What playing competitive sports taught me

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.”

Watching competitive sports always spurs something in me. Once upon a time I actually thought that it was a waste of time playing any sport recreationally. Why put in so much effort in something to do it for “fun”? And at that point I truly believed that I could excel in something that I liked.

It has been almost a decade since I played competitive netball and oh, those glorious days. We were such an awesome team in secondary school, going through all the tough training camps and drills together, we really shared literally blood sweat and tears. I think I was physically suited to play netball, being tall and I could run relatively quick at that time. Wow, those days when the whole school cheered for us during the finals and how we achieved 4th in the nationals for an unknown school, it was surreal. Best of all, I also made it to the age group national team. Those young, glorious days!

Fast forward to the present, exercise now has become an avenue to destress. I still think about some of the mind games and strategies I used to write down in this small little book that I had, and also the ‘mental strength’ course that I attended that taught me how to keep calm during critical moments.

Playing competitive sports taught me many things. Firstly, teamwork. Make full use of your strengths, your team mates’ strengths and complement each other when there are cracks or weaknesses. Though in a work context it is definitely difficult to trust your team mate completely, it will take some time, but it will definitely be a dream team!

Secondly, never give up and when you fail, appreciate the process. This to me applies most in a dating or love context when I was younger. There are times that you want to make sure you put in your best shot, but sometimes things don’t work out but you know you tried. When I grew up, I thought this applied to people who became ill, or even if health becomes an obstacle for me one day, I will abide to this.

Thirdly, have a goal and go for it. I honestly have not really done this to a 100% but I aspire to do this. The court is yours, the game is yours to play and how you want to play it. My high school and junior college coaches had totally different styles. The former being very “waterfall” (work has influenced me to use this term hahaha omg) and step by step where we execute the different tactics according to what she wanted us to do. The latter being very “agile” because at that time she was new to netball and had a basketball background. I felt that the combination of both made it really cool. I had a solid background and it was time to just play my own game. I never told anyone but on the bus to Kallang netball centre I would listen to “unbelievable” by Craig David, and then on court on my good days I would play it just for fun. Not that it’s just ‘for fun’, but I would see how I could just manipulate my opponent. Oh and my team mates were strong enough to depend on to execute whatever we wanted.

I guess this is the same for life. On one hand you got to put in the hard work, put in the basics, work on it, and then just, rule it. Haha of course, it is easier said than done and I haven’t really felt like that since I stepped on a netball court many many years ago. But I guess stemming from my competitive sports background, I truly believe in myself in most things that I do. (Very important when working because of terrible people that you’ll meet!)

Now let me leave you with a song that my netball teacher played on screen to hype us up:

May you SHINE in your own way!

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