26.05.18 / Posted by jirehconsult

Sport makes for a wonderful learning ground. From it, one can learn soft skills such as teamwork, discipline, communication, among others. And that is without factoring in the physical benefits one reaps from sport.

The one sport that I, along with many a Malaysian, take a particular liking to is football, or soccer to the American folks. O jogo bonito, Portuguese for ‘the beautiful game’, a phrase popularised by probably one of the greatest football players to have ever graced the pitch: Pelé. The exact origins of the term remains disputed, but Pelé’s role in making the phrase synonymous with football certainly cannot be denied.

Out on a football pitch, composure is a trait that separates the good from the great. Players in every position require composure, however it is probably most evident in the forwards. The best of them have ice cold blood coursing through their veins. 

Watch highlights of the greats and you can definitely see their composure shining through. It is evident when they’re running at pace bearing down on goal, with defenders closing in and the goalkeeper rushing out to meet them to stop the attack in its tracks. Think of the Cruyff turn, the Panenka penalty kick,  Zidane’s pirouette, the many other breathtaking moments in football, they were all a product of composure — along with remarkable technique and skill of course.

Composure allows for the forward to have the calmness of mind to think through what is happening and make split-second decisions. It seems like they have all the time in the world and are unfazed by what is happening around them, as if time stands still for them to work their magic.

On the other end, as a defender, one must remain composed when faced with the attacker and not be hasty in going into a tackle. One misstep, one failed tackle is all it takes to lose control of the situation and allow the attacker to breeze past you. You have to bide your time and read the situation before deciding on how best to defend.

Composure translates well into our daily lives too. How often have you read of cases of petty squabbles and disagreements escalating and getting blown out of proportion, going viral? Even cases of road rage can be mitigated by composure.

In my foray into PR thus far, I have certainly seen firsthand the benefits of composure. Sometimes a pitch doesn’t go to plan and the other party is dismissive at best. Other times things go wrong during an event, even with contingencies in place. There may also be instances where external parties simply don’t quite understand what you want, even when it is all drawn out for them.

In times like these, one’s composure in navigating these choppy waters can pay dividends and turn  negatives into positives. It is easy to react, not so to remain composed and maintain professionalism. Sometimes, just smiling and not saying anything is the best response.

Be that as it may, easier said than done if you’re an impulsive person, and I am often guilty as charged. Perhaps it is time to apply what is learned through sport into everyday situations. Being unable to make the grade as a top level athlete does not mean the inability to emulate their world-class traits!

Mar 2018