My dad introduced me to sport at a very young age. I have dabbled in basketball, football, soccer – the big sports – and in Foosball, in snooker, in swimming. Is bowling considered a sport? I didn’t care what the game was, I wanted to learn, and I wanted to play. It’s a passion that I have brought into my current life as well. There are many things to recommend sport, the exercise, the fun, but if there’s one thing that I can say with confidence, it’s that sports has taught me the kind of skills that I couldn’t have learnt with the same impact anywhere else.
I’ve tried to list the two most important skills playing has taught me. These skills have come through for me in my career and in my relationships and it is something I hope to impart to my kids in my stint as a parent.
Time Management & Discipline –
Any sport has a schedule, a game time and rules. Through strict practice timings, I was able to pick up the sort of discipline that was previously lacking in my life. I learnt that while the game let you be free and run around, there are still physical borders and play rules that have to be followed in order for you to be considered good.
I was an only child for a long time and this meant that I was spoilt silly. I didn’t have to share my toys; I was the king of the house. You can imagine what this did to my personality. I didn’t play well with other kids. Getting into football changed this for me. While your talent and skill in the sport is important, if you don’t do your part in a larger team, you are doomed to fail. In sport, I learnt to pass, to understand my peers, to put my ego aside. Assessing our collective strengths and weakness and using that knowledge to forge ahead helped me win not just in life but also at work and at home.