I have often thought there is a close relationship between life and sports. Each has it’s difficult moments and each, eventually (if you’re good enough), has it’s moments of ecstasy, over which you and your friends reminisce in the years following. A brief example:
Life and Sport
Life and Sport
When I was in grade twelve, I played volleyball. My team was good for our area and we had worked hard to be good (years of practice and many disappointments in previous seasons). We had experienced defeat, trials of our friendships (on and off the court), and teammates stupid decisions.
But each of those experiences pointed us to where we were right then: the team heavily favoured to win the league championships and advance (for the first time in 8 or 9 years) past the first round of the regional playoffs.
Often the reaction of the teams ‘at the top’ is to assume they already won the title and frequently they are upset by another, admittedly less-talented, team who has a greater desire (drive, motivation) to win. We knew this (and were frequently reminded of it by our coach) and actively guarded against it. We ensured that after each of our plays (whether we won the point or not) we celebrated. Thus giving the impression to the other team we had already won and breaking down their mental game.
In short it worked. Unfortunately as we entered the playoffs, we were so excited about hosting the game in our own gym that we didn’t prepare as well as we should have for our opponent, which came from a very competitive league, where 50% of that league’s schools made it into the playoffs (as opposed to our league which was lucky to have one automatic berth). Our lack of preparation and, perhaps, inability to envision anything beyond that game, led to us being routed in straight sets.
We just hadn’t come to play. We lost our vision of staying on top as soon as the competition became more difficult.
So also sometimes in life we lose our vision, we don’t understand our purpose, or we have no focus. All this leads to a lack of motivation which, by not propelling us forward, propels us backwards, into the ground. Often we underestimate our opponents (whoever or whatever they may be) and we are demolished, left in the playground with a bloody nose, scabbed knees, and a black eye. (Or in the gym, deflated, depressed, and crying–in front of the home crowd.)
The lesson is simple: know what your purpose in life is. Follow it doggedly. Don’t relent. When it tries to juke you, keep your eyes on its waist and tackle the sucker. Wrestle it to the ground and if it tries to get out send it a cross face. If you get knocked down and it’s running for your goalline, don’t just let it, cause like Forrest Gump it won’t stop. It’ll only get farther and farther away. Sprint after it, and make sure you get it.
Don’t give up.