Tuesday, 25 June 2013

An Overview into Team GB and British Team Sport.

Delighted to welcome Paralympics GB Athlete Joe Dodson as a guest writer to the blog. Joe participated in London 2012 as a member of the Great Britain Goalball Team and he wants to share with you the psyche of being an international athlete and his views. You can follow (And I recommend that you do) him on Twitter @Joe_Dodson.

Over to you, Joe.

Part 1: An overview into GB and British team sport

What is a good athlete?  What makes a great sportsman?  How do you know what is a great team? As I sit here with an ankle injury withdrawing myself from the GB goalball team, I read everywhere about English football under 21 failings again under the same dinosaur manager. I say Dinosaur the guy was still playing in the 90’s, so is it his age that is the problem? Or is it his coaching capacity or his coaching education?  I strongly believe that it is his education of being a manager, what defines a manager and a coach at this level? For me a manager is someone who looks after the team books them into their hotels and arranges certain operations of the team. The coach is the person that explains what they should be doing, creating the formation and ensuring they go out and play a competitive and win based game. Instead we have this notion that the manager must follow a strict structure of picking a big lad to defend a big lad to knock the ball up to and a well-balanced lad with good bones and muscles in the midfield. But why it should be a big lad, size doesn’t install fear any longer into sports people. Infact in some cases you’ll find that a short sharp quick player will frighten opposition more as there has to be a far quicker reaction.

I will tell you what it is, it’s not just football I have seen evidence of this it is many sports, mainly team sports that are held back across many levels. Whether it’s a Paralympic, Olympic or a general team sport that are struggling to keep up with a fast moving environment. It’s the fear of the unknown and change, why change something that worked 20 years ago why do something that may take a step back to move 5 steps forward. Is it worry of failure, or is it ignorance to the progress of other countries. I think the issue we have here in the UK in team sports we have a basic model that people do not want to play with or change. It’s a your face fits for this and I don’t want to try something new in case it makes me as the coach/manager look stupid. We need to be a much more forward thinking nation when it comes to team sport, respect what other nations are doing and stop looking at them as they are degrading or stepping outside what a sport stands for. So often we teach generic idea’s of what you should do, whether it’s how to run, throw a ball, bowl a ball, kick a ball and many other sporting attributes. I myself on a very basic coaching level would say here’s the basics create from this something that makes it firstly easy to do your task and something that you know will make you better and stand out in the sporting world. Instead of going for a safety first approach which in the majority will never see you succeed we need to enhance our sporting abilities.

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