If you fail
to plan... you plan to fail.
without a plan is just a wish. -- Antoine de Saint-Exupery.
I hope that I may always
desire more than I can accomplish -- Michelangelo.
A ship in harbour is safe,
but that is not what ships are built for
-- John A. Shedd.
many of us dawdle through life waiting for the next big thing to happen to us …
waiting and watching, as if we are God’s chosen ones and have been appointed for
something special. Some of us do have some extraordinary skills, while some do
not, but we all are expecting the big phenomenon. And then amidst all this
waiting and watching life whizzes past us, and we are still left wondering as to
when that special thing is going to hit us.
Being reasonably familiar with the scenario in Cue-sports, I would confine my
thoughts to our sport and scrutinize the inadequacies that plague so many of our
cueists. Barring a handful, not many of us are clear about our status in the
game, both presently and in the future. In fact, so many of us are even
contemplating quitting it altogether and pursuing other career options to ensure
a comfortable future. For the sake of discussion, I would like to eliminate all
such unsure people and focus purely on those that have committed themselves for
a life in Cue-sport.
Addressing those committed sportspersons, I would once again pose this question
to them and ask them to look deep within their souls and figure out if they do
know about their chosen career path. Do they just intend to keep playing the
sport from tournament to tournament without any special effort to make the next
tournament better than their previous one? Does the word advancement ever figure
in their life’s dictionary? Does a plan actually fit into their scheme of
things, which is going to transport them into the realms of greatness, or are
they just loitering around expecting greatness to fall from the skies and right
into their laps?
actually pains me to confess that this is what I see happening within our sport.
There are so many of us who are sitting on the threshold of immeasurable
success, but are unwilling to give it that one final push that will take us
over. Apparently we seem to be content with the given state assuming that this
is all that we could have achieved and we have achieved it. Nothing could be
further from the truth than this dismaying thought. For all those who have
reached their achievement levels (read stagnation point), you need to change
your plan. If good things are not happening to you, then you are probably not
making them happen. Plan to move ahead and chart out a path accordingly. Winning
an occasional tournament is not what you want to aim for; you are targeting
dominance over the sport and over the competition.
Speaking of dominating the sport, even the top guns of our country need to
revisit their plans and plug all the holes within their armoury, in order to
regain control over their peers. I address all the young stars of today who have
made their mark but are finding it extremely difficult to hang on to their
success. Remember ability may get you to the top, but it takes character to keep
you there. Build on your flaws, work on your weakness and conquer all inner
demons. This will build an indestructible character.
How many of us are bending our backs and troubling our minds to transcend us
into a different level? What have we done to work on our skills and get them at
par with international standards? Why do we swallow the bitter pill of
contentment without making an effort to cure the ills of complacency that have
gripped us like an epidemic? It’s about time that we bring out our thinking hats
from the closet, and then put those thoughts into action.
Before I conclude, as has now become customary, I must relate an interesting
episode, which I read about in ‘snooker scene’ magazine many years ago, to tie
in with my thoughts. It was the time when Stephen Hendry was barely sixteen and
Steve Davis ruled the roost. Hendry’s manager, Ian Doyle organized a series of
exhibition matches between Davis and Hendry – six to be exact. These were best
of 11 matches to be played over six different venues in U.K.
expected Davis won each of those, with scores like 6-2, 6-0, 6-3, 6-2, 6-1 and
6-3 (not exact scores but somewhat close). When Hendry was asked about this
whitewash and his experience in general, he replied,
‘Now I know how to beat Steve Davis’. An invaluable gem from
the man who would dominate the sport for more than a decade. Ian Doyle’s plan
had worked. He had taken the fear of losing out of Hendry’s mind and
subsequently Stephen Hendry went on to beat Steve Davis many times over after
that, and eventually broke all of his records.
This is what planning and strategy is all about in championship
quote another of my favourite legends, as I switch off my brain for the moment …
Champions aren’t made in
gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them: a desire, a
dream, a vision. They have to have last minute stamina, they have to be a little
faster, they have to have the skill and the will. But the will must be stronger
than the skill. -- Muhammad Ali.
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India's ace snooker player