Are arrogant players good for sports?

By: Radha Radhakrishnan
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World cup football since the last few days has become thrilling and exciting. We have seen few shocking upsets and surprises. As each day progresses social media comes alive with comments, praises and brickbats about both individual and team performances.

One fan on Twitter drubbed Frank Lampard, Wayne Rooney and Steven Gerard as the three idiots of England team. Another brushed both Lampard and Anelka as good at playing Club football but lack the spirit to play for the nation.

Sport events of this nature are replete with dark horses coming from behind to steal the show and hot favourites being knocked out of the competition shocking the fans and supporters.

This World Cup has already achieved its first of shutting the door on reigning champions and runners up Italy and France respectively. In no other edition of the World Cup have both winners and runner up teams been knocked out right in the first leg of the competition.

In team sports like football and cricket players tend to have a high sense of individual achievement all the time. Often during a bad patch, players lose self confidence and with that even the best of teams will tend to look like a bunch of amateurs trying to play in the most competitive circuit.

Despite being considered as the best team on paper, England looked out of sorts" right from the start of the tournament till their exit yesterday.

The less one talks about France and Italy the better it is.

Many a times, factors that boost the self confidence of players also ends up being their nemesis. Coach and other instructors work on players" confidence by instilling a belief in their ability to perform well and win a game. They do stress on group cohesion and team dynamics. But greater emphasis will be on a player"s ability to be match winners on a given day.

Players are told to believe they are the best and be the best. Each player grows up believing so and backs himself thoroughly more than anyone else on the field.

As fans we enjoy the brutal arrogance on the field. Didn"t we love Sourav Ganguly"s arrogance as much as we loved his cricketing and leadership skills! Aren"t people drooling over Christiano Ronaldo also considered as the most arrogant footballer in the game today? When uncontrolled, aggression and self confidence manifests into arrogance and becomes part of the player"s personality in the process.

This leads to manifestation of aggression off the field as well and problems of a different kind begin. Brawls in public places, disagreements with fellow players and coach all stem from this and the adulation they receive from fans.

Many players fail to understand arrogance is not a pre-requisite for success. For every arrogant player there is thrice the number who is not and yet highly successful. In cricket, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid or M S Dhoni are classic examples of successful with humility.

It is easy to get carried away with success, fame, adulation and of course money. It is rather difficult to keep all these at bay and stay focused on the task at hand. Those who achieve this deserve to be idolized than those who wear arrogance on their sleeve.

Follow Radha Radhakrishnan on Twitter

*The views expressed in this article are solely that of the author and do not necessarily represent those of or of Greynium Information Technologies Pvt Ltd. *

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