Let's get sporty.
There are so many lessons to take on in your life from playing competitive sports. The obvious ones are teamwork, focus and dedication. However, the most important of all in my opinion is the ability to adjust and learn from your failures. It was a relief when I took that last lesson into practice.
I play beach volleyball actively. It's a great exercise to run, jump and throw yourself on the sand without
a huge surface impact. I've noticed I am mildly competitive and very self-critical. Lately, I have been
working on self-criticism and figuring out a way to pull myself up instead of influencing my performance
with destructive criticism. Every time I failed; I immediately heard a voice in my head saying "Gosh!
You're not good at this!" or "This sport is not for you!". I thought that voice was my competitive instincts talking to me, making me wake up and do better. But in fact, that way of thinking was destroying my self-esteem and keeping me from improving.
What helped me get out of that dark cloud was to think "Feedback NOT Fallback". First, I had to think that I am as great as I am. My opponent is scoring more because they have more experience. When that is figured out, I can start to learn and adjust my own performance. When I miss that ball, I recap my
position and movement. I adjust that platform that was a bit unstable, or I keep in mind that technique I
That is it! Give yourself the feedback you need to get better. The negative feeling coming from
your mistake should not be fed with words or thoughts, otherwise: it will be "Fallback". There is so
much psychology going on in a simple match.
A while ago I joined a couple of beach volleyball camps that also made me think about the ability of
sports to unite us. I've made new friends of different backgrounds and got to know their countries
better. I've learned new skills from great players and coaches. All of them were more than happy to
share their knowledge so others could succeed. Imagine bringing this spirit to our group of friends, or
our workplace, or even while among strangers?
Beach Volleyball Camps: