Sports: Catalysts of Life

We all grew up hearing the faint whispers about a sport your community loved and engaged in, or maybe it was your home team. Nevertheless sports is not just entertainment, it’s emotions, human experience, and sometimes it constitutes a big part of your identity. Join us this month as we explore how it’s not just a game but a way of life. 

Sports: It is seldom just entertainment. It’s emotions, it’s math, it’s a mirror into yourself. It’s a journey of human experience but for all those who may not necessarily consider themselves athletes, don’t worry, you don’t need to jump into the ocean because sometimes it’s mind over body. 

In this month’s newsletter, we have picked three talks from the global TED(x) stage regarding sports and its influence on us as human beings.

Russell Wilson: My secret to staying focused under pressure

 Strenuous situations loaded with pressure, doubt, fear and pain are inevitable—they await us all. Life happens. But wait, aren’t those exactly what world-class athletes face every other night? How can they cope? 

As an elite NFL quarterback, Russell Wilson offers a captivating perspective. 

“As athletes, we train the body, we train ourselves to be able to run fast, throw farther, jump higher and do these different things, but why don’t we train our mind?” 

– Russell Wilson

 So what’s his secret sauce? Neutral thinking. Think about it. Positive thinking cannot always work, and we know for sure that negative thinking won’t get us anywhere. By staying neutral and focused in the moment, we can often stay clear-headed. Having emotions is normal, but pay attention to what happens when you get emotional.

Liv Boeree: Three lessons on decision-making from a poker champion

 Probabilities and precision—or, put in a different way, the game of poker. What can we learn from it? Well, as Liv Boeree puts it, the outcomes we achieve do not rely solely on the quality of our decision making. They also rely on the roll of life’s dice. 

On the same note, when we experience great success, we tend to throw rational thinking out of the window and over-attribute it to ourselves. Also, we are inclined to overly rely on our intuition, as it has proven correct before. But here’s the catch – 


“In reality, our gut feeling is extremely vulnerable to all kinds of wishful thinking and biases.”

– Liv Boeree

So what can we do? We can try to think in a more quantitative manner. By estimating probabilities and rational thinking, we can make better decisions and, ultimately, improve our odds, even beyond the poker table.

Bhakti Sharma: What open water swimming taught me about resilience

We all know resilience, in fact if the last year and a half have taught us anything it is that maybe we are more resilient than we think we are… Resilience is integral in an ever-changing world, we are constantly drowning under our own perception of reality and the uncertainty the future holds.
Being resilient is not a given. It takes practice and proactiveness. It takes patience and understanding because we are in competition with our greatest competitors: Ourselves. 

“Even when I can’t find the motivation or joy in what I am doing, all I can ask myself is: Is this the best I can do?” 

– Bhakti Sharma 

 Bhakti Sharma explores her journey with building resilience. Having given over 25 years of her life to open-water swimming, she explains that at one point it is no longer just a sport but rather a mirror into yourself. That mirror can be special because it is no longer about what you just see.