I was watching the movie 'Bhag Milkha Bhag' the other day. The inspiring story of the immense determination of an athlete, his international acclaim and achievement was one thing, but what actually got me was how an actor slipped into the role of an athlete. He couldn't have possibly just ‘acted’ that role. He had to have actually lived it in order to deliver a larger than life performance that would befit the calibre of Milkha Singh! The discipline and the hard work of the actor stood out and that’s what was applauded!
It’s not easy being an accomplished sportsman! It takes years of hard, painful training, hours of practising, sacrificing the other things and perfecting the game one has undertaken to do justice to. Every sportsperson worth his salt in this country will definitely vouch for the sweat and grit he or she has put in. Sports is something that demands that much of you. Nothing is possible overnight.
When such is the case, the aspiring sportsperson owes it to himself to stay focussed in the game. Mental discipline is more challenging and it takes every ounce of one’s self-control to keep the focus steady. It is so easy to lose focus and get distracted.
When Dronacharya, the teacher of the Panadavas and Kauravas in Mahabharatha, asked his star pupil Arjuna, after he’d taken aim of the eye of the bird, as to what he saw, he said, ‘I see the eye of the bird!’ as against his other pupils who said, ‘I see the tree, the branches, the bird and the leaves!”
Distraction can undo in a moment what one has taken years to perfect. It can be very debilitating and one can lose faith in oneself as a result. Keeping this valid point in mind, my advice is to give the game the discipline it requires. Physically and mentally. Physically, exercising regularly, practising your game, keeping fit in order to be able to give it your all and maintaining your diet to do full justice to your game. And mentally, disciplining yourself to steer clear of the distractions and focussing on the game.
Your destination - your spot on the victory stand, the penultimate glory of touching the finishing line, hitting the winning six, that much needed last minute goal – everything is within your reach, provided you reach out for it with focus and single-mindedness it needs.
Practice with focus and the rewards will be waiting for you!