Sports- The Career Path Less Travelled By.

Monday, 29 April, 2019

Son: Dad, I love playing Badminton. I don’t like Biology. I want to be a Sportsman and not a Doctor.

Dad: What about your professional career? How will you earn respect and money?

Son: I want to play for the country. I want to represent India in the World Sports tournaments. I want to do something for my country. Sports will be my career and my passion for it would help me excel and earn money.

Dad: Have you gone nuts? There is absolutely no job security in it. Also you are paid peanuts.

Son: But dad, this is my dream and I have always looked up to Saina Nehwal, PV Sindhu and Mithali Raj. They are my inspiration. I want to become like them someday. Also, I have represented my school in so many tournaments.

Dad: Son, Playing for school is different and playing for the country is totally different. There is no financial security and no regular income. It's all so uncertain. You would be ruining your life.

Son: But I don't like anything else.

Dad: Let's not waste our time on this discussion. Fill in this form for you Medical entrance test and start the preparations. You are left with very less time and all your friends have buckled up their preparations.

Sports can never be the horse that an average Indian parent would want to bet on. The irony is that parents always encourage their children to read success stories of famous sports person but whenever a child expresses his dream of pursuing sports as a career option, he is told to first complete his graduation and then think of pursuing sports just as a hobby. It is really sad to see so many young sports aspirants taking a completely different career path half-heartedly just because of parental and societal pressure.

Sports is often viewed as a risky career option because of certain uncertainties associated to it. Most of the parents believe that sports is not a very secure career option. It won’t fetch regular income and hence there is no stability. On the other hand, Government and Private jobs are associated with job security and an exponential increase of the career graph. Also the amount of peer pressure and “Log kya kahenge” fear is engraved deep in the minds of Indian parents. It is very difficult to break this societal stereotype and convince the Indian parents.

Another important factor which leads to this resistance from the parent’s side is associating pride and status with certain genre of jobs. An Indian parent takes more pride in telling his relatives that his/her daughter/son is a doctor or an engineer than a badminton player. Parents are not completely aware of the wide opportunities and benefits that sports offers. More than imposing their own ideas, desires, dreams and thoughts on their child, every Indian parent must focus on hearing out what their child aspires to become and is passionate about.

No child is born holding a badminton racket or gripping a cricket bat or a stethoscope or a soldering iron. Slowly and steadily as children are exposed to all these things, they realise their likes and dislikes.Teenage is an age of confusion and dilemma. Adolescents need the proper guidance and mentorship to shape their future. Their entire career is dependent on the choices that they make during this time.

The Indian Sports dynamics has tremendously changed opening up new avenues for budding sports persons. India has excelled in Olympics and has won many laurels. Thanks to the brilliant sportspersons who are the gems of India. In 2016 Olympics, Sakshi Malik backed a bronze medal in Wrestling, while PV Sindhu earned a Silver medal. Recently in the Special Olympic World Summer Games, India has won 368 medals which is simply mind-blowing and applaudable. The Indian Premier League (IPL) that is currently happening is the best example of widespread opportunities that sports has for young aspirants. Naming a few fresh faces like Surya Kumar Yadav, Rashid Khan, Shreyas Iyer are the young bloods who are stealing the show by exhibiting outstanding performance and winning hearts.

As it is righteously said “Allow your passion to become your purpose, and it will one day become your profession.” It's high time that Indian parents start recognising their child’s talent and passion and harness it in the right way. The path which is less travelled by might be the right one for someone. It's important to pursue your dreams and aspirations and live life on your own terms than living someone else’s life.

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