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Takeaways from the playground

Being part of a team sport can help us understand how to work together towards a common goal despite our differing personalities.
| Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Some memories from school cannot be erased from the mind, especially the times that were spent in the least productive ways, like cramming to the point of mental exhaustion.

But, to me, school life was more than just about academics. I liked the classroom lectures, even the boring ones, but I slowly started developing other interests. One fine day, it came to my realisation that even though I had 24/7 access to sports equipment at school, I barely used it outside of physical education classes. I then decided to pick up a few games for enjoyment, till I found that playground activities began to hold my interest more than classroom lectures.

I started to train myself in volleyball and archery during the academic breaks. Although I did not pursue sports with a specific agenda in mind, it ended up being an effective stress reliever or outlet for me when I could not control the outcomes of well attempted examinations. Many of my teachers were not happy about me getting distracted from studies and even made fun of me for being obsessive about games at a time when getting good grades was considered crucial for paving a successful professional path. But nothing could dim my passion for sports. That said, I did not let sports come in the way of my enthusiasm for studying.

Playing games was an enjoyable experience that made it possible for me to temporarily escape from the major responsibilities of school and allowed me to accept my adolescent self, but that was not all. It surprisingly ended up broadening my horizons in ways I never imagined. While archery was a strenuous sport, it taught me the importance of laser-sharp focus while aiming at the target. Playing volleyball gave me the opportunity to build a rapport with people of diverse mindsets, but the appeal of the game was in how it made players set aside personal interests in favour of the team’s goals. Volleyball taught me that communication among the team members was key. It taught me that no matter how physically powerful the team is, without a dynamic mental framework, it is not possible to tread through difficult situations. It taught me that trust among team members was crucial to the overall functioning of the team, both on and off the field. The game taught me the very concept of unity in diversity. In hindsight, I see that the playground has given me not just sweet memories but also valuable life lessons that could not have been taught to me in a classroom.

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