Recreational versus Competitive SportApr 09, 2021
Recreational sport and competing for fun and health is very different to competing to become the best you can be. Attempting to excel in sport requires a different perspective on fun and pain.
The pleasure derived from pushing yourself to exhaustion and from mentally disciplining your thoughts under pressure is different from just enjoying the taking part.
High level sport is brutal, and you have to realise that there are far more lows than highs.
What you think is wanting it badly can sometimes be wide of the mark. Being entitled, a victim with expectations that wins will somehow be delivered to you just by working hard and taking part - then being depressed when the wins don't happen is saying that you have not yet come to terms with what you have signed up for.
Accept how difficult sport is and become determined to keep weeding the garden. Weeds like fears and doubts keep trying to take over.
Patiently nurture the flowers (positive thoughts for your mind) which can grow strong if the weeds are consistently taken out.
Slowly but surely your garden (mindset) begins reaping the rewards and endure the winters without panic knowing that summer returns. It would be best to stop competing with the intent of being very good if you cannot weed consistently and enjoy the work through harsh winters.
Whether you like it or not it is what it is - an incredible journey of self-discovery and building of mental toughness. Sport and life owe you nothing.
Just do the work with a good attitude and fight to win because that will improve you more than anything.
Surprises (unpleasant ones, mostly) are guaranteed. The risk of being overwhelmed is always there. In these situations, talent is not the most sought-after characteristic. Grace and poise are, because these two attributes precede the opportunity to deploy any other skill.
*We must possess, as Voltaire once explained about the secret to the great military successes of the first Duke of Marlborough, that “Tranquil courage in the midst of tumult and the serenity of a soul in danger, which the English call a cool head.”
*Ryan Holiday, The Obstacle is the Way: The Ancient Art of Turning Adversity to Advantage, loc. 419-23
Written by DAVID SAMMEL
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