No one knew much about a girl — South Indian with a wheatish tan complexion, medium height, looked okay, a student of grade 7 who had ‘just fine’ grades. She was brought up in Muscat, Oman, and thoroughly knew she was a big fan of her nation – India. She also knew one thing about herself, “I lack self-confidence and self-esteem both from outside and inside’.
At a very young age, she realized she was missing out on something, and wanted to do something to prove her identity. That’s when she decided to take the extra step and approached her parents to put her in a boarding school in India.
That little schoolgirl is me- Parinitha, as you call me!
I had my parents agree to my decision and I was put in a boarding school here in Bengaluru. And, little did I know that this would be a turning point for me in my life. I was thrown into strict routines both on academics and co-curricular activities which run parallel. I needed to choose a sport every term for me to excel.
The first sport I chose to learn was Tennis, a fast-paced one that requires quick reactions as well as explosive powers and stamina. I came to know how much endurance it demands at all levels. Professional games typically last around 3 hours and require extreme concentration. My lesson learned here is – “Mental Endurance” which is important throughout life, whether it’s revising for long exam periods or applying for jobs. Endurance comes in many forms that aren’t all fitness-related. And This means, working hard and training yourself so that you can endure the tougher times, and allowing yourself to enjoy the great times that follow as a result!
The next sport I chose to learn was Volleyball that showed me how to communicate helpfully! As in any team sport, communication in this game helps players make quick decisions. This is possible as the players are close together (especially with people from their team), they’re able to communicate with each other, quickly and efficiently. And, a this is a fast-paced game, we always remind students to make sure they’re in a “ready position” (i.e. their knees are slightly bent, they’re on the balls of their feet, hands out slightly in front of them ready to pass with forearms or fingertips).
At a higher level, volleyball helps to trust and recognize your teammates’ abilities. You need to be able to trust that everyone else has good skills and, in an emergency, can step up to help out. Finally, the Sport which highlighted my identity and I became popular in school was Football. A tip that footballers are taught early on in school is that a ball travels faster than a player. The way to win is to use teammates as the ball to outplay opponents.
Football plays a key part in developing teamwork. It requires a team of 11 players to organize themselves, follow instructions and use their players to the best advantage. Not only does it demand great communication skills to ensure everyone understands the team goals, but also that players know their role within the team. It is a great way for us to start understanding team roles. There are many sporting events in which your winning and losing depend upon the entire team. Haven’t we seen cricket and basketball teams in despair even after the brilliant performance of a few / individuals? We learn not only to bring out the best in ourselves but in others as well. We realize that interpersonal motivation, support, and encouragement are essential for the best performance. Football is my teacher in this respect.
I strongly believe that a lot of lessons are learned in the sports field than in the classroom. The sports field is like a mini field of ‘life’. If we see the invaluable adage of life “practice makes a human perfect”- the sports field makes you learn and be successful in that. The more you practice, the better athlete you will become whether it is sprinting or hurdle-racing or slow cycling, skating, javelin throwing, discus, or shot put throws. Nothing makes a person better than life practice too!
Coming back to my school years; journey… Yes, I soon had my road map to success. I was appointed the Sports Captain and the School Head Girl. Everyone began to know who Parinitha Shetty was. And, today, you have her amidst you, with her head held high, still striving to achieve success in life; a self-confident person, has high self-esteem and who holds a very strong value that – beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself. And, now a final word – Don’t Ever Doubt your Worth!