Sport is more than a game – it’s a professor of life.
It’s not until we engage in events that require putting ourselves on the line that we realise that we know so little. Sport is good like that. It’s the perfect vehicle for learning about potential personal limitations that reflect in everyday life.
As adults, we see professional businesswomen, doctors, tradies, and stay at home mums dedicating quality time each week to activities they love. Apart from sport being great fun, it teaches us valuable lessons, it empowers us and offers the chance to approach each day with greater awareness, passion and perseverance. I also believe participating in sport makes us more balanced, focused and happier…I really could go on. Anyone else wants to back me up here?
During years of professional competition, I overcame many hurdles – self-doubt, injuries, purpose and personal challenges. Something as simple as choosing the wrong path out through the surf break and being stopped in my tracks by a set of waves or focusing on one aspect of my training and ignoring others translated into the decisions I made in life situations.
8 Reasons Why Sport Is The Professor Of Life
+ Live in the now
Focus only what is in front of you, don’t think too far ahead about what you can’t control and miss the opportunity that is present. I liken this to concentrating on the wave I am riding in the surf at that moment, and not worrying about the set that may or may not clean me up on the way back out through the wave break area. We certainly can’t control others either so stop worrying about what they’re doing and focus on what you’re doing.
+ Don’t be aggressive towards others but let it drive you within.
Conflict with others is such a waste of energy and it takes the focus off what you should be doing. Lift your own game. Actions speak louder than words. Let others carry their own baggage and don’t let it affect your day.
+ Commitment is what separates the ordinary from the extraordinary
Some sportspeople may seem like they are born with the right genes or talent. Many people are…it is the ones that expect more from themselves and take it to the next level that are successful.
+ Responsibility lies within us
If I had a dollar for every time I heard, from someone I was competing against say “Oh, I was so unlucky that I missed that wave. Blaming outside influences doesn’t work, sure there are the occasions that it happens, but if you put yourself in the right place within the waves they can also bring you a lot of luck! Create your own destiny and don’t rely on others to bring you success.
+ Focus on what you do want
Your mind takes you where you want it to. Pre-visualisation has amazing benefits. When you think about what you don’t want to happen – say, a slice in golf, it happens! Fear dictates our outcomes whether it is a job interview, a public speaking gig or major exam. Concentrate on what you want and let yourself be drawn towards that energy and outcome.
+How to deal with emotions
Dealing with emotions is a major part of sport and competitions. Within the space of an hour, you can go from a good frame of mind to a bad. You can totally lose it or know how to catch yourself in the moment and calm yourself down. It’s how we pick ourselves up and keep up composure that counts.
Females are naturally more emotional. We’re more in tune with our surroundings and those around us. It’s our natural instinct to keep the human race alive! Bring competitiveness into the equation and it’s interesting to watch the dynamics change. Everyone deals with stress differently – some talk and fidget while others overanalyze and talk themselves out of any success before they’ve even started! Sport taught me how to control my up’s (overly happy) and down’s (grumpy days) while trying to stay balanced (through learnt techniques) with my emotions.
+ Challenge yourself
We all have to start somewhere and by challenging yourself by entering something you know you are no good teaches us so much. We learn more from trying and failing than we do from success only if you own it.
+ Don’t believe everything you read (or see)
There is always a new diet or crazy way of training that is going to make you want to sit up and take notice. We’re constantly being hit from all directions which lead to self-doubt over what we should be doing and with this comes a lack of consistency. Believe in what you are doing is working for you and stick to your guns. Remain flexible in your way of thinking but not to the point that you’re swapping and changing direction like a sail in the wind!
The most important thing to remember is that sport teaches us great life lessons but it is not life. It’s easy to get caught up in the bubble that sport provides but it’s also very grounding to test your worth outside of sport with all aspects of your life.