Winning takes talent, to repeat takes character. John Wooden
The euphoria of the Indian Crickets teams World Cup victory, has ignited a debate as to whether this is one of the greatest Indian Cricket teams and if it can be considered truly exceptional. To win the world cup is no mean feat and to do it beating some pretty good sides speaks volumes about the sheer talent and ability of the team members. However to be considered exceptional it is imperative that the team display consistency, commitment and above all character.
Consistency is all about repeatedly performing to full potential. This is challenging because the conditions could constantly change be it with respect to the conditions of playing arena, or the strength of the opponent or it could be due to unexpected changes that are suddenly thrust upon the participants. For outdoor sports, a huge shower could drastically alter the playing conditions. In sports, injuries to key players are perhaps one of the most dreaded challenges that a coach has to battle to balance the side at the last moment. What is challenging is to mange a consistent performance despite these numerous hurdles that keep cropping up off and on.
Commitment is giving a 100% no matter what the circumstance. The challenge of being fully committed is that there are times when one is dispirited, disheartened and desperate and it is hard to resist the temptation to throw in the towel. Injury worries, lack of form, constantly losing close games are desperate times when being committed poses a big psychological challenge. Often commitment is driven by the need to give it all we have no matter what or who the opponent or challenge is. The difficulty in being fully committed is that we have to overcome the motions of going through the rigours simply to meet the requirements of the rules. It is equally tough to be committed when battling a losing cause or when there is no real motivation that spurs commitment. Yet there are times when the commitment of one single individual even if he/ she is on the losing side wins accolades for the grit and determination to take on a much stronger opponent.
Character is the ability to put the set backs behind, grab the opportunities that come and explore, experiment and exploit the slimiest chance that one can create. Our character is put to the test when we suddenly encounter a loss of form, an unexpected resilience from opponents, when we find the going very tough and when every nerve in us wants to give up but our spirit keeps nudging us on. The upsets caused by the so called minnows can demoralise and weaken the resolve of the higher rated team or players and they are then prone to give up. However those with the real character are the ones who thrive on challenges, can push themselves to the limit and display amazing self belief. Manchester United Football team is one of those football clubs that is considered a tough competitor particularly because of the self belief they thrive on which makes them come up with extraordinary performance during the fag end of the game especially if they are a goal or two behind. It is their character that opponents fear most.
Remember: Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength. Arnold Schwarzenegger
- Ask yourself if you have some goals or New Year resolutions that demand your consistency, commitment and character to be of the highest order. E.g. if you have a target to lose weight or if you have decide to get some additional qualifications. If you your goals or targets are not so challenging then add a couple of challenging goals/ resolutions so that you can actually achieve a lot during the coming year.
- If you are assailed by self doubts and tied in knots with a number of ‘not’s that hold you back from giving of your best have a look at this prayer:
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