Individual awards in team sports, such as “Man of the Match” or “Player of the month”, can appear to go against the team ethic. Is the hard running midfielder, whose work goes largely unnoticed, any less important to the team than the goalkeeper who makes a string of top draw saves or the striker who finds the net on a regular basis? Such awards tend to go to the players who get noticed.
In individual sports, for example, boxing, athletics or tennis, it is much more straight-forward to decide who is the best. It is a one on one competition and the winner is the best on that day. If a sportsperson is the best in the world, at their sport they alone are crowned champion.
Now I know that many individual champions will declare that they could not have achieved that status without the considerable backing of their support staff, and rightly so. But ultimately it is skill and determination of the athlete that has made them a champion. Anthony Joshua is on his own once he climbs into the ring. He has to face his challenger alone. His corner men are not able to take or throw punches for him!!
The winner of a golden boot award usually pays tribute to his team mates who created the openings, or the golden glove winner thanks the defenders in front him for the low tally of goals the team has conceded.
Recently our manager gave his “Manager of the Month” award to the girls in the kitchen. This was not because they are more deserving than anyone else in club (Karen, Sandra and Sarah may disagree) but it was symbolic that the award was for the club as a whole, plus Dowse is running out of room in his office for such awards!!
The players that have been voted “Player of the Month” by the fans are quick to point out that it’s a team game. But I wonder how many of them have shared the bottle of bubbly with their team mates?
In life we are faced with situations that we have to deal with as individuals. If you are unwell, you may have family and friends to support you, but they cannot fully experience what you are going through, they cannot be sick for you!! Similarly there are issues that can sorted out with others in your “team”.
When Jesus finally ascended into Heaven, He told His friends that He would be with them always, by His Spirit. So even if we are having a rough ride individually, or as part of a “team” we need never be truly on our own. It doesn’t matter if you are “a star striker” or a “hard running midfielder” of this world, this is an award not just for the “star individual”, but the whole “team” of mankind.
Updated 19:55 - 24 Jan 2018 by Rob Overfield