately happen in terms of the result, the game of life would be a lot more fun. Take pride in the fact that you tried, that is all that matters. After all, the score shall never interest you, the game should.

As Jim Courier, the tennis legend, once said “A real sportsman for me is a guy who walks off the court and you really can’t tell whether he won or lost, he carries himself with pride either way.”

………………

I was playing soccer, and this young fellow was the goal keeper of the opposite team. As I hit a cracking volley, he dived across the goal and palmed it away. He had just denied me a shot at glory, yet, I went to him and patted him on his back with a smile.

But I wonder if I would have done the same, had he done that to me in some other walk of life. I seriously doubt it.

And that is probably where the problem lies 🙂

~rbn

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