Sport is not just for physical fitness or a recreational activity, but there is something more to it. Something for everybody whether you love to play, watch or just talk about the sport. Look at sports from a different perspective and you will discover a whole new world – a magical potion to live a more fulfilling and enriching life.
Winning or losing a match is not the only thing in a sport but there is something ‘bigger’ than that. You win some you lose some but this ‘bigger’ thing will always remain with you. Sports can actually be a metaphor for life and therefore when you participate in competitive sport or observe competition very carefully, you learn different skills and/or virtues/values like setting goals, handling pressure, prioritizing things, handling success, failures, respect, cooperation etc. These skills or values are linked to self-management that will always remain with you and will mould your personality.
The lessons you learn through sport enable you to make healthy lifestyle choices, meet challenges head-on and work with others to achieve goals bigger than yourself. Whether you play the game or you enjoy observing it the lessons you learn can be applied to any section of your life.
Here are a few life skills and values that you learn from participating or carefully observing competitive sport:
1. Cooperation: Be it an individual game or a team game a player has to work in a team. The player is quiet dependent on his/her team for peak performance and similarly it’s very important that s/he contributes to other team members’ performance as well. One very good example for this is cricket, a batsman is unable to score a run without his partner and a bowler cannot do much if his fielders are not fielding properly. Sports can help shift focus from ‘I’ to ‘We”. Sharing the responsibility and also the credit of success is vital for teamwork.
SUCCESS ISN’T SOMETHING THAT JUST HAPPENS – SUCCESS IS LEARNED, SUCCESS IS PRACTICED AND THEN IT IS SHARED
2. Respect: In a team respect is very important. For building a very strong and positive team it is very important that you have to respect your team members. ‘Sportsmanship’ not only allows you to respect your team members but also makes you to respect your competitors. It’s very important to understand that your competitor is not your rival but an instrument that helps you to show your extra ordinary skills. The better your opponent the better you have to play. In every sport after the match is over both the competitors meet each other to shake their hands and complement each other for their game, that’s respect.
YOU SHOULD ALWAYS HONOR YOUR FIERCEST OPPONENT: THE BETTER YOUR OPPONENT, THE BETTER YOU HAVE TO BE
3. Pushing your limits: When you play in a competition, whether you win or lose with your opponent is not as important as winning with self. Sports teaches you to push your limits, raising the bar every day. It asks you to come out of your comfort zone, trying things that you haven’t attempted before, stretching yourself beyond your self-imposed limits, competing with yourself, making and breaking your own records.
THE CHALLENGE IS NOT TO WIN, BUT TO CONQUER THE FEAR. IT IS NOT OTHER PEOPLE YOU HAVE TO BEAT, IT IS YOURSELF
4. Resilience: It means an ability to bounce back after a setback. It is not possible that you win all the matches you play. As you have highs in your career you will have lows too, but what is more important is bouncing back from your failures, setbacks, and mistakes. Falling down is part of life but getting up quickly makes the difference. Thus believing in yourself, practicing hard, facing challenges/ adversities with courage and focusing on the right things gives you the key to success.
TOUGH TIMES NEVER LAST BUT TOUGH PEOPLE DO
5. Focus on what is within ‘your control’: There are many factors that play important role when you play a match like, your performance, climate, opponent’s game, referee’s decision, coach’s presence etc. Of these factors there are a few factors which you can control and there are many which you cannot control. Most of your time and energy is wasted by focusing on and trying to control the factors which are beyond your control and that adversely affect your performance. Through sports you learn that nothing matters more in a game than your performance and this is the only factor that is in your control and you learn to let go all others that are beyond.
ADVERSITY CAUSES SOME MEN TO BREAK, AND OTHERS TO BREAK RECORDS
6. Self- confidence: Many people believe that confidence comes from achieving targets or results or with success. But as the results fluctuate your level of confidence also starts fluctuating. When you win you are high on confidence and when you lose you are low. But through sports you learn that your confidence does not depend upon the result of your previous match or current match or on your opponent of the match, but it depends on your skills be it physical, technical and psychological. Your focus is more on giving your 100% today than on what had happened in the last game.
BETTER PLAYER DOES NOT WIN BUT THE PLAYER WHO PLAYS BETTER WINS
These are just a few lessons or life skills and values that you learn from your sport but it’s only when you look beyond the winning and losing part of the game. Don’t just play your sport….. ‘live it’ and don’t just watch a sport……..observe and inculcate it. Go beyond playing and watching. If you can look beyond it, it’s a win-win situation for you. You win a lot and this remains with you throughout your life and that would reflect in anything and everything you do. Don’t just focus on becoming a winner focus on becoming a champion.
CHARACTER IS THAT WHICH REVEALS MORAL PURPOSE, EXPOSING THE CLASS OF THINGS A MAN CHOOSES OR AVOIDS
So ‘Live’ the sport you love and enjoy a more blissful life.