They Play, Others Bray

Sports should promote sportsmanship. The players as well as the spectators should take Ďsportsí as sports, in the right context and not become sore losers who cannot accept defeat. Victory and defeat, both are part of the game and there is no hard and fast rule which states that only your favorite team should win and neither it is possible to win every single match. While the sportsmen play and possibly give their best, the audience often reacts more strongly than needed. These have been examples when people have become so much emotionally involved in the game that they started taking sports in the wrong context e.g. a person breaking T.V. after his country lost a match to opponent team, Indian Muslim players and their properties being attacked by local citizens when their team fails to performs good or worst of all; two citizens ending their lives after their country lost the final cricket match. Likewise an Indian girl ended her life after Viral Kothi failed to score any good against Pakistan in T20 and One day series. The same day when Pakistan won the series, Indian forces opened fire on Pakistani border martyring one Pakistani soldier.

We need to question that is such reaction really appropriate for a healthy entertainment; sports? Does it help to achieve any goal or influence the players and their performances in any way? Can the things really change with such emotional reactions? Why bray when the sportsmen play?

Letís have an inner insight on the factors which make people react intensely to the results of just few hours game?

1. Idealism:

Everything in life is based on probability. Sometimes we can win and sometimes we end up losing. Then why does it become so hard to accept the defeat? Why do we choose to live with idealistic thinking that only victory belongs to us and defeat is for opponent team? If we become so happy with the victory and winnings, then should not we have big heart to cope up with losses and take them as part of game played somewhere else and not really connected to our real life.

2. Excuses for ourselves and blame for others:

How do we react when we fail in our lives? Do we criticize ourselves as strongly as we criticize the sportsmen when they fail to perform well? We are sympathetic and forgiving towards our own mistakes and failures but turn extremely critical to the mistakes made by others. If we realize this fact that not all the times, we are bound to succeed or fail, then it should not be too hard for us to accept the bad results of others as well.

3. Why spoil your own mood and energy?

Why do we relate our happiness to external factors such as winning the match? The game should be taken as it is, taking it over seriously leads to disturbance in our own mood and a decline in our energies. All sort of over reactions on actions done by someone else only end up in vain.

4. Any example of non-failing players?

If we cannot perform excellent in every task, why do we expect sportsmen to be up to the best mark every time? I hardly name any player who did not show poor performance at some time of his life. Often sachin is considered to be one of the finest batsmen in the world but even he got ducked in 33 matches. But does that make him extremely poor batsmen? The answer is obviously no, because it is the overall performance that counts. Not in every match, we can expect players to win medals and man of the match etc. It helps to be realistic.

Finally; like every person knows their work and situation best. Sportsmen know their game better than anybody else. In the end I would like to quote Mohammad Hafeez of Pakistan; the number 1 all rounder by International Cricket.

 He said that if you are an expert in the field then you are most welcome to give your criticism. So as mere spectators of the game who do not know much about sports, there is definitely no purpose, no use and no advantage of the criticism and feedback. Itís high time that we learn to enjoy games and sports as healthy form of entertainment and leave away our idealistic thinking. After all either winning or losing any game is not going to have any permanent effects in our lives.

 Written By Dr. Muhammad Wasif Haq, Islamabad, Pakistan.


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