The Equation of Success in Sport

“A black and white shot of a man stretching his right leg before running on the road” by Abigail Keenan on Unsplash

Remember the finals of FIFA World Cup 2014? Argentina vs Germany. None of the sides could net the ball up to full-time. In the extra time, out of nowhere, substitute player Mario Gotze shoots the ball on target and the rest, as we know, is history.

If you are a Lionel Messi fan, you might also like to remind me that at the fag end of this intense game, the legend had a chance to make a comeback for his team when he earned a free kick. Alas, he missed the golden opportunity and his fans across the globe were mightily disappointed.

As a matter of fact, Messi scored 4 goals in the tournament, only 2 goals lesser than James Rodriguez, the top scorer from Colombia.

If you are not a football fan and cannot connect to this, lets talk about Cricket.

Virat Kohli, considered as one of the best batsmen in the world, holds the record for scoring the highest runs in an IPL season. He scored a whopping 943 runs in 16 matches in the 2016 IPL season with an average of 81.08 runs. However, the next IPL season, Kohli only managed to score an abysmal 308 in 10 matches with an average of 30.80 runs.

Let’s take two questions now:

  1. Is Mario Gotze a better player than Lionel Messi?
  2. Was Virat Kohli a better player in 2016 than in 2017?

I’m assuming any reasonable person to answer both these questions in the negative. I’m not saying Mario Gotze is not a good player, I’m only saying Messi is a better player. And I hope you are with me on this.

So then what went wrong with Messi and Kohli?

Form.

Because, success in sport = Talent + Good form
Success in general = Talent + Good luck

Both Messi and Kohli are talented and there’s no denying to that. They just weren’t in the best of their form.