SUPER STARS – Bigger is Not Always Better

AJAY AMRIT suva I was listening a few months ago to a rugby coach who was having a team talk with his players, the talk was on the lines of
08 Jun 2014 08:05

Lionel Messi (second from right), may be small but is one of the world’s greatest soccer player.


I was listening a few months ago to a rugby coach who was having a team talk with his players, the talk was on the lines of a motivational speech to psyche up the players during their training.
This seemed to work as they played a hard physical game between their A squad and their B squad.
What did surprise me was the fact that after the game one of the players who I felt was exceptional in his position and was easily man of the match with his silky skills with ball in hand and hard uncompromising defence was told by the coach that he would be too small to play in his preferred position and that he would put him into a different position.
Last week I visited the team again and was dismayed to find that the player who had been outstanding in his preferred position was now relegated to an average performer in the new position his coach had chosen, all because the coach was judging him on physical appearances.
This happens a lot in life where we judge people purely on physical appearances and not on their heart, talent and dedication to succeed.
This brings me to highlight some of the success stories of people not just in sport but entertainment in general where they keep proving that being bigger is not better, but being better is better.
We can start with Fiji’s favourite pastime: Rugby 7s. Even though we have huge colossal players from all the provinces vying for a place on the national team the distinction of being the world’s greatest 7s player ever goes to Serevi a man of very slight build and short in stature.
He has proved you don’t need power and physique in the game of rugby but brains and sublime skills to reach the very top.
George Gregan was Australia’s preferred halfback for almost a decade and he was known to take down men twice his size with ankle taps and brilliant tackling with a low sense of gravity.
In soccer players like Diego Maradona who are barely five feet tall and more recently Lionel Messi have proved to be brilliant attacking players, who have proved against more powerful and far bigger defenders that their skills will always beat them.
In fact if you take Pele, Maradona and Messi these could very well be the three greatest soccer players in history.
In heavyweight boxing it certainly pays to be big, but even in this tough and uncompromising sport the greatest fighters have not necessarily been that big.
Rocky Marciano the only undefeated heavyweight champion in history, who has a perfect 49 fights 49 wins record was only about 5 feet 10 inches and weighed no more than 84 kilos in his prime fighting days, but his heart and determination to win was immeasurable.
The intimidating heavyweight champion Mike Tyson again was only about 5 feet 10 inches and weighed around 98 kilos in his prime.
Even in the entertainment world people like Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan and Aamir Khan who are all hugely successful superstars in the Bollywood industry are very small indeed.
I have met the majority of the people mentioned here and what is very impressive is the fact that they have not let their physical stature hamper their heart and desire to succeed in their chosen professions.
So next time someone tells you that you can’t do this or you can’t do that because of your so called physical limitations, take a leaf out of the book written for the people mentioned in this article and see how they have conquered perceptions that they would never be able to perform at the highest level in their chosen profession and succeeded when all others have failed.

– The writer is a regular contributor to the Fiji Sun’s column every Sunday. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer and not necessarily those of the Fiji Sun
Feedback: ajayamrit@hotmail.com

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