Hard Lessons

I have always maintained that sports has shown me more in life than I ever learnt in thee classroom and recently this notion just keeps reiterating itself and incidents in sporting circles and in sporting activities keeps reinforcing the notion.

In the recent Barcamp Cape Coast that I attended I found myself caught in a passionate discussion with a basketball coach over the importance of sports to youth development. I was reminded of a convocation I attended in one of the leading private colleges in Ghana where a five year plan for the college was on the agenda and there was no mention of any sports. Yeah trust me, not even soccer. Suffice it to say that I had to raise my hand and draw their attention to that important omission.

I tell the youth I have the privilege to mentor that if they don’t do any physical sport they are harming themselves because sports not only acts as exercise but also serves as an outlet for the stress that living in this fast paced global world brings along with it. Not only just that but also there are plenty lessons from playing any sport. When you’re applying for a job and you write on you cv that you’re a team player yet you don’t play any sports how do you understand the dynamics of teamwork in a practical sense.

Today I played a game of basketball and from the very beginning we led in a game that the first team to get to a hundred points wins. At a point in time my team led by over twenty points and at the rate at which the game was going and the synergy within our team it was a foregone conclusion that we had already won the game. But hey! We actually lost the game.

Yeah we did!

Now this is what happened. We were at a crunch time having reached 94 to our opponent’s 86 that instead of luck concentrating on what had enabled us lead the game from the beginning, we were more focused on finishing the game quickly being tired. The bid to finish the game quickly, a narrow view led to my team losing focus of what was more important which is the method to that finishing rather than the finishing itself.

In basketball turnovers means that the opponents tended to have more of the ball and they utilized their possession more than we did and it paid off for them as they gradually inched past us at 99 to win with a single shot.

Painful as it was, it is easy to draw parallels of this loss to our real life everyday situations where we look at the goal and only think of the finishing and not what goes into finishing perfectly. People tend to be narrow minded and fail to consider the bigger picture which is this case would’ve been to just take time and consider all the options. Sometimes albeit all the warnings of people who have been there we believe we are doing the right thing until it doesn’t work out and we recognize our folly but too late.

Well, for me sports will not only continue to teach me lessons but will be what I affectionately call therapy because it keeps my head screwed on straight. I’d therefore advise that if you’re reading this and don’t do any sport, you do find one and participate in, not just watch or comment on. Remember you’re the only one responsible for your own well-being.

Like a always say it begins with YOU!!

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