Former T&T and West Indies captain Daren Ganga yesterday painted a clear picture on how he was able to achieve success in sport, as well as his personal life to a group of some 400 teenagers attending the 15th annual Sport Desk Leadership Symposium now taking place at ,Cascacdia Hotel, St Ann’s, Port-of-Spain. Speaking on the topic Life Management at the conference with the theme “It Always Seems Impossible Until It’s Done”, Ganga said he was motivated to play cricket simply because he loved it.
But even so, he admitted that his parents were his biggest inspiration and that his fate in God fuelled that inspiration. The former top order batsman and part-time right-arm off-break bowler declared that he was motivated to play cricket at the highest level because it as an avenue for him to realise my life-long dream which was to become an international cricketer and be successful at it. “I harboured thoughts of this from a very, very tender age. I just didn’t harbour thoughts on it, I acted upon it. So it’s one thing to dream. Everything I have accomplished in life started with a dream. It started with visualising the process. You cannot achieve anything in life without first conceptualising it in your mind. If you feed your mind with thoughts that you are going to fail an exam I can guarantee you that 80 per cent of the time you would fail that exam,” said Ganga.
“If you had any sort of interaction with psychologist and sporting psychologist, they would tell you about positive affirmation. That applies to everything in life. I feed my mind with positive thoughts about my career from very young. That is what kept me on track. I always believed in myself. If I didn’t believe in myself, then I would have never been able to accomplish what I have so far. You must be that person that has the strongest belief in your ability to accomplish something. You should not depend on another individual to have a stronger sense of believe, if you are trying to achieve something. You must always push yourself to be stronger. It’s the greatest feeling when you work hard for something.”
Ganga said most times people talk about success they left out the parts of the journey that gave a clearer understanding of how they responded to failure. He went on to explain that he became the man he was today not because of his parents nurturing alone, but as a child moulded by a community. Ganga fondly recalled growing up in Barrackpore where cricket was king. Searching the echoes of his mind the ambassador for sport said ever since he knew himself, his friends, family and neighbours used to gather around the community recreation ground.
“That was the area where a lot of people took a lot of pride in term of the community. So when we had a club outside of Barrackpore playing, we all wanted our local club to win.
“These players became role models in our community, because our hopes, our pride hinged on the performances of this team. That drove me towards this sport. I came from a family where my uncles used to play. And every time we had a family gathering you know what the topic was –cricket! So I had no choice but to get involved in the sport. I developed a passion, I developed a love for the sport to the point where I pushed myself to become, better and better every time I played,” said Ganga. “If you have that passion and you have that desire, that’s the greatest part of life and living. You cannot ask for anything better than that. We all know what motivates us. There are different things in life that motivates us. Find a balance. You can’t want to be the best athlete on the field and fool around in the class room.
“It’s very difficult for you to get consistency if you have that attitude. It’s not like a light switch you can switch on and off. So if you want to be the best athlete on the field, you have to also strive to be the best student in the classroom. You must also strive to be the best person in your community. You must also strive to be the best son or daughter as the case may be and that is the sort of attitude and quality that you have to develop in yourself.”