Sports has the power to excite, engage and educate; and it is this exact quality that acts as a glue for both the athletes and the fans. The teachings through sport are varied.
It has been mentioned at plenty of motivational talks, articles, research papers, journals – about the number of life skills and management abilities that one can learn through sports.
Just to name a few - grit, determination, loyalty, respect, team-work – are all taught through sport. However, one very important lesson is that it teaches us is – to function with the right kind of attitude.
So when we’re faced with a strange situation – Do we allow jitters of the past or fear about the future or the ‘what-ifs’ – get the best of us? Or do we respond to the situation with a solution-oriented frame of mind?
Attitude - the essential component of success
From a personal point of view, to climb the ladder of success in any sphere of life – be it personal or professional – ATTITUDE – is a component that can make or break an individual.
For instance, Vinod Kambli – an extremely talented Indian batsman who as a 17-year old forged a world record unbeaten stand of 664 runs, went on to give stellar performances as a part of the Indian Cricket Team.
However, the flipside was that he did not have a goal/direction which ultimately ended his cricket career at age 23 – when he played his last test.
Michael Jordan – considered as the greatest basketball player – did not always have a very smooth journey. From being cut out of his high school team for being too short to missing shots when the entire game depended on him – he kept learning from his mistakes and sailed through the obstacles with the right attitude.
As he puts it, “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
Another instance, Team India’s recent historic win at the Gabba – a classic example of what can be achieved when challenging situations are dealt with the right kind of attitude. The underdogs became Gabba Gods.
A 2-1 claim to the 2020-21 Border Gavaskar Trophy was laid down by an underrated team. Team members like T.Natrajan had never played for India, and Shardul Thakur waited the longest time to bowl in a test.
Mohammed Siraj lost his father during the series, and the likes of Shubham Gill, Navdeep Saini and Washington Sundar hoped for Test debuts.
These men were physically hurt during the series but they played like they thought they could!
Attitude is the initiator, the flint to the ember of any sportsperson/team. Any athlete is bound to get burned out by challenges, losses and rejections, but it is attitude that instills a reason for continuing to play.
It is attitude that helps them answer questions such as “Why do I want to do that thing?” or “what is my goal?” or “why am I here?” Come to think of it – it is the same for us in our work world as well.
As we enter a new-phase, not essentially post-COVID, but somewhat close to it, a major learning that I want to share is that of having the right kind of attitude. Life will keep giving us moments that’ll test our limits or give us a chance to create something big – be it in the world of work or in our personal lives.
It is these moments that would truly test our attitude – in terms of how we utilize those opportunities to perhaps rediscover/redefine ourselves!
As Lou Holtz (former American football player) says, “Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.”