Paul Cockayne – 07791 970406 – firstname.lastname@example.org
This blog is intended to give you a flavour of how I work as a counsellor. You can find more information about me by clicking one of the links above
Watching the Wimbledon final today left me thinking about winners and losers; losers in particular for winners can look after themselves. Andy Murray’s disappointment was clear after his defeat today; this was a tournament that, I imagine, he had focussed all his efforts on for a long time, and in the moment of loss, the failure to win the final must have completely obliterated all the positives that he may be able to articulate in a few days time.
For a top sportsperson, most tournaments will end in defeat, in disappointment, and they must continually be having to adjust, to reflect on the positive aspects of the last defeat and to focus on the next opportunity for success, at the next tournament in a few weeks time. It must be a constant emotional roller-coaster, with each peak from a series of victories followed by the disappointment of a defeat. But of course, on a roller coaster each peak is slightly lower than the last, whereas for a sportsperson they will hope that they will gradually improve as time goes on. Perhaps a better analogy is that of a trampolinist who cannot make his highest jump without first building up to it with a series of lesser efforts.
For those of us who are not professional sportspeople, we are likely to experience less peaks and troughs than Andy Murray or Roger Federer. Few of us will have clear-cut goals such as winning Wimbledon; we may be uncertain about what we want from life, and we may be content with that, we may be perfectly happy to take each day as it comes. If we do have clear ideas about what we want, they are likely to be more long-term objectives than winning the singles title in the next two weeks; we may well be working towards something that we cannot possibly achieve until months or years into the future.
Nevertheless, we are all likely to experience successes and failures. And thinking about that makes me think that we can learn from the way professional sportspeople cope with their constant stream of occasional triumphs and more frequent disappointments. For them, each tournament victory or defeat is soon superseded by another opportunity to compete, another possibility for success, another likelihood of failure. And each tournament, whatever the result, provides information to reflect on, about what went well and what can be improved upon.
For a tennis player, the structure of the tournament calendar provides them with a series of objectives that Is easy to access. For most of us, this is something that we have to work harder at, so we may need to set our own objectives. If we suffer a loss – of a loved one, of a job, of a dream – we are likely to have to go through a period of rebuilding to identify the way forward. This can seem daunting – impossibly so at the worst times – but just as Andy Murray can turn to Ivan Lendl for support, we can also elicit help from family, friends or from counselling to help us decide on the next challenge.