Updated: May 25
Who doesn’t love a game night on Sunday with all their buddies and cheer aggressively each time Barca scores a goal or express string regret when Raina misses a catch. Well, believe it or not, in today’s fast-moving life and hustle-bustle, sports are an impeccable part of our stress-busting routine. It is justified because after 5 days of working under pressure and strict deadlines, watching/playing sports is the only and the most effective way one can keep his sanity. But come to look at it from a broader perspective, there are many things men can learn and take inspiration from, simply by engaging with sports.
A 2013 study conducted by Deaner and a colleague not involved in the current work found that males were twice as likely as females to be involved or interested in sports across 50 different countries or cultures. It is a well-known fact that the way we behave and react to situations is highly influenced by what we see around us. The obsession and the strong connection between men and sports have been existing since forever. So if men invest so much time watching sports, it is all the more reason for them to take inspiration and learn a thing or two from it. Although sports may seem like a leisure activity on the surface, deep inside there are some inherent values and key takeaways that men can inculcate in their real life. It may have gone unnoticed, but apart from a weekend time pass, sports are somewhat life lessons in disguise.
Don’t believe how? Find out for yourself.
1. Leading like a Lion
What makes a player, a player? The ability to lead the team. In a team, there are people with different strategies, bringing in their own sets of strengths and weaknesses. Channelizing the energy of each and every player in the right direction and taking accountability and assuming responsibility is something we all can learn and take inspiration from. There have been some great captains who have built their team from scratch like Sourav Ganguly in the 2000s and have taken their country to a level that, at one point seemed unachievable. So if you’re already in a position of responsibility at your workplace- taking inspiration from sportsmen’s leadership styles could enhance your subordinate’s performance, for those of you who aren’t, what are you waiting for anyway?
2. Don’t let your circumstances define you
Things wouldn’t always be in your favor. You may feel strongly about pursuing your dreams, say to become a golfer, but then, you might have to give up on that due to a lack of adequate resources. However, there were some people, some legends that refused to give up and fall victim to their circumstances. They took up the challenge to fulfill their dreams and worked endlessly towards it. The most prominent example is our very own Captain calm MS Dhoni, one of the finest captains of the Indian cricket team. His struggle to pursue his passion can inspire everyone to take up challenges and face them head-on. This isn’t limited to sports only but can be for anything you’ve wanted to do for the longest time and have been too occupied or hesitant to pursue.
While being in any industry can be rewarding, it does come with its own risks in the initial phases and since luck has a major role o play, many people are hesitant to quit their full-time corporate job to follow their passion for what they want to do in their life. So the first lesson sport can teach us is to be bold enough to not settle for anything and never stop pursuing our dreams, especially if it’s a sporty one.
3. Focus is your strength
With the decreasing level of attention spans, especially among Gen Z, it has become more difficult than ever before to stay focused. Observing sportsmen who never lose track of their goals can indeed inspire us to work well towards the achievement of our personal goals. As Mike Hawkins says, “You don’t get results by focusing on the results. You get results by focusing on the actions that produce results”. They always know what they are doing, the focus and dedication towards the goals they have are immense. They always give their best no matter who or what the competition offers. In each game, they attain a level of focus with which they hit the target they have set. We should also try to have some amount of focus while we work in our everyday life. Though we have countless distractions, giving importance to the task at hand and sharp focus will help us raise our own standards.
4. Be a disciple of discipline
With this lockdown impacting the way we live and the way we work, there is almost little or no room for discipline. One lifestyle tip we can take from sportsmen and inculcate in our lives is having a fixed routine and living by it. Right from the kind of diet they follow to the daily workout in order to keep themselves fit, trying to follow a strict timetable instead of endless hours of binge-watching Netflix, may just be one of the first steps you take towards self-care and personal grooming. But, that’s not all. The referee’s decision is final and binding on all the players and we hardly witness anybody disrespecting or violating the decision. This bears testimony to the fact that the players follow the utmost discipline and portray integrity towards others. All these motivations keep you going but, discipline keeps you growing.
5. Sportsman Spirit
“We haven’t lost the match until the last ball” How often is it that we come across an optimistic phrase like this- which to a layman would sound very unrealistic but there are sportspersons out there who believe in this reality and live it in all of their matches. If you remember the Natwest Trophy 2002 finals where India was against England and had to score difficult 326 runs in the second innings to set up one of the highest run-chase in any final, would we ever believe it if we hadn’t seen such a miracle happen practically? The Natwest trophy wouldn’t have been ours if Yuvraj Singh and Mohammed Kaif lost hope and didn’t try to win the match for us even after 5 wickets down. The underlying moral here is that don’t stop trying until the very last moment.
Persistence is the key to success and sports are just a living example to testify this truth. So whenever you are lost in life and feel there’s darkness all around and think there’s no way the situation could get any better, you know which example to remember and take inspiration from.
6. Stay united to never get defeated
In any team, there are people of all kinds, from all walks of life with their own unique strengths and differences. The sole reason why a team exists in the first place is that no one person will ever be strong enough than all the people combined. It is only when different players, showcase their own strong points, can a team win. So the next time you are told to work with a team on some project, don’t focus on the weak points of your counterparts and pull them down, instead, make use of each other’s capabilities to come up with stellar performance.
7. Failure is your biggest teacher
So someone else did better than you in life huh? Your friend got a promotion and you didn’t. Let’s rethink this situation from a sports point of view. Manchester scored the last goal even though Barca has worked harder the entire season. How does the Barcelonas team react? Do the players walk out of the ground or start criticizing the ManU players. None of this right? They shake hands, realize the other team deserved to win, smile, and move on. But instead of crying for the loss for days they again get ready for the next tournament with the same vigor and also work on the past mistakes so they don't repeat the same for better performance in the future.
That is probably a good example we can take of how it may seem unfair sometimes, but neither can you defame the other person or stop trying at all. In times of failure, sports teach us to realize it’s okay to not get that job or make that sale. Appreciate the ones who have excelled because that is after all what makes us humans. Every failure is a lesson, if you are not willing to fail; you are not ready to succeed. So focus on the process and not on the end result always.
Sports are much more than scoring runs, goals, and winning/losing, qualifying and not qualifying. While most of us may think that it is about winning the title or the trophy, sports in its truest essence is everything in the middle. The journey of the ups and downs, the highs and lows, is what makes the difference. This, in a broader sense, is connected to life, and so we can learn and take inspiration from the way these sportsmen tackle situations, handle failures, keep focus and never stop playing and apply all these to our real-life problems. Sports do not exist in a vacuum, neither do the problems associated with them, they are closely related, and taking inspiration from this might make things a lot easier.
If you are looking to groom your personality and create a strong personal brand, connect with us to enhance your personality. So remember, you need not read tons of self-help books to figure things out, now onwards, just switch on your TV and watch Rafael Nadal miss a shot but still play the next tournament smiling and stronger than ever. Smile back at your life challenges and tell them- GAME ON!!