This is the season of epic comebacks in sports history.
Just last week, Liverpool won their first cup in 7 years at the UEFA Champions League – Europe’s most prestigious, no less.
Not only was their comeback epic, but their rebound during the game was also no joke. Nobody expected Liverpool to beat Barcelona because let’s face it – based on their track record, Barcelona had higher chances of winning.
And it was going that way: Barcelona dominated Liverpool during the first leg with 3-0. Who would have expected Liverpool to turn the game around and win with 4-0 in the second leg?
But the soccer world wasn’t the only one in uproar.
In the recent NBA playoffs, the Los Angeles Clippers made NBA history with their legendary comeback against the Golden State Warriors despite a 31-point lead in the first three-quarters of the game. Their final winning score: 135-131. One for the basketball books indeed.
GAME OVER OR GAME ON?
Half-time comebacks in the sports world are great because this is where almost all is lost. Team morale is low and the end is virtually set in stone. You can practically hear the unspoken thoughts among the team members:
How will we return from such a huge loss?
How are we going to close the gap?
How are we ever going to win?
But even at this point of almost-no-return, things can still change simply because the game isn’t over yet.
To many, a defeat by half-time may mean game over. But to teams with a winning attitude, half-time really just means game on.
And this is a great principle to apply not just in sports, but also in our lives. We are now in the month of June – the half-time of the year. Now is a good time for us to recover, review and re-strategise.
WHAT TO DO AT A HALF-TIME
1. Recover from the game
The primary function of half-time in basketball and soccer is to give the players some time to rest before they enter the battlefield again. Why? Because the game is intense and it’s impossible for a person to perform their best without some respite in-between.
Similarly, in this holiday season, I see many friends taking a break from work, usually in the form of travelling. And it’s not because they have kids and can only travel during the midyear.
But like every other Singaporean, we’ve been caught up in an intense game of life since the start of the year. And June, the middle mark, is a good time to take a break and recover from the busyness of life.
Of course, you don’t have to travel in order to take a break. (Sometimes going on a holiday tires us out even more, am I right?) The point of a half-time is to be intentional about spending extended time away from the normal cycle of things so that you can rest, recharge and recuperate.
After all, the Chinese saying is true: Rest is for accomplishing a longer journey.
2. Review what can be better
Athletes don’t take a break just to recover. Half-time is also an interval to review the game thus far.
I wonder how far all of us have come since the beginning of 2019, when we reflected and set our resolutions.
I know how far I’ve come: Not very far.
And to be honest, I wasn’t aware of this until I intentionally sat down to evaluate my past 6 months. Time just flew by and I was so caught up with life that I kind of forgot about what I had set out to achieve for the year.
So whether you’re jetting off to an exotic country or heading to a church camp, or simply spending some extra time at home, this is probably a good time to reflect on what has happened since the start of the year and realign ourselves to what matters.
3. Re-strategise for the win
If whatever goals you planned to achieve at the beginning of the year have yet to come into fruition, perhaps what we need to do is to come up with a new plan to reach those goals.
It’s like sports – the goal doesn’t change but the strategy does.
A few weeks ago, I saw on my Instastory feed that some of my friends signed up for devotions on the YouBible app together. The plan reminds you of the chapters that you need to read daily and even allows you to see which of your friends have already done the devotions for that day.
I thought it was such an ingenious way to keep us motivated towards the goal because while most of us try to achieve our goals by our own willpower, how many of us are actually disciplined enough to follow through what we said we would at the start?
So perhaps we can re-strategise by finding like-minded community instead of going it alone in order to make real steps towards achieving our goal. Team work makes the dream work.
Of course, this is just one example. There can be many examples of how we can change up the way we do things to ultimately win.
We are now in the middle of the year. It can be daunting to reflect on what has happened for the past 6 months – especially if you know deep down that you haven’t been playing a strong game (that’s me!).
But don’t give up if you find yourself far away from the goals you’ve set for this year: Winners are just people who never quit.
This is your half-time. The game isn’t over.
THINK + TALK
- How has your 2019 been so far?
- What are some areas of your life you want to improve?
- How can you make sure you’ll be disciplined to follow through with your goals?