Posts Tagged ‘Sport’

In 48 hours the football season returns for me and the motley band of supporters who flock to watch football in the Championship.

My poison is League One’s Tranmere Rovers and despite the perpetual cycle of optimism, denial and ultimate disappointment this season I find myself with an unusual dilemma.

The question is this – Should I attempt to brainwash my niece or nephew, who is expected in the next week or so, into the bosom of the Prenton Park faithful.

There are a number of considerations. Firstly, is it fair to condemn a young child to a life of pain and dismay punctuated by tiny pockets of unbridled joy and the constant sound of elderly people, as we all will be by then, moaning about the fact it was much better in the early 90s when we won a playoff final, the Leyland DAF Trophy and got to the brink of the Premier League.

Also, said tiny person will be living with its parents, as they often do, in Birmingham. Dad is an Aston Villa fan and a good egg all round, even taking into account Mark Bosnich’s heinous cheating which knocked us out of the League Cup in 1994 (all Villa fans are to blame for this, obviously). But He appreciates the value of supporting a smaller team making an approach feasible.

So while it may be a long trip for each home game and despite the fact it will make them an outcast at their school 100 miles away, I think I will dust off the old hypnotists pocket watch and give it a go. Besides, if I have to suffer…

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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.