10-15 Tournaments – 0 matches wins – 0 Tournament wins.

This is sadness right?

You might be guessing about teams with such a low performance level.

This one’s different.

This is the story of my college life.

 

There were some of us who shared the passion for football. We made a small team comprising of 6 guys. We weren’t the best. Hell, we weren’t even good. All we had was the love for the game.

We decided to play for rink football tournaments which are basically for 5-8 players and the ground size is lesser than half of the actual football ground. Now don’t think since the space is small that everyone can last the entire game time.

Wrong. Did you know that the pace of the game increases with the reduction of ground space? So smaller the ground, faster will be the game. We worked on our stamina to last an entire game. It was tough but over the course of a couple of months we could last an entire game. Then was the turn of the next hurdle I.e. coordination. I believe without coordination and team work, no team can succeed. So we found out our inner strengths, played along and in time, we had a good coordination level.

Over this period of understanding our strengths and weaknesses, we practiced after lectures, tried getting better with each training session and playing friendlies to find out how good did we fare in the game.

 

Now the results in the practice games sometimes don’t highlight everything. The nervousness, the fear is less when we play such matches. It gets a zillion times worse while we actually play.

We got the taste of that nervousness in our first match ever. It was for a team of 5 with 3 substitutes which can be used anytime in the game. We got scared. Not one pass was mad correctly. We lost 6-1. The goal which I scored was from a penalty. That was the only shot on goal. The most embarrassing part was the opposition had been playing in their jeans and we were decked up to play mainstream football. So many people watched our game, laughed on us. I still remember that day and laugh on it.

Over the course of 1.5 years, we kept going to tournaments in different colleges, only to lose in the first round. Sometimes we got humiliated, sometimes we humiliated ourselves with the performance. Once, we lost against a team who had one player lesser than us. That was the day our morale was tested. I had lost every bit of hope.

Then I faced my biggest challenge.

In our final year, we decided to play our last tournament. 2 teams from our batch also were participating there. They came up with a theory where they suggested that we make 2 good teams with awesome players and 1 weak team. In all honesty I’ve never felt that disgusted. How can you degrade someone by telling them they are weak? Winning is not everything. Sometimes even your efforts count. I remember one professor who called us losers because she knew we would keep losing. Over time, she respected us for never giving up. She was always our support and gave us permission for all such tournaments.

Anyways coming back to the situation, I was asked to play in the supposedly “strong team”. Now honestly, my loyalty was tested. I really wanted the taste of winning at least a match once before my college life was over. I could get it all if I would join the other team. I wanted to win, but not without my friends.

I chose my friends.

The others asked me to reconsider. But I had decided. Had it been 100 losses on the trot, I’d still be with them.

The tournament was nothing less than a fairy tale.

We not only won 1 match, but went on to the semis.

Yeah, semis!

Imagine the delight when we heard the final whistle which was rung for our victory.

We were overjoyed. We had done it.

On the course to the semis we defeated one of the “strong teams “on penalties.

Yes, we did. We of course lost the semis to the other strong team (who FYI were really good) but we earned some respect in the form of both the teams coming to us and telling how badly they had underestimated us. It feels really good when your opponents come ahead and praise your efforts.

 

All in all, that step I took helped me understand something really important.

When the going gets tough and you want to succeed, there will always be 2 paths i.e. an easy path and the actual path.

The easy path is like a joy ride which gets over soon. You don’t really earn it when you take the easy route.

The actual path is what we are supposed to do in that moment.

What we decide shapes our destiny.

When in doubt of myself, I always think of that day when I took that bold step which would lead to the greatest victory my team ever had.

And that’s one of the most prized moments of my life.

By bold decisions involving change, I’d like to highlight your attention to Housing.com who like change and also help make your housing decisions simple. Their new website look is really worth looking at. With them, you need not worry finding that home where you can start your new life.

So go ahead, explore Housing.com and be ready to experience the change.

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In my entire school life, Football was a sport which I liked only while viewing on television or watching my friends play. I never really cared about this game. I mean it just looked too stupid to even waste my time on.

