Dear Partners in our Education,
Wimbledon Finals, something I look forward to year after year (I began way back when Borg, Connors, Navratilova, Graf and the other greats ruled the courts) and this year saw one of the best three setters ever from Roger Federer!
I want to share the thoughts that flew across my mind as I watched Federer make his victory speech. The lessons we can learn from this champion are innumerable!
Ø The appreciation, warmth, encouragement and humility with which Federer congratulated his opponent brought out the spirit of the game and the attitude of the winner.
Ø In his speech, Federer said that, he kept believing, and dreaming of making a comeback (after his inability to win Wimbledon the past four years), worked for it and realised his dream.
Ø There were a number of people who said that he should retire, that he was long past his prime, that he could not make a comeback; his positive attitude and straight sets performance has made many bite dust.
Ø Federer has to his credit more than a thousand victories; this sure spells consistent hard work and determination!
What, I ask myself, has been my takeaway from watching these matches? What is that I’d like to pass on to my students from the observations I have made? To begin with,
ü the discipline of the spectators has me awestruck even to this day. Yes, they are an enthusiastic crowd, but they heed the referee’s call for silence and you can actually hear the proverbial pin drop!
ü the ball boys and girls, young as they are, never stray from the task at hand.
ü the players are disciplined (you do have the likes of MacEnroe once in a while!!) and extremely focused.
ü the courtesy with which most of them address/treat/appreciate the ball boys and girls is heart warming and worthy of emulation.
ü most important of all is the untiring and dedicated effort they put into their training and practice.
I am of the firm opinion that sports and games can teach our youngsters all these positive qualities. The determination and focus that is an inseparable part of any sport is sure to rub off on all their endeavours. We need to help our children have a healthy balance between study and play…..the age old saying, ‘all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy’, has a lot for truth in it.
Mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org I look forward to hearing from you.
Rama J. Sudev