“I do believe: help me overcome my unbelief!”

This morning when i woke up, i had intentions that my blog update today would have the title:
NO COMMENT!
The actual body would consist of one line:
I FEEL LIKE I SPOKE TOO SOON!

But so much has happened since then, and if I had left it there, this day would truly have ended seeing me as some sort of quitter – letting challenges get the better of me!

I read a little story from the bible this morning before going out to train. It was a story about  a man who brought his sick boy to Jesus, but then proceeds to say “If you can…” heal him. Jesus responded by saying “If I can? Everything is possible for him who believes.” Stay with me here – I’m not really about to preach. It was the fathers response that got me and really stuck out for me. He said, ” I do believe: help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9: 23-24)

This line is exactly how I would describe where I am at right now, this time in reference to the squash. I do believe I have a gift, a talent. In practice, I have begun to play like a person who believes in their ability, but in a match, I am still playing like someone who doesn’t believe, and doubts their potential. So that became my prayer today; one I hope to keep with me for the next few days or weeks.

Where does all this stem from, you ask? My match against Franc last night! There is always something to analyse everytime I play this man. I lost my first game in 3 minutes, 11-4, much to my coaches disapproval, and mine too for that matter. I’m meant to be working on staying on the court longer. The next game I lost it 12-10, but failed to carry out any of the game tactics prescribed for this particular opponent. The next game, I won 12-10, but still playing like the “old” Siyoli, and not applying the “new and more effective”: Siyoli. The last game I lost 11-9, after being down 8-5, fighting  back to 9-9, then ending off with two unforced errors, giving him the match 11-9. The entire match lasted 30 minutes.

Ok, so the scores look pretty close. It looks like it could have gone either way. I should be happy with that, right? Well…that is what the my usual optimistic side would have said. I would naturally think I’ve shown some improvement; I’m beginning to retrieve this guy’s hard shots; I’m showing a little fighting spirit. Actually there is a lot I could pick out that I could smile about. But that’s not the response I received from the coaching corner – which I now understand and appreciate. ( That is another thing I feel really blessed for: that the relationship with the coach is direct, open, yet tactful. Hard things sometimes need to be said, but how they are said or received is where problems often arise between individuals.)

Think of it this way: Imagine I went into an exam, ignored the instructions and questions, and wrote anything i wanted about that subject. The chances are high that no matter how accurate my facts were, if i didn’t answer the question, I will most definitely receive ZERO for that exam. That’s what happened. That is what I learnt yesterday. I forgot the game strategy; I didn’t apply two basic instructions that work against Franc; I sometimes forgot I was on the squash court; basically did my own thing.

Now can you imagine the result if I had decided to follow instructions, and believe that i can actually carry them out?

Don’t get me wrong – this is not written on a sad note. That is what it would have been had I left it to my initial morning thoughts. Strangely enough, our first bit of training was the gym, and Cedric was training with me today. Wael kept emphasising to him that self-belief is critical for him to get to the next level, not fully realising that this is a thought that would circulate my head –  a prayer that would help me complete this day on a stronger note, having fully grasped the lessons of yesterday.

Now, a few more days left, a few more battles to be won… and yes, I do believe.

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3 Responses to ““I do believe: help me overcome my unbelief!””

  1. Hi Siyoli
    Thanks for keeping us up to date with the blog – you really help us at home to get a real flavour of your training (mind and body!)

    We will pray that you may be totally amazed at your own achievements when all you are learning becomes reality in Germany and the future.

    And – Oh yes – you will really give God the glory!

    With love

    John

  2. Jason Hector Says:

    Hi Siyoli,
    It seems you are facing some real mental challenges now, which could be harder than the physical and squash technical challenges with all ur natural talent. It seems tough but believe. Everyone at Villagers talks about you [good things of course] and that youre gonna soon be on the Pro circuit. Some are wishing you well saying that theyre gonna miss you. We all believe in you. :))

    I put up some picture from the WP awards dinner:
    http://www.nubianolan.com/photos

    Also Ian dudLike Thomas says hi and sends his regards

    All the best
    Were rooting for u
    Jason

  3. Hi Siyoli, I knew Dave from All Nations Christian College in the UK, and discovered your news through his news letter. Just wanted to say You write well and its encouraging to read your journey of faith through your day at the squash courts. God bless and keep on believing: )

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