The Brat is Back

To be selected to represent your country playing sport, or to be named one of the top sportsman of that particular sport in my opinion is an honour. It grants a status and a level of sportsmanship that should be met at any level, understanding that at times we are faced with the toughest of circumstances.

Nick Kyrgios.f_180115_kyrgios_15.jpg

An uprising young Australian tennis star, who has been  in the spotlight displaying natural talent and the qualities to become number one. I give credit where credit is needed, and for this it is great to see such natural talent emerging in Australia.

However.

Earning and maintaining this title comes with regulations an athlete must adhere to at all times. As an athlete fairness, integrity, responsibility, and respect, are key factors in maintaining your reputation throughout the world.

As a former tennis player we are taught discipline and integrity. Discipline in how we present ourselves and play, integrity in how we choose to play. I feel as if these are two key components our legendary Nick Kyrgios lacks.

Touching on the most recent of his ‘performances’, the Shanghai Masters. Uncaringly serving and returning to his opposition Misha Zverev, going down 6-3, 6-1. He evidently displayed careless and unprofessional behaviour, and to an extent had reportedly clashed with fans. Due to his behaviour and actions, so far he has been hit with a $16,500 fine which has now increased by an additional $25,000 including his 8-week tournament suspension. However now the ATP has agreed that “The suspension will be reduced to three tournament weeks upon agreement that the player enters a plan of care under the direction of a sports psychologist, or an equivalent plan approved by ATP, meaning Kyrgios could regain eligibility to compete on the ATP World Tour or Challenger Tour from Monday 7 November 2016.”  Tennis Australia said they “support the ATP sanction on Nick Kyrgios following recent events in Shanghai”.

Sportsbet even went to the effort, refunding customers who placed bets on the athlete.

Once the match had concluded the athlete said ““I don’t owe (fans) anything … If you don’t like it, I didn’t ask you to come watch”. And tonight has released the following statement:

Following the ATP’s decision today I would like to take this opportunity to apologise again for the circumstances in Shanghai. The season has been a long one as I battled several injuries and other challenges towards the end of the summer. The Asian circuit was particularly tough after the long week and win in Tokyo and with the travel throughout the continent, my body finally just gave out in Shanghai both physically and mentally. This is no excuse, and I know very well that I need to apologise to the fans – in Shanghai and in other parts of the world – as well as the tournament organisers in Shanghai who do an amazing job. I of course know how important the fans are to the success of our sport and I personally love the interaction with fans in the many different cities throughout the world on the tennis circuit.  I am someone who gives a huge amount of time to my fans because I love and value their support. Their energy is what motivates me to reach for the top of the game. I regret that my year is ending this way and that I will not have a chance to continue chasing the ATP Finals.  This was an important goal for me. I do understand and respect the decision by the ATP and I will use this time off to improve on and off the court. I am truly sorry and look forward to returning in 2017.

NK

However the Shanghai is not the first of Kyrgios’s performances:

And the list continues….

Contradictory is a fine trait of the young superstar, and anger is one of his finest qualities. One of the MAIN fundamentals becoming a tennis player, and something that is consistently drilled into a players head at an early age, is to contain your emotions and focus on the game. By doing so, overcoming the most challenging barriers (yourself) you sport-preview-nick-kyrgiosprove that you have what it takes to become the best. You are at an international level where there are endless streams of young Aussie players aspiring to become like you, and you show them by smashing multiple rackets, back-chatting to officials and conceding a game because of a ‘challenging week’. How can Tennis Australia allow you to continue to hold your ranking and travel the international circuit? It is only now that the ATP has finally acknowledge the unacceptable and most importantly unprofessional behaviour.

As a player your ability is there, however you lack what my coaches call a “mental-toughness”. You are not mentally tough at all, yes you have the ability to come back after a losing by a large margin, or endure long games in the heat. But how can you not handle that things may not go right for you all the time? Or you become injury prone like you have said and may not be able to compete at your full potential? Acting like a brat as you have been and listening to your ego is obviously not the way to go.

