Rules & Boundaries in Life & Sport

Jul 7 • Analysis, School • 2717 Views • Comments Off on Rules & Boundaries in Life & Sport

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Rules and boundaries

“People are valuable in direct proportion to their ability to work in harmony with others”
– David Lewis
(Former Eastern and Western Province rugby player & SA Barbarians team and MD of Peninsula Beverages, Western Cape.)

I had the privilege of discussing role models with Dave and I asked him what his most important values were and this is what he said.

He said being fair was probably his most important value in his family and work life, having belief in your self and being able to handle conflict well, this he learned through playing sport. He is firm and assertive, but not aggressive. He described himself as disciplined and in his 42 years at Coca Cola he said that people appreciate a discipline dealer. I also asked him what has been the most difficult part of his journey to success and he said that it would have to be dismissing people, but in his heart he knew he had been a fair leader and that the people who were being dismissed understood the consequences of their wrong doings.

In life we exist in many different systems; families, schools, friendship circles, sports teams and work places. Rules and boundaries need to exist in all environments to thrive. Boundaries need to be firm and at times flexible as they create focus and order. People do need to have firm boundaries in which to feel safe, but we also need flexibility in which to grow and develop an identity.

When babies are born parents are encouraged to get the baby in to a routine as soon as possible. Having routine benefits both mother and baby as it’s creates an environment of consistency, predictability, safety and security. Feeding, bathing and sleeping are the simple structures that caregivers put in place to create a sense of security and constancy for the baby, above all a child feels safe with unconditional love and attention.As the child gets older from toddler, child, teenager, adult etc rules and boundaries change but rules and boundaries are put in place to create safety, order and a sense of knowing.

As we move out of home and into the peer group, things are different. The peer group does not love us just because we are part of the family. The peer group loves us because we have a function. We are a good leader, or a good follower, we are a talented athletes, we are humerous, we laugh, we are attractive, or we are loyal. If we do not have a function in a group or a team, then we are rejected (Perkinson R.R, 2008).

Discipline is as vital for healthy child development as nutritious food, physical and cognitive exercises, love, and other basic needs. Without discipline, children lack the tools necessary to navigate relationships and challenges in life such as self-discipline, respect for others, and the ability to cooperate with peers.
When individuals enter treatment centers for substance abuse they have to abide by very stringent and seemingly punitive rules. In active addiction they have broken through every boundary established for them such as moral, ethical, hygiene, punctuality, respect for self and others, personal and external boundaries and many others, by reestablishing boundaries it gives people in recovery structure, systems and a clearer picture in which to function. Rules make all people young and old feel secure if they are consistent, clear and reasonable.

What is the link to sport then?

Rules are a vital part of sport. In basic terms, rules give players and participants an objective to strive for (e.g. kick a goal, cross the line first, score points). They ensure fair competition and consistent adjudication in determining a winner.Without rules, players and spectators would all be very confused.
If you choose to play an individual or team sport you are always working within system of individuals such as coaches, parents, specialists, team mates and opposition. Without boundaries and guidelines in life there would be chaos, and without rules in sport there would be chaos. Sport teaches us to be fair, to experience the joy of winning and the feeling of success as well as the experience of losing and hopefully the invaluable lesson of humility. Without rules we wouldn’t be granted these life lessons.
An individual can make a difference but a team can make a miracle, and individuals working harmoniously within their team can make an invaluable difference. Be accountable for the role you play and the value you add within your team.

I am meeting with Glenn Agliotti and a steroid drug dealer on Monday 8 July 2013, we will be holding talks in schools to inform both parents and pupils about what really goes on with drugs in sport right from the source. If you are interested please email upupandaway@telkomsa.net, follow me on twitter on Jo_upupandaway

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