The World Cup in Brazil commenced last week Friday (12th June) and will run through to Sunday (13th July). It has been a terrific time of football thus far with teams upsetting some big teams. While watching some of the matches, I discovered these life lessons that football teach us. The first ten have been discussed (READ; Lessons 1-5 and Lessons 6-10). For the purpose of this article, we will be looking at the next five.
11. Time: Every football match is played in the confines of 90 minutes including stoppage time (added time) to make up for time lost during the match. No matter how rich they are or famous they are or influential they are, they cannot buy more time to play a football match. Its either you make use of the 90 minutes allotted time positively or negatively.
In life, we have an allotted time for everything we do. There is a time to go to Primary school, time for Secondary school, time for University, time to read and time to sleep, time to eat and time to defecate, time to love and be loved and ultimately time to live and time to die. Make use of time properly because everyone has the same 24 hours. Don’t waste yours.
12. Pledge your allegiance: Every footballer plays under a body whether a country or a club. When it comes to playing for your country as a footballer you have to believe in your country, love your country and decide to do your best for your country. I am yet to see a footballer that hates his country or club and still gives it all his best to make the team win. Even in business, I am yet to see a successful person that despises his/her country. Dangote loves Nigeria, Bill Gates loves USA, Oprah loves her country and many more billionaires like them love and invest in their respective countries.
If you are going to succeed, pledge your allegiance to your country. Love your country with all your heart whether its in crisis or not. Loving your country comes with a blessing from God that I can’t explain.
13. Respect to authority (Referee): A referee is someone that takes charge of a football match and makes decisions that could affect the match both positively or negatively. The referee has the final say over what happens on the field of play. The referee is supposed to be impartial to both teams. A referee is someone on the pitch that chases the ball around all match but never gets to it..lol. In life, we have different referees at different points in our lives. The referees could be our parents, family, friends, bosses, lecturers, spouse and mentors. We should learn to respect authority. Don’t disrespect people that are put by God to correct you when you go astray.
14. God comes first: I have noticed that footballers are very spiritual people. They always believe in a deity. Some believe in the Almighty God while others believe in their small gods but the point is that they believe that there is someone up there that would make their hard work and talent work for them and bring them victory. For example the Nigerian team has daily prayers to seek Divine intervention. They pray both individually and as a team. They pray on their way to the stadium to play the match. They pray in the dressing room as they prepare for the match. They pray as they get on the pitch before the match. They pray during halftime and also after the match. This shows that they are well aware that without God all they do on the pitch would be a waste of time and effort. We need to put God first in everything we do. We wake up in the morning and dedicate the day to Him by prayer and devotion (reading The Holy Book). Whatever decision you want to make, please make sure you consult God. As footballers do before every match, pray to God and He will see you through.
15. Don’t look down on people: When a big star studded team plays against a smaller team. They have the confidence that they can win the game because they are better than the other team. But the biggest mistake a big team can make is look down on the opponent and underestimate them. This could lead to complacency and they might end up defeated.
In life, we should never underestimate people, we should never look down on people. Everyone has something to teach you because no one knows it all. Be open minded and not block headed. Only foolish people think they know it all. Someone once said “The wise man knows he knows nothing, the fool thinks he knows all”. While William Shakespeare added “The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool”. Remember everyone knows something you don’t know. Be open minded to learn.
Continuation: 20 Life Lessons Football Teaches Us (Part 4 of 4)