An honest confession… I was really fat. I couldn’t run a 100 meter race properly. If I did complete it, only the lord and my mother know how tired I could get. Post running if you would see me, I’m sure that my deep breathing act could beat how Madhuri Dixit did it in “Dhak Dhak karne Laga” song. 😛

So, football was something which I just did not try to put an effort into. As I entered college life, I got thin, more athletic (by my standards at least) and took a good chunk of interest in football. Below is a story of 1 situation during 2 games where telling the truth was what gave me peace.

Situation 1:

When we friends made a football team, you know there is a rush we get while practicing, thinking of how we will shoot, pass, how will we make sure that we win our first match as a team. Funny thing was that I even had an awesome dream of how I would score the winning goal and get my team through to the next round and be the hero of the day!

After 2 weeks of practicing, we enlisted ourselves in an inter-class football tournament. The first match nervousness was creeping in all of us. The main reason being that many of our classmates and some professors were watching. We were worried that if we lose, how our friends and teachers would perceive us. We would be tagged as “Losers” for sure. Anyways, we tried keeping these negative thoughts aside and played a good game.

The match was moving towards a draw until I fell in the opponent’s penalty box. Usually such situations, there is a maximum chance of the referee giving the decision of a penalty kick. My team was in an over joyous mode already… But something did not feel right. An honest confession again… I slipped. The muck was a huge influencing factor. But with me the defender of the opposition fell too. So for the referee it almost looked like he tried to pull me down. Seriously I felt like telling the referee to change the decision… But for that moment, the feeling of an easy win clouded my mind. I didn’t utter a word. I took the penalty, scored… and as it unfolded in the dream, I took my team through to the next round.

But it did not feel like a win. I smiled… but not fully. Whenever I practiced, that feeling of guilt did not leave my conscience. I tried man… I tried real hard, but it just wouldn’t let go of me.

Situation 2:

2 months later we participated in some college event. They had a rink football tournament and we thought with the practice, we could do better and try winning the trophy. We did go through a couple of rounds. In the quarter finals, we found an evenly matched opponent. The match went 0-0 in normal time. We got an additional 5 minutes to be played as extra time. And that’s when history repeated itself. There was a clash with the defender and I fell easily. It was just a standard shoulder push and the referee pointed towards the penalty box.

What I did was walked over to the referee and told him about the situation. The decision was overturned… We lost the match on penalties.

My friends had just lost the match but I lost both; the match and my friends. They failed to understand what went through my mind.

But that’s not all. On the brighter side, I felt guilt free. It felt good doing the right thing. I did pay the price for it but deep down, I knew that was the right thing to do.

Kinley Commercial:

This below commercial resembles my situation. It’s about a girl who lies to her father and goes for an overnight trip with friends. Late in the night, she cannot sleep due to the guilt and thus calls her father late at night to tell him the truth. She knew there could be dire consequences. She could be banned from any such outings, maybe grounded for a week or a month. But that did not stop her from speaking up. Her father on listening to her confession decides to not shout and asks her to take care of herself. Sometimes, there can also be a positive outcome too.

I do have 1 question for you guys.

Was there a time in your life when telling the truth was a right thing to do?

If yes, then do share that moment with me.

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There are moments when you feel like life is a hammer and it hits you right on your face.

At that moment you feel like you are dying.

You feel suffocated.

You feel like you have swallowed your tongue.

Your possibility of breathing has been compromised due to this action.

You can’t breathe.

 

This is what happened to “Oleg Gusev” captain of Dynamo Kiev football club during a match this season.

The match was between FC Dynamo Kiev and Dnipro FC.

During one such attack, when Gusev used his head to score a goal, it unfortunately connected with Dnipro’s keeper’s knee.

That blow knocked him out cold.

Within a matter of 3 seconds, the nearest player i.e. Dnipro’s captain Jaba Kankava rushes to his aid, opens his mouth, removes his tongue out so he can breathe easily.

All this happened very quickly. Here is the video.

I salute his effort and his quick reactive skills. According to the medics, little bit of delay and there was a chance of losing him.

I saw this video trending on Facebook some days back. Thought about sharing it with you guys.

That said, such incidents act like a reminder to the world famous one liner on life i.e. “Life Is Short”.

Yes, life is short, and if we live regretting moments and fill negativity, trust me that won’t fulfill your purpose of living.

Being happy with what you have, the people around you and that will be something worth living for.

Have you witnessed such live saving/changing situations. If yes, do share with me your story too.

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