Once in every 4 years, in the month of June, there is constant chatter in the pantry of your office to the news feeds on your social networks, about just one topic: Football.
The FIFA World Cup is more than a tournament, it’s an institution for players, fans and now even major brands who feed on its hype. If the numbers are anything to go by, we can expect the craze to stay at an all-time high. In India alone over 47 million people watched the first four matches, of which 45% were women. And the world over the numbers last stood at 3.2 billion, which is almost half the world’s population.
While the World cup is a non-stop frenzy, there is more to it than meets the eye. The hard work, ambition, passion of the players, coaches and associations who put in 4 years to constantly develop their talent is certainly something we can learn from. Here are 7 lessons we can pick up from what we have witnessed during the 21st edition of the FIFA World Cup.
#1 Learn to compete
Born with Growth Hormone Disorder, Lionel Messi was deemed to be a failure at the sport. How did he react? He decided to take his demons head-on. The fragile Messi, kept competing with opponents of larger stature and frame. He continued to do so until he could reinvent his game, adapt to the conditions and become a world beater.
Clearly Messi understands the importance of how competition breeds champions. The next time you see sizable problems in business, make sure to take them head-on and understand how you can focus on your strengths and get better with the situation.
#2 Learn the Value of Practice
Think Cristiano Ronaldo is a natural or was gifted with pure talent? Think again. What makes him the greatest is his constant urge to improve. Here’s a little story about his obsession with constant improvement. The one time he lost to a team-mate at table tennis and didn’t take it well. The very next day he purchased a table and practised up until he was sure he could beat all his team-mates.
If his obsession to get better for a sport he doesn’t play professionally was remarkable, imagine his thirst for getting better at Football. We can clearly see how practice pays off, as he has single-handedly carried Portugal into the knockouts of the tournament.
P.S. keep practising
#3 Learn To Lead
I know we’re in 2018, but for a second let’s take a trip down memory lane. Think about the greatest teams to have defied the odds in the World Cup: Italy from 2006, Germany from 1974 & 1990. While these teams didn’t have the flair and panache of opponents such as Brazil, France, & Netherlands; they had one common factor: A GREAT LEADER AT THE HEART OF THE TEAM.
Remember Fabio Cannavaro, Franz Beckenbauer, & Lothar Matthäus; 3 different eras, but cut from the same cloth. Men who inspire greatness, by doing the grunt work and enabling their teammates to chase glory. Yes, a true leader is an enabler and not a glory hunter.
Do you think Diego Godin can do the same for Uruguay this year?
#4 Learn To Follow
Jesse Lingard of England is well, to put it politely, not Harry Kane. Known to be a late bloomer, and not the most gifted finisher or creative playmaker. But, here’s how Jesse is England’s X-Factor: He listens to the coach!
Jesse understands the importance of taking the coach’s advice, adapts his positional play, and does not fuss about taking up extra duties. He realizes the value of the mentorship he receives. After all he has gone from utility player at a lower league, to a key member of England’s successful campaign at the World Cup.
#5 Learn To Be Accountable
Football is a team sport with every player working together in tandem, taking up different duties across the pitch. While defending, there are two key tactics: Zonal or Man Marking. In both cases all 11 players have duties with regard to protecting a Zone or marking a Man.
The key lesson here is accountability. If even one player misses his Zone or Man, it could cost the team a loss. After all one moment is all it takes to turn the tides. Hence stay sharp, and make sure to showcase ownership for your Zone.
#6 Learn To Push Others
One of the more remarkable performances this world cup, have come from the Croatians. A team which depended only on their core at the mmidfield Modric & Rakitic; are now seeming like favourites.
Their secret is simple. Their core men are able to push and bring the best out of their younger and inexperienced team mates. The constant encouragement is what helps drive results, and yes they managed to beat Argentina, and top a very tricky group.
#7 Learn to stand for something
Only one team from Asia has qualified for the knockout stage, and on strange grounds. Japan owe it to their ethics to qualify. Yes you read that right, Ethics. As they were on level points with Senegal in their group and had the same goal difference, Japan moved forward due to their Fair Play.
Regret laughing at them when they decided not to appeal for fouls unnecessarily or when they denied opponents without any under handed tactics? Standing for your ethics is essential, make sure to always stand for what’s right.
Whether you are a football fan or not, we hope these lessons will make a difference to your life. Do you have any other examples of lessons that you would like to share with us? Write to us in the comments below.