When football inspired me!
Like most people this summer, Ben and I are followed the Euro 2020 football tournament. As a Manchester United fan, Ben is naturally engaged with, and excited by football. For me, this is far from the case. However, when the Euros and Worlds are happening even I – a non-football fan – will turn on the television and keep track on the results.
I will not dwell on the final (England against Italy) nor highlight some of the many amazing moments the English team gave us. Instead, I will put my focus in this blog post to the attitude and events of the early stages of the tournament for the Danish team.
This year’s tournament was marked by the terrifying event during Denmark’s first game against Finland where Christian Eriksen, a key player on the Danish team, suffered from cardiac arrest on the pitch. Thankfully, Christian Eriksen survived and was taken to hospital for further treatment and tests.
Since this event, all eyes were on the Danish team of players, and Denmark quickly became everyone’s second favourite contestant after their own national team. However, being Danish, I naturally support Denmark before any other country – even England.
Reflecting on the event from that match, and in particular watching the exciting match in the group stage between Denmark and Russia, I think it is very clear to see how football and sport in general can teach us so many important lessons – all of which are completely related to dancing.
Team work is everything.
There is no “I” in team. This cliché many of us have heard before, but witnessing it happening in front of your own eyes truly highlights the meaning behind the words.
Firstly, when Christian Eriksen fell to the ground, his team mates where instantly there to support him, and only minutes later shielded him by making a human wall around him - giving him and the medical team privacy and space from the cameras, knowing the entire world was watching.
Secondly, in the match against Russia, the team work and communal fighting spirit was incredibly powerful, and something you rarely get to experience on such an intense level. The players saw themselves as one unit and they were all willing to give 100% of themselves for the greater good of the team. Knowing they each had to perform to their best but in a rather selfless way.
In dancing, we often hear the phrase “your partner is your only friend”, but sometimes it doesn’t appear or feel this way.
What would your partnership be like if you had the attitude of the Danish team from the match against Russia? If you fully supported your partner and gave absolutely everything to the performance? Not just on the competition floor, but in practice and lessons, as well as off the dance floor.
Identify what you are fighting for.
Since the match against Finland, the Danish football players fought for more than “just” football goals: getting the ball in the back of the net more times than the opponent. They fought for more than “just” personal, professional or even national pride. They have all found a deeper purpose and reason why what they do on that pitch is important. The Danish team have almost become a symbol of fighting for life, fighting for the love of someone close to you and your country, winning against all odds – something you normally only get from fairy tales (even in the land of the great Hans Christian Andersen.)
It is as if all the players re-connected with their childhood dream and the sole reason they all started to play football in the first place. Something, every professional and athlete can easily get separated from when your passion becomes your profession.
We can all take this opportunity to re-connect ourselves with the reason we started dancing. The early joy and beauty of it.
Never give up.
In the match against Russia, Denmark HAD to win. If the teams drew or Russia won the match, Denmark would have been out of the tournament. In addition to this, the match happening at the same time for Group B (Belgium against Finland) also had to have a favourable result in order for Denmark to get through to the next round.
Watching the game live, it was very clear to see the Danish players were ready to give it their all. If there where minutes or even seconds left on the clock, they would be fighting. They were simply not going to give up.
And it was captivating to watch!
The fans in the stadium felt it, and in return gave the players more support than ever. All over Denmark – and around the world – people were wishing for the players to be rewarded as their mindset was clear: We are here to play football and we are here to fight for the win.
And almost like a fairy tale, they won and made
it through to the next stage of the competition.
To me, it was their approach and mindset which were truly inspirational. The attitude of the entire team is something most of us can take away and reflect onto our own dancing and life.