Over the last couple of weeks I have been enjoying watching sports on the TV – most notably the football and the start of Wimbledon. After watching England play half-heartedly against the highly motivated US team and then appallingly against Algeria, they showed some flashes of inspiration against the Slovenians but then sat back in the last 10-15 minutes and were lucky to hold onto their win. One of the commentators said that he would forgive them that and I commented to a friend at the time that the Germans wouldn’t have.
Today, against Germany, we saw an English team bereft of team-spirit, energy, commitment or passion. OK, so they got robbed of a goal at 2-1 down but they didn’t deserve to be in the match based on how they had played and now they’re not. On several occasions, when they lost the ball deep in the Germans half, the English defence were so slow to react and so slow to get back, my Mum would have got there faster. I am sure many people will put up many “excuses” for the result and many others will blame anything, everyone and Capello but at the end of the day the least you would expect is players representing their country to chase the ball down in defence as fast as they can even if they had no chance of getting there. It is was the World Cup after all.
On the BBC commentary they mentioned our “world-class” players and that they wouldn’t swop more than a couple for members of the German team. Well, I would, I’d swop the lot, that way we’d be in the running still. And as for “world-class”…
It doesn’t matter how much talent you have, if you cannot make it work on the night, if you cannot get the result, then it’s irrelevant.
By contrast, look at the tennis match between Mahut and Isner. Two tennis players battling on for 183 games over the course of 11 hours and five minutes. The final set alone accounted for eight hours and 11 minutes of that time – 98 minutes more than the previous longest match on record. Now that’s commitment. Two men who wanted to win. Two men determined to succeed. Two men not prepared to give in.
Or what about Federer’s first round match where the defending champion was forced to mount a courageous comeback against Colombia’s Alejandro Falla? Having faced numerous match points in the third set he eventually won 5-7, 4-6, 7-6 (1), 6-4, 6-0. Federer could have slinked off into the night. He could have packed his kit bag and lost three sets to love. He could have claimed “illness” or some imaginary injury after such a bad showing but he hung in there, kept fighting, got a break and eventually came out on top. Likewise, Isner and Mahut, for three days running, went out on court and slogged it out. Giving anything less than 100% was not an option.
I’m not going to try and second-guess the mindsets of the English football team. Nor am I going to try and imagine what was going on in the heads of Mahut, Isner or Federer. I am going to quite simply ask you a question…
What do you want and how much do you want it? What are you prepared to put in to get it? How passionate are you about ensuring that your dreams become reality?