Reminiscing Childhood Street Sports & the Lessons It Taught
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One day while out on a walk in my society’s park I was reminded of the times when as kids I and my friends used to play various sports all day long, even in the absence of proper playgrounds. I remember that the moment we reached home from school, we’d have lunch and rush out to play and the only restriction that our parents would place was that by the time the street lights were put on, one had to better return home. Ironically, today, we have such huge and dedicated sporting arenas, even within societies, but instead of the childlike rush, kids are made to compete from a very young age, which to me is a very sad thing. Today when children are put into a particular sport and are pushed for excellence, I believe that the freedom that was associated with playtime is somehow lost. This freedom of figuring out with one’s friends on what’s right and wrong at the playground, taught me a lot and has in a way contributed to shaping my entire personality.
Hence I believe it’s really important to play sports while you’re growing up, whether an individual or a team sport. In an individual game you learn to be independent and a team game teaches you co-ordination, instilling faith in your fellow team mates to achieve a common goal. Just the other day I was lucky to attend a professional table tennis match. It was an exhilarating experience where people were cheering up for their favorite players. It was fascinating to see the kind of boost it gave to the performance of the players. I realized motivation to perform better and to win is really important wherever you go and in whatever you do. Not just that, one thing common to all sports is the attention to focus. In TT for example, looking at the ball go from one end to the other, considerable focus is required to keep your eye on that tiny ball and aiming it correctly. Sports teaches that you should know what you are working towards and aim accordingly to achieve it.
It also helps you to anticipate competitor’s move and to strategize your move accordingly. Like in cricket, from the posture and the leg placement of the batsman, bowler is able to gauge his move and bowl accordingly, same is the case with a batsman who’s able to anticipate the ball from the bowlers arm movement. Similarly, in the competitive world that we live in, it is essential to have a proactive approach rather than being reactive. Hence, know your competition, observe and make your move. Apart from being competitive it is also important to encourage healthy competition and respect the players, there is no point in winning by playing dirty as eventually it will lead to your fall.
At the base of all of this, the basic belief that comes from sports is that may it be any sport you play, it makes you a better human being and a better sportsman where you take things sportingly. More than anything, it teaches you to be mindful of what you are good at and also respect what the others are good at. Also at the end of the game you try and introspect what did not work out in your favour, and improve accordingly as you go along. I think the biggest lesson that anyone can learn from sports is win or lose, everybody is a winner because everyone has a takeaway from a game/sport that he/she decides to play.
It is essential for the kids or younger generation to play a sport, whatever it may be as long as they are out there and enjoying themselves. It’s a good stress buster, very good for one’s health and more than that it’s great to build character. The more you play, the more you learn. It helps you grow as an individual and you learn to make important decisions as you go. Have the right attitude and be passionate enough as you really should feel the need to do something to be able to achieve it. You always play to win and not lose, but remember to win you need to play and if you don’t play you will never stand a chance to win! And even if you lose, the learning is so huge, it does come into play when you connect the dots later on in your life!