I can relate to not ever working on a place where they give you time to study, unless is something worth for them - and even that was rare. I recall one time a former boss said to me I was wasting time studying. His exact words were: "Don't you think you should stop reading and do some work?".
So, when I was out of the office, I was, usually, studying stuff for my job - not improving skills the way I wanted, not earning knowledge for my mid term goals.
So, after one event where I got burnt out and lost interesting on almost everything - including playing as a scrum half -, I decided I would dedicate less time into "work" and enjoy more my free time.
Nowadays, sometimes, I do feel guilty for not having side projects or studying that much. But on the other hand, if I'm tired after a stressful week, I just spend the weekend doing things I like (which, until last year, playing rugby was part of it).
Having that in mind, I do agree with the sports metaphor as in putting extra effort for self and collective improvement. However, if the said improvement comes in the spent of your mental health and creating impossible standards of performance, I believe a step back is a better choice.
Be that just plyaing touch or beach rugby for leasure, be that not worrying about you are not committing to any side project.
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