“Someone who can’t see the opponent standing right in front of him, can’t defeat the opponent that lies beyond!”Iwaizumi Hajime
Every person experiences challenges in life. Every person has their share of troubles and it doesn’t matter how big or small they are, every person reacts differently to them.
It is human nature to feel overwhelmed by too much stress. Some people are accustomed to it more than others. There are people out there who have been through the most stressful times and are therefore more used to it, or get even more stressed due to their bad experiences.
Other times, there’s people who have a more laid back attitude or can work very well under pressure. To try and put every person into the same box would be futile, since apart from personality, its experience that makes everyone’s life a different one.
As we progress in life, one might get stuck in front of a problem that makes it impossible to go any further until that problem is solved. Imagine it as a huge boulder in front of your way. You can destroy the boulder, or make up a plan to go over or around it, but you’re forced to deal with it in the here and now.
Iwaizumi has known Oikawa since his childhood, and they have been together ever since. They know their mannerisms and ticks, and how they react in stress situations.
Oikawa even mentioned once that he believes Kageyama calculated the fact that the two third years have a “bond of trust” in the match against Karasuno. This concludes that Iwaizumi and Oikawa always watch out for each other and make sure to pick each other up when they seem to be stuck.
Iwaizumi has fought alongside Oikawa against the so called geniuses and has seen him break over it all. He knows that Oikawa tends to overwork himself and therefore uses harsh ways to bring him back to reality.
His words are there to show his friend to focus on the present goal and to go step by step instead of obsessing over the finish line.
Why is that so important though?
While a big goal is something that motivates you and pushes you to work hard everyday, it is in the end a finish line that might be far ahead. If we imagine it like a game then it is the great boss level at the end of the journey.
The player needs to play against many smaller opponents and prepare slowly and steadily to get to his end station.
The way towards a goal can be the goal itself.
Thinking ahead is a very important thing to do, and strategizing is oftentimes what can flip the tide of any game, it is also important to stay in the given situation and give your focus into what you have in front of you.
This is the message that Iwaizumi wants to portray.
If you have your mind elsewhere while facing off against somebody, you won’t be able to concentrate to the point where you might lose, and not even get to the opponent in the future.
Even though Iwaizumi is definitely talking about the current game and the future win against Ushijima that Oikawa is thinking about, we can use his message in other aspects of their lives.
Being plagued by the pain of losing against the geniuses that he can’t fend off against, Oikawa falls into a haze of trying to win with everything he has. He overworks himself, takes on an enormous burden and relies only on himself to get where he wants or even needs to be.
But Iwaizumi is there to hold him back. To show him that he can take it easy sometimes, that he knows how hard he is working and that he is an amazing setter anyway.
Work on what you have in front of you now, and you can get where you want to be in the future.