Why ego is a good thing in sport

Arthur Schopenhauer on genius

Sport is one of the favorite child of civilization and since its inception it has not only apologists but also critics.

Despite all its undoubtedly enormous social importance, we can’t deny that the incentive, motivating foundation of big sports largely lies in the area of self-centeredness. And that’s not a bad thing.

The world, despite all its big size and diversity, only surrounds the “I” (ego or Id) of athlete’s needs, goals, motivations, interests, attitudes, desires, beliefs, etc. The world, existing in itself is nothing more than an abstraction for any person. In other words, everyone has a own world, not only inside but also outside.

John Lennon on ego

In the reflection and relationships of each subject, the world exists primarily only for himself. An athlete and coach, the main characters in sports, work in the world so that it looks like they do it mainly for others but to a large extent they act for themselves, and that’s absolutely normal. Human morality and etiquette are directed largely on the fact that they should as little as possible show it to others.

Morality is a “brake” of instincts of personality and without it man would not stood out from the animal world. And at the same time, any morality is somewhat slyness. Even if it’s reasonable and acceptable by all, it is still hypocritical cover for the true nature of the existing preconditions of behavior.

The very essence of a subjective reflection of itself in this world makes an athlete and his sporting goals egocentric. And he conforms his instincts with the requirements of others and with a society as a whole because he is a rational being, Homo Sapiens.

We need to understand that only through self-centeredness an athlete can express and transfer all his feelings, thoughts and ideas to others. All this is very much related to figure skating, where individuality, about which has already been said in another article, plays a huge role.

Ralph Waldo Emerson on ego

Reaching success, the athlete and coach feel themselves in the center of events taking place around them, and for many types of personality represented in the sport it is above everything in a system of value orientations.

Podium in the sport is one of the symbols of “I” releasing. While on the highest step of honor, the athlete, as well as his coach, feels himself in the center of an artificially created situation in the sports world.

But the podium is just one of the many attributes of the sport. After all, elite sport is a special island of life. It is akin to religion with its own temples, hymns, clothing, rituals, symbols, rules, etc. And the life of great athletes, their whole spiritual world is so very different from the world of non-athletes, that traditional, standardized assessment of their personality and activities are often simply incomprehensible to most people.

Jim Morrison on ego

A strong desire to realize their self-centered nature finds a favorable basis in the sport. And the sport, of course, chooses those who have the most pronounced tendency to self-assertion, to the glory and excellence. On the way to this, athletes often demonstrate unparalleled feats and unparalleled overcoming of weaknesses, fatigue, danger, external obstacles and so on.

Thus, a more careful study shows us that the ego is not such a terrible thing, despite the contrary opinion of most people.

WFS - An independent online sports magazine