Take It Seriously

Since a lot of sport has been cancelled or postponed during the pandemic, I’ve been reflecting on my own time playing football a few years ago.

I’ve played in all manner of teams, some very successful and others not so good.

I look back fondly on my time playing for New Mills Under-18s, when I was at sixth-form college. What I enjoyed most was the balance the team had between enjoying ourselves and taking the football seriously.

We were a talented team, winning the league and reaching the cup semi-finals twice. We trained hard. There was little room for errors, lack of effort or desire to work for the team. There were often ‘friendly’ arguments in training because it was so competitive. The manager demanded a lot from the team but also earned our respect.

At the same time, we enjoyed our football. There were jokes and loud music in the changing rooms. There was laughter and good spirits after matches, whether we’d won or lost. We would lift each other on the few occasions we did lose.

For me, this was the best time I played football and when I got the most out of it. We had found a healthy balance, which motivated everyone to work together for a common goal.

In the work we do, we need to find a balance between many things: our passion, our enjoyment, our goals, our desire to work together or serve others and taking the work seriously.

Without this balance, it goes two ways, as I experienced playing in some other teams. You either take things too seriously, which sucks the joy out of them, or don’t take them seriously enough and everything becomes a joke.

How do you take the work you do seriously?

How do you find joy in it?