Sports for Leadership
Sadhguru: Leadership and sports are very directly connected. All the fundamental qualities that are necessary for a leader are naturally brought forth when one learns to play a game.
The moment you get into a game, knowingly or unknowingly you become 100% participation. Unless you plunge yourself into it, there is no game. This is so for anyone. This is an absolute requirement for a leader. A leader learns to participate. He does not hold himself back in anything. He learns to give himself absolutely.
In many ways, sports sets the rhythm for every human being to become a leader in his own right. For example, another aspect which is most important for a leader that is naturally inculcated by playing a game is the desire to win or achieve – you cannot play a game unless you develop a strong desire that you want to win. Without this there is no sport. At the same time, sports also sets this condition that you really want to win but you are willing to lose. If you lose, it is alright with you. This is most essential for a leader that he goes out to achieve things. At the same time, when things do not happen, he will not become a bundle of frustrations.
Whenever you set big goals in your life, many things don’t happen. For people who do not set big goals, they may believe that many things are happening in their lives but that is because you are not aspiring for anything big.
The very fundamentals of leadership is that you aspire to achieve certain things, to take people with you towards that goal, and if it does not happen, for whatever reason, you will never become a bundle of frustration. These qualities which are most essential for leadership are naturally inculcated by the very nature of the sport.
Sports can become a tremendous tool in building leaders. We have seen this in our own experience with Isha’s rural sports program and various other programs – in all of which sport is an essential component. We have seen how just because they are involved in a game, people are able to come out of their limitations and take up leadership for that moment to handle a particular situation. This in itself sets them up as a leader.
Editor's Note: The Isha Gramotsavam tournament on September 4, is an opportunity for every villager – man or woman, young or old, irrespective of caste or creed – to revel in the joy of the game and the spirit of competition and collaboration. Isha Gramotsavam is part of Action for Rural Rejuvenation (ARR), a rural revitalization program under the aegis of Isha Foundation. ARR provides a comprehensive approach to improved health, livelihood and community revitalization, and to date has reached over 4600 villages and forty-two lakh people.