When my college life was about to begin, everyone around me started to pour their experiences and gave me a list of ‘Do’s’ and ‘Don’ts’. Amongst all of them, my father gave me perhaps the best advice: do whatever you want, explore new areas and play a sport in your college life. Tying all the advices by a single thread, I decided to play hockey. The only problem was that I had never held a stick in my 18 years. The enthusiasm of learning something new overcame my fear of failure and I decided to give it a shot anyway.
The first day of my field was perhaps the best motivating experience I ever had. I ran 10 rounds straight without any break breaking all my physical and mental limits that I had set for myself. The only way I pushed myself was ‘Can I run a bit longer? Can I complete this round? Can I endure pain?’ and the answer to each question which my brain and body replied in unison was ‘I can.’ Now whenever I find myself in a gruelling situation which exhausts me mentally and physically, I simply remember my first day and have a surge in self-confidence that I had done it earlier and I can do it time and again.
The second thing I learned was that dedication can help you to learn new things even if the odds are against you. I am often referred as a skeleton but my willpower and hard work helped me to overcome my lanky physique and use it to my benefit to become more agile and swift. I had seen many people quitting and then somewhere I realised, willpower is not always within you, it has to be generated sometimes. Even if everything is not working in your favour, you have to hold on it for a bit longer as you work your way through.
The third important thing that I learnt was to plan and optimise. A game is not won by individual but as a team. When we were playing the final of BOSM-2014, we were two goals down. Rather than throwing tantrums and blames on each other we decided to change our strategy and concentrate on every aspect we could improve. Everyone did his part and we equalised at full time after scoring two goals in final three minutes. Sometimes our initial plans don’t work but we can always improvise and it is equally important to stick to them.
The last thing I would like to add is about people. We have stopped calling ourselves as a team but rather we consider ourselves as a family. Hockey has helped me earn an identity in college. I have learnt that if you follow anything with passion, people would start associating you with that thing and it would help you to connect with different people and helping you to explore new areas.
Hockey has been like a needle which helped me to enrich my life by sewing pearls of experiences and opportunities in this garland of life.