There is a general assumption that being a sports person is easy and all fun, after all they are doing what they love. Sports is like playing or having fun and getting paid at the same time – has to be the best job ever! right?
Let’s agree for the sake of reading this article without arguments that sports is “just fun”. The question then would be ‘why are some people better at having fun than others?’ or ‘why are some people deservedly paid more for fun than others?’
To answer this, we need to delve into the professional life of a sports person to see if the answers to those questions are embedded somewhere in there, while also comparing their lives to ours to see what lessons can be drawn. Let’s kill two birds with one stone, shall we?!
STUDENT’S LIFE VS SPORTSMAN’S LIFE
There are a few things that we students have in common with sportsmen that makes our life similar.
While you take lectures every other day. do you know footballers take lectures too? Their coaches show them videos, graphs, strategies and tactics of their opponents. They MUST study and understand them, then they must understand the coach’s strategy to counter their opponent. Next they take to the training ground for practical classes!
Just like lectures, some of these sessions can be boring for the players but they have to sit through it or risk getting fined or dropped from participating in the next match – this is equivalent to a lecturer banning a student from righting his/her test or exam.
While students dread this day, sports people look forward to match day! (except when they are playing a rival they historically don’t fare well against). It is the day they have all been preparing for, it is a chance to show the world all they have learnt. An opportunity to show their genius, to bring the coaches (lecturers) lessons to life.
Now, even though they were all taught the same thing, on match day, some will stand out, others just barely perform and a few fail woefully. Why is this so? It is the same reason we all seat in the same class yet don’t get the same score in exams.
- Fear/Exam Fever: The thought of failing is present in every human, the difference is that successful people act regardless of the fear. Sports people are afraid of having a bad game, getting booed by the crowd, getting insults from fans on the streets and online. Those who do well, understand that they are not experts and so failing sometimes is inevitable and so they focus more on the possibility of succeeding than failing and on match day it is evident in their game!
- Preparation/Reading: For sports people, after classes, they have to tell themselves that the coach’s lesson is not enough, so some stay back to train some more, others meet people who are great at some areas in the game to help them improve.
So when next you look at Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton, Serena Williams, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Usain Bolt, Michael Phelps, Stephen Curry, Lebron James, just to name a few, know that these are A-list students who have put all their lecturers lessons into practise, read their books and passed in flying colours. You can do the same with your books if you try.