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How sportsmanship qualities can help build resilience and provide motivation to face any adversity

Often, when reading about highly motivational stories of grit and succeeding in the face of adversity, we come across stories of sportsmen who displayed a fighting spirit in real life, as they did on their field of sport.

The start of a new year often comes with hopes of new beginnings, new successes, and new milestones. However, given the eventful 2020 that impacted the world at large, this year is going to be more about overcoming adversities and further adapting to this new normal. And one of the best ways to prepare for ensuring success in any new endeavour, is to approach it with the right attitude!

Often, when reading about highly motivational stories of grit and succeeding in the face of adversity, we come across stories of sportsmen who displayed a fighting spirit in real life, as they did on their field of sport. And this is no coincidence! Listed here are key sportsmanship qualities and insights from Sameer Bhide, a competitive sportsman who, at 47, suffered an extremely rare catastrophic hemorrhagic stroke in his cerebellum, underwent two brain surgeries, and spent a month in a medically induced coma and rehabbing ever since. It was his grit and determination, coming from years of training as a sportsman that helped him through not only the medical crisis but also the personal and professional crisis that followed. These are insights taken from his recently published memoir, One Fine Day, and would be helpful to anyone looking to tide over adversity, at any stage in life!

1. Never say die: One of the key differentiators to dealing with adversity is attitude. And a never say die attitude, which is the basis of champion sportsmen (“Fight” is in their vocabulary) is also the key motivator for survivors who rose above the challenges thrown at them by life and emerged victorious. It rises from first accepting the situation and then resolving to rise above it, irrespective of the difficulties and the umpteen number of failures one encounters, in the process. This would have to be the first step towards re-building one’s life!

2. Belief: Fuelling the attitude is the belief, determination, and commitment to succeed at any cost. Beliefs provides clarity and focus that you can achieve your goals/end vision, and drives one to be determined and dedicated with a clear roadmap required to reach and succeed in achieving your goals. Just having a positive attitude without belief, would not take one very far.

3. Will Power: While having clear goals along with belief, determination, and dedication are all important, will power and a constant self-motivating approach to not stop unless one has achieved success, defines the very spirit of sportsmanship and those of survivors. From stories of medical miracles and worldly successes to examples of lives built out of nothing, will power have always being the secret ingredient that adds the much-needed fuel to keep going and ensure success is achieved.

4. Perseverance: Perseverance, like will power, helps put in the efforts and actions required to achieve a goal, one step at a time. In spite of failures, the ability to stay focused on self-improvement, through seeking mentors, inputs and insights, and constructive criticism, along with building a reliable support system, are all vital when facing adversity.

5. Willingness to Learn: This is of course the most important part of growth and success. In the face of adversity and challenges, existing knowledge and skillset are not enough making it difficult for us to deal with new situations/ circumstances. Ability to understand and accept the fact that one needs to unlearn and re-learn new knowledge, rules, skills, methods or even thought processes to survive, is the pivotal moment when one decides to fight. And from there, it is an upward growth trend!

Apart from the above qualities that are an inherent part of any sportsman, the physical and mental engagement that is deeply associated with sport, is also of great value. In times like these when overbearing challenges can make one sad ordepressed and easily loose hope, a friendly game of one’s favourite sport can help build positivity, give hope, release the happy chemicals in the brain, and do wonders for overall physical, mental, and emotional health, in the long run. With the New Year, it would be wise to indulge in a friendly sport of your choice, to not only achieve a pleasant work – life balance, but to also instill the positive characteristics of a sportsman, that can go a long way to create a healthy and successful life!


Tags assigned to this article:
Motivation Sportsmanship qualities Sameer Bhide

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