20 Life Lessons Football Teaches Us (Part 4 of 4)


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 fifteen have already been discussed (READ; Lessons 1-5 and Lessons 6-10, Lessons 11-15). We will be looking at the last five in this article.

16. Everyone is gifted: Every footballer has a gift and what makes them unique. Every football has a talent and recognizing what it is and working on improving it is the gateway to success as a footballer. Cristiano Ronaldo’s gift is his pace, skills, shooting and heading ability. Messi’s gift is his trickery, speed, confidence on the ball. Jay Jay Okocha’s gift is his flamboyance on the ball and dribbling skills. Rio Ferdinand’s gift is his coolness on the ball and confidence. I could go on and on by naming footballers and their gifts but the point is all footballers are gifted with something that makes them unique.
In life, we are ALL GIFTED. We have something that makes us unique. Its not dependent on your result in school, or your family background, or your past rate of failure. Your gift might not be academically inclined (that’s why you do bad in school). Your gift could be drawing, photography, writing, singing, dancing, cooking or baking. Your gift could also be sports related, maybe you are a good footballer, basketballer, table tennis player, chess player or a good athlete. You are gifted and not less special than the first class graduate, top class lawyer, big doctor. What’s your gift? Discover it.

17. Have a winning mentality: Let’s imagine two sets of players. The first group go into a match not believing they can beat the other team, they believe the other team has better players and a better coach, they believe they have no chance of victory. The second team go into the match believing they can win the match, they believe in their team and the manager’s instructions, they believe nothing can stop them from winning the game. Which team do you think will come out successful? The answer is obvious. One team has a negative mentality while the other has a positive mentality.
We have to enter life with a winning mentality. We have to believe we can do it. We have to believe we can conquer life’s battles. We have to believe we can make it happen no matter the cost. We have to believe nothing will get us down and no one can make us feel worthless and derail us from life’s path. Believe in yourself.

18. Learn from every game: After every game whether win or lose, the coach studies tapes of the match to analyze what they did right, what they did wrong, what they should improve on and what they should maintain.
The players are encourages to watch the tapes especially if they lost the match, so as to identify what went amiss and fix it before the next match.
In life, we should endeavor to learn from our mistakes and don’t let it affect us. We should also learn from our victories in a bid to improve on it. Life is an educational journey and we should continuously strive to improve.

19. Don’t be a spectator: Are you aware that only 22 players (11 on each side) play a football game and as much as a billion people watch the matches? About 30,000 plus watch as spectators in the stadium while billions watch as viewers or fans. At the end of the day, only the players get the prize, only the footballers get paid, only the footballers get recognized. In fact, the money accrued from the fans through gate fees, sale of jersies, satellite tv fees, sale of mechandise are used to pay the footballers. Spectators do the shouting and supporting while the footballers do the playing.
Don’t be a spectator in life. Don’t watch as your friends and colleagues succeed in life and you just stand there either cheering them or beefing them. Be the player and make things happen. Remember only the player gets the prize. Be a player today.

20. Perseverance: Perseverance is simply not giving up. When footballers play, they never give up because they know they can score anytime. They keep at it, they keep shooting, they keep tackling, they keep passing, they keep fighting until they score and win the game.
We will be faced with difficult circumstances, we will cry, we will smile, we will be tired, we will want to give up, we will seek help, we will be happy, we will be sad, we will be encouraged, we will be discouraged. All these and more will come but NEVER GIVE UP. Persevere to the end because its all gonna be worth it when you succeed.


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