I am glad I played table-tennis for our school team during my secondary school days. 

I played the doubles and act as a sparring partner to the “star” singles players. That’s where I learnt how to contribute to a team as the supporting cast

Big corporations, when doing recruitment, do look at the extra-curricular achievements of their candidates – especially when identifying potentials for leadership grooming.

Those we have worked a few years may already have noticed this phenomenon. If you unsure, try buying your HR (preferable not underling) lunch and find out what they look for in “elite” candidates. It could save years of heartache and detours if you think academic success is all they look for… You think why MOE changed tack recently? Kiasu parents may want to take note (but no forcing your sports dreams on them OK?).

It can apply to the Arts like ballet, playing the piano or violin, chess, painting, calligraphy, etc.

Playing sports allows us to learn lots about ourselves (and about others quickly – yes, you are being judged when your boss ask you out for a game of golf or tennis) 

 

  1. Some of us are bad sore losers. Ouch! Quick, can you name a few friends who are like that? You want such people on your team? And you wonder why nobody picks you… Give you opportunities…
  1. Some are gracious winners/losers and great hosts. They ensure everyone have a great time playing. Good candidates for HR and public relations work? Team building facilitators?
  1. Some are super competitive. Hate to lose! They are great for sales jobs! CEO potential? Merger and acquisitions shark? Super trader anyone?
  1. Some focus on the equipment; believing buying and wearing the best helps their game. Don’t laugh! We all have been guilty of it! We often find amateurs dress more stylo than the pros. LOL! That’s why people are willing to pay thousands for a trading course… And they probably do more research on a holiday package than checking-out the true credentials of the snake charmer… How about that trading newbie that starts with 6 screens trading setup? Power!
  1. Some cheat to win. I don’t play golf, but I’ve heard a lot about cheating on your handicap. Some take performance enhancing drugs… OK, can come in useful if you need someone to do “financial engineering” for you; but all things being equal, you don’t want someone who cheats anyway near your money, or do you?

 

Why doing well in sports or the arts is a great foundation for investing and trading 

Our initial wide-eyed enthusiasm for the sport will quickly crash down to earth. We soon realised it’s a lot of bloody hard work to do well. It’s practice, practice, practice. There’s a direct correlation between how many hours we train and how good we play.

If we have not already given up due to “time-constraints” (that’s a great excuse, no?), we now get frustrated that no matter how much you train, some fellow athletes always move ahead faster than you. You realise their “natural endowments” are better than yours.

What? You haven’t given up yet? 

Ah! I see you are now playing to your strengths. You have adopted a playing style that best suits you – instead of blindly mimicking your idol’s style of play. You start to specialise. Adapt and internalise. You have your own style of play now.

If you play well and win, you move up the table rankings and may even move up to a higher league (position/contract size). If you play badly, it’s OK to be relegated to a lower league. It’s when we play outside our league where we get clobbered big time!

We have experienced the joy of victory and the agony of defeat. And that’s no spectator can understand until they too have gone through the same blood, sweat, and pain.

Behind every victory (however small), we had to overcome and endure countless humiliating and morale sapping defeats to get here.

Whiners are spectators.

I would rather be the athlete that came in last. At least I participated. 


Singapore Man of Leisure (welcome to my blog; just google it!)