Oftentimes, I hear people illustrate life as a football pitch but the truth is it is more than that. To make life a similitude to football, both the perspective of the player and watcher would be considered.
There is no spirit that bears sportsmanship except the learning of excellent moral and teaching of good character. Sportsmanship is more than smiling to your opponent, a team defender hugging the other’s striker or two keepers sharing shirt, it involves a huge amount of duties that I will prefer to call the Science of Football.
Apparently, the mathematics of Football which is the skill utilized to push ball around, toss /pass to one another, maneuver a player and shoot a overhead towards the net in an expertise way and a systematize method is what interests 80% of viewer, unaware that the interest they have for football is part of football itself. Science of Football entails your emotion and passion, the player’s responsibility and life, the referee’s role and jurisdiction and all morals that show in, around and outside the football pitch.
Life is a race was something I long quoted before I recently discovered that adapting to the society is not the only necessity to thrive except you indulge in competitions which caught you conscious or unaware.
Hence, at every stage of human existence competition is inexcusable. Even, a sperm undergoes a race before it forms an embryo which gives rise to you, why won’t you then acquire the skills of the game otherwise subject yourself to lose? Importantly, football will expose one to the following but it is responsibility that aids learning:
- Preparation and Practice: The FIFA World is played only after four years but a National team is not formed in two weeks time to the game, the coveted Champions Trophy is only lifted once in a year but a club’s team would have been prepared long before the actual tournament. The worth of preparation and practice is not an issue to be taken with levity hand. A player is good, but a team is better. A team could not be effective except there is adequate preparation and practice on cordialness. Success could never be achieved in a thing except it is well practiced and prepared for. Often, it takes longer to prepare than to execute. So, there is a need to first prepare successfully how to achieve success.
- Responsibilities and Expectations: Imagine yourself before the screen or in the pavilion of a stadium watching the 88th minute of a tournament’s qualifier match in which team A and B are already playing 1 against 1, then Team A was awarded a penalty which was to be played by the player wearing the shirt with number 11, specifically with name John J. John J before the ball, what will be his thoughts? Surely, he must have considered himself as the hope of the match. If he has 10 reasons to lose the penalty, there are more than a hundred reasons to kick for a goal not less than a thousand fans who desired you goal. What will he explain to the coach and manager? What about his colleague and counterpart? In life, if you have a dozen reasons to quit, then there are more than gross reasons why you shouldn’t quit. If you had to stop, then you must have stopped only to continue. If you quit before the end of first half, you would not be able to witness the second goal in the second half.
- Passion and Sacrifice: The payment for passion is sacrifice but the reward for passion is undefined. The fans seldom have a physical thing to gain in football before investing their resources towards football. Days and weeks before the match, I have been reminiscing and posing argument about my favorite club in a far away continent. Man is never ready to climb up the peak success of his passion until he is ready to sacrifice an interest of his towards what he craves for. Everybody is not a lover of football, but verily those who love it sacrifice a lot in terms of emotion and possession. The emotion is slaughtered in a way of the team you support may win in favour of your desire and may lose which is against your emotion. You also utilize your possession in terms of wealth, money to ensure witnessing the match which you believe in. In the end, it may be a win, which you will rejoice over and it may be a lose, which you will give yourself hope in next match but never have one forbid football in the fear of losing. This needs to be applied to life too. Our life would be sweeter if we could learn to sacrifice things for our passion with lesser fear of losing and a greater hope of winning, so in the case of losing, another door is envisioned as opened. Once, I quoted that sacrifice is a fee that you pay in exchange for a value that you are passionate about, however you may have an additional reward of a prize.
- Teamwork and Unity: Individual differences can be easily overlooked by putting more gazes upon individual strength. Football shows collective goals can only be achieved by collective effort and individual aim is also realized by supportive hands. A team consists of players of different background, training and skill. A player’s weakness is another’s strength, every player has strength and every player has a weakness. If the strength can manage the weakness than the opposing team, then a better team is made. Human management is important to attainment of success. Tribe doesn’t stop a player from making a pass to his teammate, nor does color stops him from making throw-in advance to him, he did lose a goal because he does not want an ethics to prevail but a player does it all for the sake of the team. I hope you take this along in your peregrination, ‘Make success for your team and yourself shall be an achiever’. If you can assist your team to win the tournament, you can be the highest goal scorer, man of the match or even the best player. Play your role and manage your people. Know that you don’t have permanent enemy in the way of success, everybody is only running a race of interest. If you can be careful though, there is no harm in using one with opposing interest to build your dream. That is called own goal. It is no harm being sent to the forest of lions, it is just dangerous when you cannot lead them back.
- Justice and Balance: The referee is one of the greatest being on the pitch as he shoulders a huge amount of responsibility and duties. A referee is one being that oversees the affairs of more than twenty-two beings. He observes closely without taking part, he justifies sincerely in case of any normalcy without taking sides and he protects the mission of the competition. A referee is a creature with emotion, passion and intent but he have to bury that to maintain balances of the competition. Irrespective of him being a fan of whomever, he needs to maintain justice and equity with a spirit of friendship called sportsmanship. The referee runs around the field six times more than a midfield (the one that runs most among the team) would do because he is just alone, unsupported except by two linesmen. However, he needs to bury his personal interest to succeed in his profession, otherwise be sanctioned by his employer, queried by co-worker and blamed by fans of the unflavored team. It is not a sin for your life to be a referee who mediates between people and justify on issues but do not a bad one. Be a sensitive referee who knows a foul moment before it occurs, a penalty just at when due. Judge people by what they did and not what they might have done. Take this as balance, ‘Give appropriate portion to appropriate person and you shall be an excellent intermediary’.
Life will never offer you what you deserve unless you demand for it, but when demanding be moderate. Extremism is an easy door out of any room. Even in extreme place, there is an extreme corner. Referee may not have seen what happened, he may have seen and ignored it and may decide to play some foul but you need to call his attention, make him see it and let him know what it cost. However, it is rude to call human a lion but it is an appraisal to call him ‘King of the Jungle’, ‘Lion of Judah’. In life, man must learn to approach.
A football is one of the places for all to play a cordial role; the coach is also there likewise the commentator and reporter. You don’t have to be in a stadium before you start playing but see life as your tournament and everywhere you are as a football pitch either local field, standard arena and international stadium. Always play to your best of courtesy. Never relent till you achieve your aim!