Your Voice: In sport as in life, let’s learn from the World Cup
From everyone has a substitute to the importance of team over the individual, there’s much to learn from football.
“Let the show begin.” With these words, FIFA president Giovanni Infantino opened the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
Although the entire tournament is essentially a show, it has many lessons for individuals, organizations, and even nations. Here are a few of them:
Passion alone is never enough to achieve your dream
Every team goes on to the pitch with big dreams and remarkable passion. But this comes after full preparation, including tough training sessions and detailed tactical planning — and all this is accompanied by remarkable effort. Such a combination is necessary to achieve goals, both in sports, business, and life in general.
Building a team is more effective than depending on individuals
Many teams lose games because they depend on one or just a few players. If these individuals don’t perform well, or are absent for any reason, the team loses. In business, teamwork can make the dream come true, even if one or more “players” are not on their game. Strength in depth is important.
Sport is built on science
Data analysis guides everything from player transfers and the intensity of training, to targeting opponents and recommending the best direction of play at any moment. Most elite football teams employ top data analysts, mathematicians, and physicists. If even “games” rely on data to such an extent, it makes sense to build similar science into everyday life — into daily tasks and duties — wherever possible.
A great history is not enough for a great future
The marvelous history of the Argentinian team was not enough against the Saudi Arabian team. The latter made a new history, due to excellent preparation and performance. It translates that previous work achievements will not help you to succeed unless you sustain or even exceed previous performance levels, and stay on top of your specialism.
Everyone has a substitute
Every player, even the captain, can be replaced if performance dips or contribution falls. The same is true in work and life. Learn to adapt with your team, keep contributing, and recognize that anyone — even leaders — can be replaced.
Be unique to stand out: Every FIFA tournament is unique. All matches in Qatar, for example, are played in or near to the city of Doha. Fans can attend more than one match on the same day.
The next World Cup (in 2026) will be hosted by the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, marking the first time the tournament will be shared by three different countries. In life as in sport, stand out by being you. Every one of us has something unique to offer.
Let’s enjoy the tournament, support our teams, and learn from the games.
Your Voice reflects the thoughts and opinions of the writer, and not necessarily those of the publication.