Respect – is there room for it in football?

Posted: August 2, 2010 in Sport
Tags: , , , , , , ,

In this week’s Chester Chronicle and Ellesmere Port Pioneer there will be  a feature on the Cheshire Jets summer basketball camp.

This is an annual event where young hopefuls from across the UK and the world come to receive specialised high-quality coaching and many professional players have attended the camp in the 23 years it has been running.

But one of the biggest things I noticed there was the respect. When coaches spoke, even at a whisper, the players, whether they were six or 18, fell silent and listened.

During downtime, if a coach had a request, conversations halted and the request was granted. The behaviour was exemplary.

Compare this to football, a sport I also love. Here parents act like animals when children  are young and when they are coached too often coaches will not rein in the aggressive players too much in case they “lose their edge” or it “impacts their creativity”.

I spent a brief time at the Jets camp and I saw no lack of creativity and no lack of competitive desire. What I saw was a group of talented players hungry for success but keen to conduct themselves the right way and listen to those people who had trodden that path before them.

Football is deluding itself if it believes it is doing enough to create players who are true role models and as long as the powers that be believe they know more than any other sport’s governing body or believe that football is ‘different’ and the same techniques will not work for the National game, then we will never truly have respect for the players and officials at the top.

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