Seeing the big picture
Why Do We Play?
Sport and games are part of life.
For many of us, a significant one. An important element of our wider experience.
What is the purpose of sport?
Why do we play games?
To put the questions above into context, it might help to widen our enquiry:
What is the purpose of life?
If you ask people what they desire most of all, the same answer comes back from person after person.
‘I want to be happy.’
Even if they reply, ‘to achieve great things’, or ‘to be wealthy’ or ‘to be part of something,’ you only need to ask why they want them, for the true answer to be revealed.
They desire the feelings they believe those experiences will bring.
Not the things in themselves.
Therefore, we can say with confidence; the purpose of life is to find happiness.
We can test this hypothesis using our own direct experience.
We don’t need the opinion of experts or sophisticated research instruments.
What happens when we feel happy and content?
We stop seeking and striving for things we believe will make us happy.
We realise that our wants, desires and needs have disappeared.
We are at peace.
Knowing happiness is the end game. The completion of the mission. The ultimate goal.
And so, the purpose of sport, as part of life, is the same.
We play because we are happy, and we are happy when we are playing.
As coaches, if we accept this simple reasoning, our role is clear.
The purpose of coaching is to help a person, or group of people to find happiness.
This is what we do at Sports Principles.
For Coaches and Leaders
To be a great coach, you need to understand two things. You need to know the game, and you need to understand people.
For Players and Athletes
Understand the simple principles which lie behind your best, most enjoyable, most consistent performances
For Schools and Teachers
Learn more about the principles which lie behind well-being, enduring relationships, powerful insights and effortless learning
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“In my experience, teams and players play to their potential when they are enjoying the game.
When they feel free to express themselves, feel empowered, feel connected to their team mates, coaches, supporters and the game itself.
Players who are overly focused on outcomes and results feel anxious, insecure, are less resilient, and less consistent.
For years I believed that my well-being was dependent on situations, circumstances and environment.
This misunderstanding takes us out of the present moment, which further suppresses performance and enjoyment.
Coaches and players who love what they do are committed and passionate without feeling like they are stressed or overworking.
They know that their well-being and value is not attached to or defined by results, titles, and the opinions of other people.
This essential fact is easily overlooked.
Doing so leads to feelings of lack, stress, and insecurity.
This understanding of how the mind really works allowed me to see through the conceptual barriers that were getting in the way and to realise my innate well-being and potential.
It has allowed me to see that we always have what it takes, even when times seem tough.”
Grayson Hart. Professional Rugby Player. Bedford Blues and Scotland
“There is so much emphasis these days on tactics and strategy.
It’s easy to overlook that players and athletes are human beings first and foremost”