Sunday, May 27, 2007

Football: Good things from the harsh realities - more notes from the coaching dugout

So, some teams just play for results.

At the junior level some teams could do all sorts of things for results. They could put a first division team in the forth division. They could play their home games on an undersized pitch and teach their players to shoot from from outside the penalty area. They could teach their players to dive, discretely pull shirts and to hack-down opposing strikers. Perhaps make up the numbers with reserves from the 1st division from the age below. Even all these things.

But no-one would do all that at junior level would they. Why do that? That would be like fooling oneself wouldn't?

Or is it that that is what life really can be like? But just that you and I just don't want to play it that way. We want to play fair, have an even chance. See where life takes us.

So when you come up against this type of winner, you tell the boys and girls who have just played their hearts out - who have been held back by the 2nd striker to allow the 1st striker to get his 10th goal of the season, or kicked in the leg so that you can't run into the box, or had your head trodden on in a tackle - 'there are going to be days like this, some teams are just going to be like this, and next week will be more fun.' and 'We aren't that type of team, and we play fair.'

Actually, the girls and boys probably aren't that worried.

Football is the learning game. And I am not convinced it is about learning football. I think its about life. And why playing fair is right, even if you lose.

There is a Buddhist saying, 'How you do one thing is how you do everything.' It encapsulates our predetermined destiny and, paradoxically, is our hope for change and happier days.

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