John McEnroe, one of the greatest tennis players of all time. However, what comes to mind  thinking of him? For myself it is the multiple bursts of anger he displayed on and off the court. Which is what Kyrgios is beginning to be known for. Articles read “Kyrgios is too good for a coach”, although this may be the one thing he is missing. Constant discipline, not from his family but from an outsider and someone who has extensive knowledge on and off the court. Legendary coach Nick Bollettieri explains that the young professional needs someone that will listen and not to be told to continuously “stop that”. This may just be the stepping stone for Kyrgios, and the turning point in his attitude to become the world number 1.

For someone that has openly expressed that Tennis is not the ideal a
venue they want to pursue, and in actual fact basketball is their true calling. Then kid you’ve truly been blessed, and possess something that I wish I had.

As a tennis player I understand the anger and frustration, the disappointment and the hurt. But how was I was taught, never express your emotions for those around you to see. Never use your emotions to throw off another player, and never allow your emotions to defeat you.

But until you learn to contain yourself and grow out of your brat stage, I hope for the sake of all tennis federations you continue to be penalised for your actions. So aspiring tennis players understand that expressing unprofessional behaviour on and off the court is unacceptable, and not the way tennis is portrayed. Most importantly to be continually let off for your offensive and unprofessional behaviour. Tennis should be driven by motivation, passion and integrity. Not ego and anger.

Rather than having headlines “booted off ATP”, headlines should be reading “yet another effortless”. Or so you would hope…

The world has witnessed McEnroe. We don’t need another.

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Angels vs. Demons

The process of emotions often can be viewed as convoluted. Like a maze or as men like to think women, difficult to navigate and understand.Screen Shot 2016-03-01 at 7.14.37 PM.png

Emotion is a concept that is derived from the psychological state of feeling, resulting in psychological and physical changes that influence behaviour and thought. So whilst your sobbing friend sits on their bed, crying “I’m a ball of emotion right now” they are not completely wrong.

Generally, it is said that thoughts are not enough to provoke emotions. Ultimately it is our perceptions and opinions that affect how we feel and think about things. For example our emotions change when rolls are reversed, when an individual perceives themselves as being a victim in a situation often emotions become vulnerable whereas being in the position of the higher power, we tend to feel empowered and confident.

While perception fuels our emotion, faith and belief empower our thoughts. “When you invest faith in a thought it becomes empowered and can generate emotions“. Investing in an idea or thought based on how you perceive what is going on, distinguishes the type of emotion you feel and how you act.

You could say that is our emotions that dictate who we are on a daily basis. But it is notable  that not all emotions are expressed.

The question “is everything okay?” often can be comforting and daunting. Why is it when we are feeling happy, loving or proud we never cease a moment to show the world. But when we are feeling distraught, disappointed or humiliated we hide behind a facade? I constantly wonder why we are told to conceal such emotions.

Growing up I was taught to never show defeat, to hide jealousy and fight envy. “Put on a brave face”, a phrase many have heard and hidden behind. At the best of times, this advice helped me to persevere through the toughest times although creating a habit of concealing these emotions.

It is a common thought that showing signs of weakness or fragility alters an image of a person. When one is feeling stressed, ordinarily they continue to submerge themselves in their work load or run from their battles. Being immersed in this social norm of hiding our negative feelings, it is resulting in a decline of communication along with the incline of health problem as a result of bottling emotion.

Characterising negative emotions urges us to defeat or override ‘demon’ rather than express and overcome. Effectively there is a time and a place for every situation, along with a wrong and right person.green-eyed-monster.jpg

Recently I had an encounter with the ‘green-eyed monster’, formally known as jealousy. Jealousy with a side of envy, honestly had me feeling out of place. Something that I had never allowed myself to feel, being in the position I was in along with my altered perception and external influence it ate away at me. Resulting in my personality changing in attempt to hide behind my own fake smile.

Honestly it got to a point where I crumbled, and finally how I felt finally was set in stone. Shortly after venting, I was able to step back and analyse the situation. I eventually realised that my own feelings were normal, yet it was external influences that altered my perception of the situation.

