A bit aggressive – this is what I genuinely am concerning my common conduct in real life. But on the contrary, when it comes to sports & my sporting icons, I have mostly admired the athletes who were pretty collected even in the worst of situations in their career. And to be honest, there are very few athletes, past or present, who are admired for their personality apart from their sporting skills & achievements across the nations, and these three athletes certainly make it to the list.
My Sporting Icons & Their Life Lessons
Sacrifices & Hard Work – There are no shortcuts to success, it’s all about your sheer hard work & the sacrifices you make for the thing you love. Messi wanted to play professional football & for that, he knew had to make a lot of sacrifices. He left Argentina, his friends & family at a very tender age & came to Barcelona, Spain to pursue his lifelong dream. He worked hard at it, relentlessly worked at improving his skills & eventually played for professional football for one of the biggest clubs in the world, Barcelona. So this shows that if you have got a dream, you gotta protect it, make sacrifices & work hard to improve yourself every day.
Mental Ability Over Physical Ability – Messi isn’t as tall or as physically strong as an ideal footballer should be but that never stopped him from achieving his goals & becoming one of the finest footballers this world has ever witnessed. He was diagnosed with Growth Hormone Deficiency (GHD) in his teen & as a result, his growth was stunted. He shifted to Barcelona & carried on with his treatment & became the legend that he is today. So this conveys a very important message that it doesn’t matter much how you look or what are your physical capabilities, all that matters is how mentally resilient you are towards achieving your goal & how passionately you work for it.
Learning To Accept Failures – Being one of the most competitive footballers on the field, he had to accept that failures are also an inevitable part of the game. And he learned it the hard way. Be it the CL Semi-finals against Chelsea in 2012 or WC Finals against Germany in 2014 & there are a lot of other examples too where it was was just heartbreaking to be a Messi fan. But isn’t that this game or life is supposed to be. It’s a great leveler, You win some, You lose some. But what remains behind is how you played the game & lived your life.
Improving Everyday – In an interview, Federer said that ‘ If you’re not getting better, you’re getting worse’. As the opposition is constantly improving, staying the same is going backward. So you can say that he is in a constant quest to improve himself which shows that even “the best in the world” has to constantly work on his skills to stay relevant.
So it doesn’t matter in which field you are, there’s always a chance to improve something or the other.
Keeping Calm Under Stress – In his earlier days, he was very emotional, often complaining & throwing rackets on the court. He wasted a lot of energy doing this & somewhere it affected him & averted him from playing his best. As the years went by & he started playing bigger matches & in front of a huge crowd, he realized that he felt embarrassed breaking rackets on the main court & breaking things. So eventually he got it all together & worked on his mental game & now he is one of the best mental performers in Tennis.
So this shows that if you keep your calm under difficult situations in life & focus on the solution of a problem, you can do wonders.
Have a Positive Support System – Federer once said that apart from Tennis, he relies heavily on his support system that is his family, friends & his team. He once asked his support group if they believed in him, and the answer was always the same: ” They said that they thought if you’re 100% healthy, prepared & eager to play, then anything is possible. Even after 2012 when he wasn’t performing at his level best, everybody thought its time when he should call it a day. He & his team believed he could win more grand slams & that’s what eventually happened in 2017 he won two grand slams including AO & Wimbledon & in 2018 AO he did it again.
So this shows how having a positive support system around you helps you to get on with life as well as career & keeps you motivated in the most difficult times.
RAHUL DRAVID “THE WALL”
Selflessness – This is probably the first thought that comes to my mind when I think of him. The most selfless cricketer ever. Records are made & they are broken but the kind of character you carry throughout your career is what you are remembered for & that becomes your legacy. He did what his team asked him to do every single time. Be it Wicket-keeping when the team was in a drought or playing at any random batting position in any given situation & he never complained about it. That’s Rahul Dravid for you.
Team Player – Teamwork is something that is an essential trait to possess playing a team sport if one wants to see success in their career. And Rahul Dravid’s innate ability to do what is necessary for the team is commendable. He always had put the team before his own records & motives. He became a wicketkeeper for team India & took the role of a finisher at that time by batting down the order when he easily could have batted at third or fourth position & could have scored much more runs & centuries. He never had a regular batting position in ODI’s in the early 2000s because many a time he came to open as well as he played in the middle order too. So he is someone who could take a bullet for his team in a heartbeat. He was really ” the wolf who lived for the pack”.
Adaptability – When Rahul Dravid came into International cricket, he was labeled as a Test cricketer & everyone thought he would never make it to the ODI’s or be good enough for it. The way he played was optimum for Test Cricket but he wanted to don that blue jersey of team India so bad that he enhanced his techniques in 3 years span from 1996 to 1999 where he pushed himself to play lofted shots & play more attacking kind of cricket. And as a result, he was selected in 99 WC & even became the Batsman of the tournament scoring most runs. So this shows that if you want to take it to the next level in your profession or in life you have to adapt to the situations & keep evolving as an individual.
Patience – I think the word ‘Patience’ should be made synonymous to Rahul Dravid. He was really ‘one of a kind’ batsman when it came to playing long & exhausting innings because for playing the test cricket of highest level, you need to stick around for long because poor deliveries are quite rare. Dravid did not go for playing those fancy strokes & waited for the poor deliveries to be bowled to keep one side of the order secured. And this ultimately allowed the other batsman to play more freely. So this teaches us that being patient in life often results in making more informed decisions & life is long so play it like Jammy.
And he is undoubtedly my favorite cricketer & sporting icon & it’s my blog so I can go one extra for him. 😀