Keep Your Eye On The Ball

April 25th, 2016 · No Comments

Philippine Tamaraw player of the PNRL

Philippine Tamaraw player of the PNRL

Last month, the community was engrossed with the little round object called the ball.  The ball was simply the star!  And they kicked the ball, rolled it, hit it, dribbled it, threw it, dived for it, and caught it.  They aimed high, they aimed low and whatever goal posts there were, and whatever type of balls –  round, oval, small, big , heavy or light – they sure aimed and all hoped for one thing – winning!  

February saw the Filipino-New Zealand team debut at the Cabra 9s tournament; the Phil-Oz Tag boys celebrated their world cup performance; the Philippine Tamaraws loss to Papua New Guinea but redeemed themselves with a spectacular win over Serbia; the BowlerOz bowling team rolled it down the Rooty Hill laneways; the Azkalroos went a- kicking; and  the basketballers of Mt. Druitt kept on dribbling.  And of course, the Philippine Baseball team who flew direct from the Philippines for the World Cup qualifiers in Blacktown, threw the community in frenzy.  Phew!  Now, that’s a lot of expended energy.

While I do enjoy watching ball games, I must admit, I can’t catch a ball, and sometimes I barely know the rules.  Well, maybe I can catch a ball if it was for jackstones. But that’s as far as I get and I definitely am in no shape to run after one now. Back at school, I shuddered at having to participate in some kind of ball game – any ball game and I somehow managed to wangle myself out by wiggling my way into some dancing activity.  However, I totally understand the emotion, the passion, the cheers, the tears and the spills that go with the games – any game for that matter. Having cheered for the San Beda College teams in my younger years, I am fully aware of what happens at the bleachers. There is nothing more exhilarating than the sound of the drums, or the banging of objects on fences for sound effects, accompanied by rhythmic chants and a rousing cheer from an invigorated crowd.  Add to the equation –  a touchdown, a fast break, one final goal in those dying seconds to score that all important win and it’s instant euphoria.

Having been watching games lately, I somehow have a renewed sense of understanding and appreciation for the men who throw their bodies in harm’s way, all for the love of the game. With arms and legs in all directions, it seems like ballet gone wrong, dripping in perspiration.  Bigger, better, louder – it’s all about who gets to take that ball.

But through it all, worth noting is the discipline and the rigorous training;  the preparation and the perspiration that goes with every game, and the teamwork at play.  Every player plays their role with a coach in the know, to call the shots.   Not all are scorers.  There are passers on, the catchers, and those on the sidelines – those on the offense and those on the defense.  No one is greater – no one is more important – everybody plays their role as best as they can.  It’s self awareness at play too. Everyone knows their own strengths and limitations as they go through their play.   Then there’s the behind the scenes supporters, the scorers, the first aid people and the water boys.  And together, they score a win!

While we may understand the concept of teamwork in sports, we fail to grasp the concept let alone understand it in the community and to apply it in our everyday lives.  Everyone wants to hold on to the ball;  some have dropped the ball; and have no balls to hold on to.  So what’s the fuss?!  Everybody wants to be the scorer, even when they really are meant to be the water boy and people refuse to see the distinction. Some even become so territorial –  and thou shall not dare pass their self imposed demarcation line.  “This is my area!”  they squeal.

If we could only understand the principles of cooperation and collaboration, we would achieve more and perhaps even be on the winning side for a change. As the Consul General said at a function, “We succeed as individuals but we fail collectively.”  We are individualistic.  We fail to see the big picture and really, together we can’t. Some amazingly even forget what team they’re on and will kick those on the same side.  It’s – I, me and mine!  It’s ‘to each his own’, and each one out to get what they can. Only their egos are on the dribble. And in the end, no one really wins.

For now, just keep your eye on the ball or watch your back.  In the meantime, I’ll keep right on hoping and cheering!

The PNRL, Philippine Tamaraws glorious win against Serbia.

The PNRL, Philippine Tamaraws glorious win against Serbia.



Tags: Features