• READER STORY: A young man learns a big lesson

    Schalk Steyn from Phalaborwa remembers the day when his son needed to learn a valuable cricketing lesson about commitment.

    I would like to share a story about a 15-year-old cricketer who hails from Phalaborwa, and who went on to become a bowling legend.

    This particular story is about commitment. This young cricketer was asked to play a club cricket match on a Saturday for a club called Ofcolaco in the bushveld near Tzaneen… and he agreed to do so.

    However, on the Saturday morning when his Dad asked him if he was playing cricket for the club, the young boy replied that he was, but added that he would rather go skateboarding in town with his buddies. His Dad asked what about the commitment to the cricket team, and the son replied: ‘Ag, they’ll find someone else to play.’

    Share your cricket story & win Genesis kit worth R8 999

    Well, needless to say, his Dad promptly put him in the car and drove him the 100km to the ground and made him play that game against a lot of kicking, screaming and objections, thus teaching the young man that if you make a commitment, then you see it through. If you say you will play for a team, then you go and play for the team, otherwise be upfront when asked to play and say that you have other plans.

    Don’t commit and then back out on 99.

    Watch: Steyn breaks record

    Dale once asked me if I remember that day, and I will always remember that day because that was when he learned about commitment and has never let me or the entire cricket world down since.

    He thanked me for that lesson.

    My son is now a living legend, and I am a living, proud Dad.

    May this short story be a lesson to all the budding young sportsmen out there who make commitments: always see it through, as it will be a part of your character for life.

    – Schalk Steyn (father of Dale Steyn)

    EDITOR’S NOTE: Schalk has not shared his story with the aim of winning the Genesis kit (even though Dale’s batting has been on the up in recent months!), but he has said that, should the story be selected as the winner, then he would ‘ask Dale to choose a child who would deserve a kit like that and to donate it to that child with my blessings’.

    Photo: Steve Haag/Getty Images

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    Simon Lewis