Tennis happens to be one of my favorite sports. Interestingly, I’ve never played it before. Anyway, I followed the 2015 Wimbledon passionately and was disappointed that Nadal has not yet gotten back his winning form. Obviously, the heroic performance displayed by Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic remain memorable. Nonetheless, I remain a die-hard fan of Roger Federer.
Now, this post is not intended to report the competition but to point out something that struck me as I watched the highlight of the final match between Federer and Djokovic. See the picture I captured from their game below.
Did you notice that there are several officials on the court? Come to think of it, most spectators will never bother to find out the names of these officials. Although Djokovic carried the day with his remarkable performance, we will forever recall that it was a man named Federer that reached the final of the competition and was outplayed by his opponent. Hence, the players are more important and captivate more attention than the umpires in any game.
Also, great sports men have an amazing ability to shake off the disappointment of a defeat and prepare to do better in the next game or competition. Every setback should be a catalyst for sustaining our thirst for success, instead of making us quit the race. After he lost, Federer said,
“I am still very hungry and motivated and a match like this is very helpful.”
Guess what? I do not want to be an official (umpire, referee or linesman) in the game of life – I want to be a player. Players will be sweaty and experience emotional highs and lows during the course of the action. On the other hand, officials are the critics who assess the key performers, passing comments about their moves during the game. Just like umpires in tennis are so well dressed, critics are always looking good. They never get their hands soiled, never sweat and are better at using their mouths than their hands. Critics are self-appointed umpires to successful people and they never attempt anything laudable – they live a passionless life that is not devoted to anything remarkable. They are satisfied with the normal order of activities; take little or no risk at attaining something unusual, many times because of the fear of failing. They drift about without any definite sense of purpose and do not motivate or stir our souls about their noteworthy goals or achievements.
Theodore Roosevelt captured my thoughts succinctly:
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, … who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
In summary, it’s the players and not the umpires who stand a chance to win awards and laurels in life. I prefer to be the former. What about you?