Playing Solo or as a Team?

Last night, I was listening to the Australian Open match between Benjamin Becker (Germany) and Lleyton Hewitt (Australia) on the competition’s App. Unfortunately just before 8:00 pm local time (10:00 pm AEDT), I got tired because I had been busy during the day, and decided to have an early night.

Then kind of sentimentality popped up from my heart. At the employment program, I do not attend their lectures which they say are useful to getting a job and to work for a long term. But it is what I have already gained so I focus on improving English skills, mainly in writing to win the competition.

What I am doing is the same as Lenny Hayes’ Mum Elizabeth’s advice to Lenny about focusing on footy (when Lenny was a teenager). She has a good point of view.

On the other hand, I barely talk to other people (sadly only Japanese) in the program. I am very different from them for what I want to do for a job (I want something where English skills are essential while others are more likely to do something like shelfing at a supermarket or data entry), interests and previous life experience. In other words, I have nearly nothing to talk to them as I have lived in New Zealand for four years and they have no interest in the western world or the English language (indeed they have never been to overseas).

I could say that they are teammates while I am playing tennis (a solo sport).

Recently Leigh Montagna was on 1116 SEN’s Morning Glory and revealed that Ahmed Saad played prank on a club doctor. Saad turned up the doctor’s office with a hidden camera telling him that he took some steroids because he was suspended. Later boys watched the video which the doctor had no idea what to do, and found it was hilarious.

It is a positive side of involving in a team sport, I think. Players have to play together to bring team’s best performances. But they can talk and discuss about performances as well as relaxing and having fun.

My wonder popped up about athletes who get involved in solo sports, such as tennis, track and field and swimming. Can they talk and discuss about their sport and performances with fellow players like those who play team sports?

Probably coaches can – and do, but players and coaches are in different positions. Coaches have more experience in their sports, so they can be mentors too. But can players have fun, like St Kilda players do?

If these athletes train together in clubs, like those university ones, then players would have same benefits to team sport players. But what about independent players?

Sadly, last night was not good for Aussies as Hewitt and my favourite Sam (Stosur) are out from the singles competitions. I cannot believe how Hewitt performed (he won the first two sets and then lost three sets).

How do these Australian tennis players cope with last night’s losses and get motivated for their doubles matches? How would they share their thoughts with current professional tennis players?

I am very curious to know about it. I want Hewitt and Stosur to be well and strong.

Meanwhile I would like to train hard to get a job where English skills are needed and to move to the new chapter in my life.

Indeed, I need to move to a place where there are more and more western people, so that my talents and skills benefit both in profession and personal life. In other words, I must be strong like independent sport players to do the best like winning the competition, if I choose to be independent in a group.

Which sport do you prefer, playing solo or team sports?

About Yoshihiro Imagawa

Love, passion and pride are seen on the footy that is the biggest part of my life. 1. St Kilda Club member: I am a passionate and crazy Sainter. Just hope we will win the second flag soon, especially after Dogs and Tigers having ended long premiership draughts. 2. The Osaka Dingoes Player and Public Relations Officer: Player number 44 that I chose to honour Stephen Milne with my wish being like a small forward like him. Lenny Hayes' hardworking attitudes are adopted on my trainings and practices. Nick Riewoldt's great plays are in my player audiobook too. 3. Writing: Here on the Almanac and also on the World Footy News. My skills utilise on great footy websites.


  1. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Hi Yoshi,
    You raise many pertinent questions in your article.
    On the one hand you are responsible for what happens to you as a solo athlete. Hard to blame someone else, unless it’s your coach or parent/managers, maybe the officials?

    Team success can bond a group of people for life and create friendships that may not have otherwise been possible. Team failure is a little trickier as there can be blame shifting, finger pointing and scapegoating when things go awry. I reckon sharing the glory and pondering on failure without too much prejudice is preferable as you can learn so much about your teammates and yourself when things become tough. Terrific question.

  2. Hi Phil,

    Thanks for your comment with positive words and sharing your thoughts.

    I agree with you that it’s hard for individual atletes to blame others. Instead they need to do the best for better performances. I would seek better training program with a coach if I were a tennis player.

    Using metapho, I have to seek the best solution to mix with western people both in profession and personal life, rather than overcoming the weakness of fitting in groups of only Japanese peopl.

    Playing and training together in team sports bring friendships and bonds. You make a great point of view.



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