Benefits of playing Football – Part 12
Lastly, unless I remember something and forget to edit this out. Football teaches us as individuals how to cope with failure, to control our emotions and resilience. Losing a football game is not a pleasant experience. It can feel heartbreaking especially if you are truly passionate about the sport. Even if you only play for the social side of things you may feel bad for your teammates. But football teaches us that there will always be another game, whether that’s playing, watching or coaching. Its ok to lose, its not fun but its okay, at the end of the day it is just a game. This ability to deal with a loss can also help us in life. Being able to deal with failing a test or not doing as well as you wanted is a similar situation that an individual may be able to draw on their experience in football.
We have all seen people for lack of a better word “Snap”. They lose their cool and all of a sudden its on. Football players are no exception to this two of the greatest players in recent history Zinedine Zidane and David Beckham have got into trouble for lashing out at other players. Both were at the world cup, high pressure situations, weight of a nation on their shoulders. In football, as in life there are annoying players that specialize in the dark arts of football. Pinching, tripping when the referee is not looking, quiet verbal abuse, stepping on the backs of your heels at set pieces, the works. Football teaches us to not lash out at these instances otherwise we may be punished instead of the offender. Quite often this player is also very convincing at “diving” meaning that more than likely the retaliating player will be the one who gets sent off. So, in football we must learn to control ourselves and try and focus on something else in game. Or do what I do and tell the referee and linesman. Yes, I am an in game taddle tail and I couldn’t be prouder. I stand on the goalkeeper at corners and on one such occasion the keeper was constantly shoving me in the back with two hands, I’m 5’4 not 6’8 just reach over me? Anyways it got to the point where I had enough, so I told the Referee and his assistant and sure enough next corner, two handed shoves in the back and we got a penalty and won the game. Being able to do this in life as well as football is also important, there is always going to that one annoying individual whether it’s at work or school who it seems has made it their life mission to annoy you. But from an individual’s previous experience in dealing with the dirty diver in football they may be able to control their emotions and simply walk away.
Football can also teach us resilience, the other side of learning to deal with loss. Being resilient takes many forms in football. A player having a shocking run of form after being bought for big money. A team losing a big game. A player who has a devastating injury. How they respond is down to their resilience. I have won grand finals. Lost grand finals, I have missed a penalty in a semi-final, I have been told I was not good enough, I have been told that I have not improved enough, I have been out injured for a year and pretty much every year I get insulted for being short. But I am resilient. Because I have failed many times before and know how to get up and move on from it. I largely attribute this to the time I have spent and experience I have gained playing football.