A few weeks ago I was at my daughter's basketball scrimmage. Even though it was a scrimmage, they were playing hard. The girls were getting winded, and there were a couple on the bench eager to get in. The coach asked, "Who needs a sub?"
I was sitting right behind him and answered, "I do."
He didn't hear me. And he didn't have a sub for me anyway. But it got me thinking -- wouldn't it be nice if life were a little more like sports?
There would be subs. That alone makes it worth it. After being up until 4:30am with sick and crying kids, what mother wouldn't love a substitute mother to take over and get everyone up and off to school in the morning so she could recover?
There would be a clear definition of the goals. In sports you work to score more points (less in golf) than your opponent. But sometimes in life we work and work only to find out that we were working toward the wrong goal. We thought we were headed in the right direction, but somewhere along the line we got lost.
There are also clearly defined rules. Every sport has its rules and a governing body to set and enforce those rules. Life can be vague. Moral dilemmas occur in which we're just not sure what the proper choice is.
You always know who your opponent is. In football or basketball, you know who not to throw the ball to -- their clothes are a different color than yours. You know that they are working against your better interests. Unfortunately, life isn't always so clear about this. Sometimes you spend a long time relying on and trusting another person only to have them turn on you and stab you in the back when it's to their advantage.
Conversely, you have a team, you know who they are, and you are working toward the same goal. When you are in heavy coverage, you can pass to someone else. Sometimes in life we don't have a very strong team. Or we aren't all playing the same game.
In sports you have a coach. You have someone who is more experienced who can teach you and guide you. Someone who can tell you what you're doing wrong and how to fix it. And who can direct others to help you.
You have fans. There are people watching who are hoping you do well. They are cheering for you. They share your disappointment when things don't go well.
Okay, it's a loose comparison. And I know you are going to say that some of these things are available in life if we'd only take advantage of them. A spouse, friend, grandparent = a sub. The law, police officers, judges, God = rules and a governing body. A mentor, a parent, a grandparent, God = a coach. Your interpretation will vary depending on your personal feelings and beliefs.
So if these things are available, do we take advantage of them? Would your life be better if you thought of it as a sport and looked for these elements and opportunities?
I imagine it would. I don't think it would solve everything, but perception is important and every little bit helps.
What I want is my own personal commentator; and every time I accomplish something difficult I want him to shout, "GOOOOOOOOOOOAL!"