Art and writing teach us much; I derive a great deal of benefit from the creative offerings of my fellow bloggers on this platform (thank you!).
So too, sport and games give us an understanding of ourselves.
My particular sporting activity is lawn bowls – above are photos from an early morning solo practice session and a recent regional championship I competed in.
One of many learnings I have taken from the game I love is this:
You can only play what’s in front of you.
Whether it’s the level of tournament and opposition; the weather conditions; the state of the playing surface, or any other variable, you just have to accept it and deal with it.
That means you can’t always do everything you would like to do or indeed are capable of, as the game situation, in that particular moment, may not require those optimal things.
You must constantly review what the game is demanding of you, right now.
No time to dwell on the end or game just played, or to “future trip” about the next one.
You also can’t do anything about what you can’t control – for instance, your opponent’s brilliance (or lack of it).
When it’s your turn on the mat, all you have is the bowl in your hand , and what lies in front of you on the green, in that moment.
Sometimes you will believe that discretion is the better part of valour, choose to play safe and tuck the risky shots away. At other moments, you might see a shot that no-one else thinks in on, trust your instincts and “just do it” (in the words of the great activewear philosopher Nike).
Game situation is a fantastic mindfulness tool !
These are, of course, lessons for life as well as sport.
Play what’s in front of you – for that is the only thing you can do.