Attention Grabber
UPLIFTING: Sports can be inspiring

I haven’t been especially productive during the past few weeks… and I suspect other sports addicts who try to work from home might be feeling the same way.

The problem is every time I turn on the television a top competition appears.

Yeah, I know; I should have enough self control to turn off the box when it is time to work or not turn it on in the first place, but that would be too simple.

I like to watch quality live performances and I actually think the experience can be good for us.

I haven’t worked out exactly how to do that yet, but I’ve decided to carry on challenging myself to get it right until there is less to watch.

When the European Football Championships kicked off in June, at least two group matches were broadcast every day.

Then, when the knock out stages began and there were days off between matches, live Wimbledon tennis filled the gap.

That didn’t leave a whole lot of time for work, but it’s interesting to note that after a hard day of viewing I often feel more tired than I do after a full day of manual labour.

It shouldn’t be like that if watching sports really is good for us. My guess is that I get too wrapped up in backing one of the competitors.

You see, when the team or players I am backing win I feel great, but when they lose I feel deflated… and I like to back underdogs.

So the winning and losing thing is not why I believe watching top athletes compete is good.

It has more to do with seeing dedicated people working together to stretch their limits.

That probably makes perfect sense as far as the football is concerned.

There are 11 players on each team working together to defeat another team, but believe it or not I’m also talking about the tennis… and not just doubles.

I am talking about opponents cooperating by competing, that is working together to bring out the best in each other by trying their best to win.

I know that sounds strange but I believe it is the effort to do our best; not the winning that is the true value of competition and more effort is required against strong opponents.

A good way to see what I’m driving at might be to think back on competitions you have played in or seen in the past.

I’m going to use tennis for my example but I think this applies to any sport.

When top players like Roger Federer, Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic are playing first round matches against players who can’t stay with them, they don’t have to work very hard so the matches usually are not very entertaining.

When they play each other, however, they have to focus totally on the task at hand and that often allows them to perform at their absolute best.

So maybe watching sports is only good for us if we take what we see and apply it to our own efforts.

If that’s the case, then at some point I really should turn off the TV.

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