What the Football World Cup can teach each CAT Aspirant

Tuesday, July 30th, 2019

What the Football World Cup can teach each CAT Aspirant

The just concluded FIFA Football World Cup was an extravaganza which entertained us all for a month’s time. Beyond entertainment though, the world cup also threw in quite a few life lessons. And several of those life lessons can be corroborated with each CAT aspirant. Here are a few of those lessons:

Morning does not Show the Day

After the first week of football, pundits had installed a Cristiano Ronaldo-inspired Portugal to victory following their talisman’s hattrick. France had a wobbly start with unimpressive wins over Peru and Australia to begin with. Uruguay had an all-win record in the first round. In spite of this, the fortunes of the three teams mentioned went in different directions. Portugal got knocked out by Uruguay who then were eliminated by the eventual winners. France meanwhile built on the momentum and hit the accelerate button at the right time. Same for CAT students. A fine start in the mocks or early start to preparations does not alone guarantee a seat in the top IIMs.

Perseverance Pays-off

Croatia gave the ultimate test of perseverance. The players from the tiny nation were stretched to three consecutive games of the extra time. In two of those they even had to go to penalties. But Croatia triumphed in all of these through sheer perseverance. Against England, they even trailed early on, but equalized and then went on to win. Similarly, CAT aspirants must not go down after a few bad results. A student may not be good at geometry, while another may not be good at vocab. But one must not give up. Sweden’s is another example. In spite of dominating the game against the then-defending champions Germany, they lost out to a last-gasp goal. Many would have felt demotivated for the next game, but not Sweden. They came back roaring, thumped their next opponents and even won their first knockout game to reach the last 8.

Past Records matter Little

Germany was installed by many pundits (including this writer; see story) before the tournament as the favorites. Spain was another. Argentina had supposedly the world’s best footballer. Or maybe Portugal did. Italy and the Netherlands weren’t even there for the party. None of these giants made much of an impact. Instead, Croatia, Sweden, Japan and hosts Russia all exceeded expectations. CAT students too would be well-advised to start on a clean slate. Of course, past results matter. School and college academics plus work experience counts for a lot. But one can’t change the past. Instead one needs to strive to perform as well in the CAT exam as possible.

Winning Ugly does not last Long

We are often taught that winning is all that matters. This is not totally untrue, but the fruits do not last long. Brazil is so famous in the football world not because they have won the maximum tournaments, but because of the flair and style, they have historically brought to the game. While Germany and Italy won the 1974 and 1982 world cups, most people best remember those cups for the Netherlands and Brazil respectively. This time the example of Colombia stands out. They tried every trick in the book to provoke the England players and fool the match authorities. Their tactic nearly paid off as they took England all the way to the penalty shootouts where England seldom does well. But this time was different. England won on penalties. Indeed, CAT students must not refer to underhanded tactics to boost their confidence or results. The placebo may last for a while but soon fades off.

An overall Strategy is needed, but constant Improvisation enhances it

Belgium was one of the favorites prior to the tournament. They had top players in almost every position. Yet, this star-studded team nearly met its match in the round of 16 against Japan. Indeed, Japan was up by two goals with barely half-an-hour to go. The game strategy seemed to be failing Belgium. That is when Belgium made a few key substitutions. Their style of play was also now altered to leverage the substitutes’ abilities. There will be times when the strategy thought out will not work for CAT aspirants. Instead, they will need to improvise. After their first few mocks, they will realize that they may not be as good in some topics as previously thought. So, one needs to work on those areas accordingly instead of resorting to stubborn behavior.

The best of Teams always combine the Skills

France won not because they had the best midfielder or the best forward or even goal-keeper. The top individual awards for those positions instead went to players from Croatia, England, and Belgium respectively. But overall, France was best-balanced. A top-notch defensive unit backed by a midfield that could win the ball to set up attacks and a forward line backed by immense pace. Being a 100 percentile-er in Quants and less than pass percentage in verbal does not help anyone except competitors. Only those clear who crack the best balance between the sections and sub-components.

It is not only Preparation but also Conditioning

Russia was not expected to go far much in the tournament. Many doomsayers even predicted a repeat of 2010, where the hosts got knocked out first round itself. Not only did Russia come out of their group, they even went past mighty Spain, against whom not even their most ardent supporters had any hopes. No doubt the Russian players played well, but also of significance is a home advantage. Many of the Russian players knew every yard on the pitch and were best acclimatized to the weather. This helped them cope immensely. And that is why CAT preparation isn’t just about the concepts or technical knowledge. It is also a test of conditioning. This is why aspirants are advised to take mocks at the real time of the exam. This conditions their body-clock accordingly. The constant practice also immunizes them against the vagaries at any exam center.

This article was contributed by Aritro.
Aritro is an accomplished teacher and trainer with more than 8 years of experience in this field. He has worked with colleges, corporates and coaching institutes. He is also an established blogger having written extensively in the fields of education, environment, business, football, cinema, travel and food. In 2018 he was the Mentor to All India Rank 1 in the DUJAT exam.

You can also see: CAT Grammar: Introduction to Verb Tenses

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