Yes I know! It’s a little weird to announce that the future is bright in Canada in late September. Because everyone already sees winter and its icy demands coming 🙂
It’s even worse when you consider the sports season. Canada has been blessed in 2019, with two major accomplishments:
- The Toronto Raptors, who became champions last June, despite all the predictions of all analysts, winning their first title in 25 years of existence
- Bianca Andreescu, who just won her first grand slam title, Canada’s first grand slam title, ahead of the legendary Serena Williams.
Now that these titles have been won, and the new competitions are coming at a great time, the pressure is mounting. We who were so often neglected, seen from above, declared eliminated before the start of competitions, we will now be observed. Up close.
For many supporters who, in essence, supported more out of passion than reason, expectations will be even higher.
So the task is getting very big. How to maintain the standard over the long term, and meet expectations? Here are some of the attitudes to maintain, so as not to sink under the weight of such a burden.
Many champions came and went, without winning great distinctions in their sports. How many of them have played tennis, basketball or any other sport, on a regular and honourable basis, without ever achieving the exploits of the Raptors or Bianca? There are so many of them in Canada and around the world. Many athletes, cities or states would give expensive to have only one of these successes, in their history. We were spoiled, we had two practically in one summer!
It is important in these cases, and even more often than not, to be filled with recognition. Doing the job you love, earning a living from it, and winning the highest honors is definitely not given to everyone. Recognizing it, and feeding on it, will allow, among other things, to remain humble and to remember that even if one works every day to get to this point, it is not a magic formula. Nothing is won in advance, especially in sport.
It can be easy to let your mind pollute with a lot of things, a lot of information. And anything can be a source of mental pollution. The failures and difficulties encountered. But also the successes achieved. It is not easy, but we must stop living on the basis of what happened yesterday. Every day, every new tournament, every new tournament must be approached in a new way, depending on our weapons of the moment, the current environment, the realities proposed by our opponents of the moment.
Laughing out loud. No, this is not a contradiction of the previous point. Indeed, we must forget the joys and the previous sorrows for the sole purpose of not polluting or curbing our current businesses.
However, we must not hesitate to draw from past experiences and emotions the elements that can help us to do better today.
One victory at a time
Titles, whatever the field, are exclamation anointed, consecrations. They are the result of several victories gleaned day after day, point after point, over our opponents. For both the Raptors and Bianca, one mistake would be to try to consider winning another NBA title or another grand slam title. It’s way too big. In the NBA, to get to the title, you have to manage not to do badly in 82 regular season games, then very well to make play-offs at the best of 28 other games! That’s a maximum of 110 matches possible! For Bianca, it might seem shorter, but it remains that over 7 matches and 21 rounds at most, you have to know how to make the most of your body, the surface, the crowd and many other things. Great victories are achieved from small advances!
We were recently referring to Roger Fédérer. He did not win the 2019 US Open. He didn’t even make it to the finals. But deep down, what he’s doing is remarkable. Because even at 38, he continues to improve. This is also true for most of the great champions of the sport. Take, for example, the case of Rafael Nadal. In his early days, he was seen only as a clay-court player. But it has never stopped improving, to the point of becoming one of the most consistent on all surfaces. He could even break the record of Federate next year!
Such an approach would be beneficial for Bianca, who still has so much to learn, and for the Raptors as well. So is all of us.
Things rarely stay the same. They’re evolving. Technology, rules, opponents, situations. It is important to adapt to it, but for the better. You have to be a better version of yourself every day.
Living in the moment
Giving yourself goals is good, very good even. But sometimes it makes us live in the future, it projects us into a moment that has not yet arrived. Sometimes at the expense of the present moment.
Achieving this is not always easy. But it is important to be able to live the moment to the fullest. With his joys and sorrows. With its challenges and achievements. This will help us to better understand what we are doing, to make better adjustments, and to be more easily on the path where so many people want to see us.
So even though 2019 was fabulous, and 2020 is shaping up to be a tight one, we wish our defending champions good luck, and give them all our support and love 🙂
Good luck Bianca. Good luck to the Raptors. And eagerly that other champions emerge and fill us with pride!