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Soccer – The Metaphor of Life
Introduction: As FIFA 2010 kicked off on June 11, 2010 in South Africa, there is a great feeling of euphoria and excitement around the world about the games spanning the planet earth through the media, news channels, newspapers and televisions. . We all love football and in India there is also a great fervor among the population to watch the game despite the fact that the Indian football team has never qualified for the biggest football event in the world. We all worship our heroes, the demigods like Pele, Maradona, Beckham, Ronaldo, Kaka, Wayne Rooney and many others. Looking closely at the game and how the players are positioned, their role in the football stadium and the way the game unfolds, one can’t help but find a great metaphor for life in it. That is what this article is about. It is a humble dedication and salute to the biggest and most popular games in the world.
La Cancha: The game of soccer is played on a field 90 to 120 meters long and 45 to 90 meters wide. On both sides we see the goal posts. Your team, which includes 11 players, will try to score a goal at the opposite post. The opposing team would be trying to defend that and rather counterattacking your goal post to score a goal. In life you have to have goals. Your goal is to score goals. You can’t passively sit back and watch while external circumstances counterattack you and score one goal after another by pushing you off with their back foot. You have to be proactive. Sometimes you have defense but also attack. You have to know where you have to go, where you have to score a goal. Your goals are like the lighthouse for the ship that helps them navigate the right path. Remember that we are all placed on the soccer field by the Lord Almighty. We are all players on the field, we have to do our part, and we have to be proactive and know our goals and do everything we can to achieve our goals. Then our life becomes exciting, and then we find meaning in this life. So that’s the first metaphorical lesson we get from the soccer game. We are all players in the field of life and we have to score goals. We have to be proactive about our goals.
Positions: At the start of soccer matches, the 11 players on a team are positioned on the pitch according to the various roles they play. We can learn a lot from the different positions they take and the various roles they play on the soccer field.
Goalkeeper: Near the goal post stands the goalkeeper, who plays one of the most important roles in a soccer match. He is there to defend the goals that the opposing team puts into the net. Typically, he has developed the special ability, alacrity, and alertness to prevent the opposing team from scoring a goal into the net. He is like the compound wall around our houses that prevents intruders. In life we have to play the role of gatekeepers when it comes to protecting ourselves from being hit by negative thoughts. Our minds are like the goal post. External circumstances, people, and events can try to fill our minds with negative thoughts. We must play the role of a gatekeeper at such times and see that our mind is not invaded by thoughts that can bring us down and demoralize us. What happens to a team whose goalkeeper is not capable of defending the goals that get into the net. The team is weakened and their focus from scoring goals is changed to defending goals. He is demoralized and moving rapidly towards defeat. That is exactly the image of a person who defends himself against negative thoughts. He or she will become weak and deviate from their goals of seeking excellence and succumb to defeat in life. So playing the role of goalkeeper in life is very important, we must know how to defend ourselves from negative thoughts.
Late Players: In the Soccer game, the Goalkeeper is not the only one defending the goals. There are some players positioned at the back like the Center Fullback, Left-Right Fullback and Wingback who also help defend and mark and attack the opposing team’s Forward players. The roles played by these players positioned at the back is the role that reminds us that in life it is often important to be on the defensive and whenever the tide is against you we must be able to remain calm. It should come as no surprise that many times there are people, circumstances, and events that seem to push and slow us down. When you venture out to sea on a ship, you will surely encounter storms. This is life! “Ships in port are safe, but that’s not what ships are made for.” says William Shedd. Ships are supposed to go out and venture into the depths of the sea and fight the storms that come against them. Many times we have to be players behind, defending ourselves, our principles, our values, our faith and our life from being left behind, from getting bogged down. Many times there are people or circumstances that can force us to leave it. Many students find failure, also many professionals and businessmen at times when we are tempted to give up but here the role of the players located in the back emerges. We have to mark what worries us, go to the origin of the problem and defend ourselves. Many times we may have to defend ourselves from bad company that brings us down, bad habits that corrode our lives and bad actions that reap bad fruits. The Bible says, “When the enemy comes like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will raise up a standard against him.” That standard is the players who play soccer positioned in the back.
Midfielders: Now there are also players positioned in the middle of the soccer field. Some of them are the left and right midfielders, the defensive midfielders and the central midfielder. These players have a duty to create games. Sometimes they defend and also play the game and then pass it to the forward players. In our life there is also a time when we have to sit down and strategize so that it is convenient for us to reach and achieve our goals. In those moments we have to be the creators of the game, the midfielders. There is a lot of room in our lives to sit down and plan and organize our lives. We have to resort to things like time management planning, goal setting, and writing our life’s mission. Many times we have to prepare ourselves by learning different skills and techniques so that it is convenient for us to move forward to achieve our goals. At those times, we are playing the role of playmakers, we are playing the role of midfielders. Midfielders play an important role in the field of their team, without them the forward players who have to score goals against the rivals would be defenseless. They will have nothing at their disposal to go ahead and shoot or score.
Players Positioned as Forwards: Finally, let’s look at the players who are positioned as forwards on the soccer field. When the Goalkeeper defends the team’s goals, the players behind defend from the attackers and the midfielders play the game, the Forwards bring the ball to the opposing net. The players that are placed in front are the Deep Forward, the Center Forward and the Winger. The main role of these players is to hit. They are always in attack mode. Once they have the ball in their possession, they look to pass it through the opposing team’s Goalkeeper into the net. When we also defend our lives from negative attitudes and thoughts, when we defend ourselves from wrong practices, principles and people, when we prepare ourselves for the opportunities that come our way, then there will come a time when our goals, our objectives will be as clear as the post soccer goal and we would be able to hit and score. So in life, we would see opportunities in front of us wide awake that would help us achieve our goals. You may miss a lot of shots, you can hit and miss by a mile, but you have to keep hitting until you get the ball through the keeper into the net. In life we encounter failures, many times we lose reading opportunities, many times we make mistakes but we have to get up, dust ourselves off and get it right again. A Japanese proverb says: “Fall down seven times, get up eight.” Scoring a goal in the net is achieved through immense practice and patience and we also need to instill these two qualities when we want to achieve our aims and goals in life. That is why the role played by the forwards positioned in the forward position is important, since they give the final touch to the game.
Conclusion: Friends, in the end I would like to encourage you all to go ahead and enjoy FIFA 2010. But I would also encourage you to look at the philosophical side of the game, the metaphor that the game of Soccer presents. May it excite and excite you with courage, confidence, and the ability to enjoy, explore, and take your life to the next level. That they succeed and reach their goals in life, that they come out winners and even when they feel that they have lost, remember that there is always a next time. The next FIFA in 2014 in Brazil.
Joy be all yours.
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