I was once paid to watch cricket. Well only for an hour or so, and technically I was at a “networking event”, so it was really work, honestly!
One of the side effects of enjoying sport, is hearing some of the stories of success and failure and success again. They so mirror “real” life.
Take, for example, today’s continuing brilliance from english batter Alistair Cook. If you just looked at today’s stats, all is fine and dandy. He averages 438 against the old foe Australia, on this tour.
But he has had a really tough time in the last year and has come through it. Simon Barnes of The Times, describes this brilliantly:
“He had to alter his understanding of himself and cricket: that it wasn’t quite as easy as he thought, that he wasn’t quite as brilliant as he had always seemed. Some people never recover from such discoveries [italics mine].
But proper athletes gain something from these times. It’s one of the ways you can separate the very best from the rest. Few have done it in so spectacular a fashion as Cook.”
Coach Andy Flower has also, in my opinion, shown real leadership, in nurturing this talent of Cook’s through the tough times he endured. How many of us would have sent him packing, never to see these great moments?
And isn’t “real” life like this too? Standing up again when we fall over, showing persistence and courage, and hope above hope, having a good leader.
But if we stopped reading the “book” at Cook’s “chapter on defeat” we would never know what could be.
And I wonder too, if it is possible to achieve greatness without failure.