I enjoy the competitive spirit in sports. However, I also believe that one should obey the basic rule of sports competitions, which is to compete fair and according to the rules. Yet many do not abide by this basic rule because of their adherance to the mantra of ‘win at all costs’. I encountered this during a soccer match against Dubai Unity Club three years ago. It was a tough match but we won despite repeated violations of the basic rule of sports competition by the other team.
As soon as I scored the first goal of the match and gave my team a lead, the defenders from the other team started attacking me instead of the ball. Their primary objective was to injure me so that I am forced to leave the match. Emotions run high during a match, and I would be lying if I say I did not want to respond in the same aggressive manner. I am glad my sane side prevailed and I reminded myself that “success is the sweetest revenge”. I am playing the game to help my team get to the next round, and I should stay focused on the bigger picture. If I try to get even with the defenders, it might satisfy my thirst for revenge but it will be a meaningless revenge with no value to me or my team. On the other hand, winning the match will give us real success that will be acknowledged by everyone.
There have been numerous matches when I lost my cool, and I barely remember the specific details of those matches. On the other hand, the matches we won continue to bring me joy and have become permanent part of my memories. It is, indeed, true that “success is the sweetest revenge”.