FIELD OF PLAY
Whenever I watch a soccer match, I get confused as to why a coach sometimes waits till a match is almost over before he decides to bring a player on to play. It seems almost as if he just wants the player to have a feel of the match before it ends. The tactic just seemed quite pointless to me and always made me wonder…that is, until an English Premier League match between Arsenal and Leicester, that changed my view.
The match had almost ended 1-1, when Arsenal’s coach brought in a substitute, Danny Welbeck, to carry on with the match till the last minute. I thought this was just another substitution till this last minute ‘decision’ scored a crucial goal for the team, giving them a decisive victory. The victory was even sweeter because Welbeck had not scored since December 2014…quite frustrating for any goal oriented player.
This reminded me of our own lives, and how great things can happen when we least expect it!
More often than not, it takes quite a long time before we see the results of our hardwork and effort. This match however, had a way of reminding me of the need to press on and not downplay the potential of seemingly small opportunities.
Life, like any soccer match, provides us with a field of play on which we can make and also receive :
Some problems need to be faced head on in order to be dealt with. Just as players seem to forget about their health when they make that head on tackle against their opponent, we also need to sometimes forget about our own comfort in order to push some obstacles out of the way, in our quest to reach our goal. This requires stubborn determination and a decision to not allow anything to make us cower in fear.
There is power in teamwork. It is sometimes frustrating to see a player try to score a goal on his own when he could have easily passed it to his fellow player who had a better chance of scoring one for the team.
Building others up to achieve greater things never really takes anything away from us, but rather makes us better. Won’t it be heartwarming to hear someone say : “I scored that goal because of you.” ?
We each have great and unique things in our hands that we need to guard and take good care of. In doing this, we create opportunities and an atmosphere for results to take place. And when we reach our destination, it should spur us on to do more, not become complacent.
Building a solid defence takes time and effort just like in soccer teams. We need to surround ourselves with the right people and the right kind of influence. Having a solid defence does not mean some mistakes will not be made at times, but just as defenders in a football match continue to play their role even after their opponents are able to penetrate through their defence to score a goal, we can also stage a comeback even after a setback. It is just a time to think, regroup and play on.
RED AND YELLOW CARDS
Of course, a match cannot end (most of the time) without a few yellow cards and occasionally a red. This is often unpleasant but is also the reality of life. We will sometimes be corrected for wrong actions and decisions. What makes the difference however, is how we respond when we are shown the card. Are we willing to humble ourselves and accept corrections, or we prefer to be set in our own ways?
Great things take time to happen, and in waiting, we need to work hard and press on. We also need to believe in others and encourage them to work towards achieving their best.
No doubt, if the Arsenal coach, Arsene Wenger, had not believed in Welbeck enough to give him the chance to play, he would not have had the opportunity to score that goal.
It is NEVER too late to shine, to make it. Even when it seems as if no one believes in us, we can still create opportunities for ourselves and others if we put our minds to it.
Take up the opportunity today and score that goal.
Ghana is waiting to celebrate with you.