I use myself as an example because I’ve always hidden my emotions. I have been subject to torn relationships between family and friends, even the instances where hiding emotion from a partner drives a wedge between someone you love.

Ultimately there is a time and a place for everything. Expressing happiness and sadness, gratitude or ungratefulness. As a human we are designed to have emotion towards everything that occurs in life, it is humane to feel jealousy regardless of religious or societal perspective.

Expressing emotion has the ability to enhance our self-worth and better communication between you and others.

In saying this, everything is to be done at appropriate times and in expressed in the correct way. Running away from what we feel , sometimes does not allow us to fulfil who we truly are.

What we should be realising is that sometimes our green-eyed monster is not always the bad guy. Maybe sometimes its trying to tell us something, take a load off and make us realise that everything we do is counteracted by an emotion.

Don’t always fight it, express it.

Using ‘Paradise’ to embellish our lives

“Where is my life heading?”

I ask myself everyday as I re-live the same routine continuously. My family and myself tend to base ourselves in such a routine we regularly follow. For as many years as I can remember it has been our routine to fantasize about our dream holiday to travel the world.

I’ve always taken notice of the holidays people go on. Some to tropical islands around the world, or others to the Middle East and Europe all different from the other. And with each of these places, there is always an individual that posts a photo with a caption “paradise” or similar. Coming from someone who has never been out of Australia, I look at these photos and think to myself “doesn’t that look like perfection?” I can most likely speak for a portion of others who view these photos.

But this idea of ‘paradise’ is what I want to explore. What is ‘paradise’? Humanity uses this word often as a noun and in some cases an adjective.

Everyone is different; when I think of paradise my thoughts vary. Some people describe paradise by being on a tropical island relaxing by the calming water sipping on cocktails and watching the sunset or exploring the history and mysteries behind some of the oldest heritage points throughout the world. We tend to look at the physical aspects of paradise and attach it to anywhere beautiful and foreign. But then I also think of paradise to describe a world of peace and health, this is something I tend to be very oblivious to.

There is another alternative view of paradise, one that takes a religious outlook on the noun. An example would be Christianity, Heaven is paradise. A place with eternal life, love, health and passed loved ones is what many Christians want in the next life. This idea changes from religion to religion.

Moving away from religion and focusing on a universal idea of paradise, I want to understand why we don’t describe our everyday lives as paradise. I am unsure if others tend to do this but I forget that there are other parts of the world who are in constant war and poverty, not to mention those who are constantly ill or are suffering and incurable disease. I can be selfish in that way, and especially being bought up in steady middle-class family I have been spoilt with the opportunities and health I have been granted. It is a humanistic quality to have a constant desire of wanting more than what you have and being unhappy with what we are given. Its how we are made but also something that we can overcome.

What really sparked my interest into this thought was a commercial on TV, which showed poverty stricken African children dying from dehydration and the water the are forced to drink. Shortly after the charity began to show how joyed these children were to be drinking clean water. The smiles on their faces brought a smile to my face and was something that made me wonder how drastically different the idea of paradise can be between two classes.

To children and families who live in third world countries and are not exposed to clean drinking water but when are given clean water and food make the universe seem like they are in paradise. It puts into perspective what different people value more. Those who don’t have much utilise the necessities of life and health, creating their own paradise and what we class as ‘everyday life’ but those who have these necessities go to different parts of the world to find this feeling of ‘paradise’ and often forget that their everyday life is a state of paradise.

Of course paradise is going to explore a different country whose physicality blows you away and would only seem life a dream. But I feel like myself and many others fail to appreciate the everyday paradise we live in. Health, food, water and peace are what ultimately create paradise.  When we create a dream or goal these four factors are what make up our element of paradise and relaxation, although we are unconscious to this because we are masked by physical perfection.

Its funny how a simple commercial can make you contemplate your own ideas.

“We must prefer real hell to an imaginary paradise.” – Simone Weil

This quote tends to catch my attention, I feel as if humanity sometimes prefer the imaginary and those less fortunate appreciate the hell.

Just a thought.