Saturday, October 24, 2009

Yesterday I made this comment

But having said that tonight I thought that Ben made a pretty good account of himself surviving possibly as many as 6 of the 12 overs albeit not making that many runs due to his lack of confidence in shouting yes to potential run making opportunities. I know also he's acutely aware of the fact that if he gets it wrong and the better players are then run out due to a bad call on his part he'd feel mortified at making the wrong decision. Additionally the other boys are very vocal in their condemnation of such mistakes and they themselves pile on the pressure to the less confident boys like Ben and Joe.

Today I've been giving it some more thought. This definitely a difficult call for both the coaches and the more experienced players. At B&PCC they have a definite ethos of having fun and that fun should be the primarily objective for the lads, but the nature of the game is such that the primary objective of the game is that you win. All of the kids without doubt come into the game realising that to win is the ultimate goal and that the fun ethos as espoused by the coaches is muddled amongst both the natural instinct of boys to win as part of their instinctive drive to prove themselves as Alpha Males and without doubt the wishes of their parents that they make a good account of themselves as winners.

The issue lies with the other lads in the team who I have sympathy with because no doubt if I was them I'd want to the best from the other newer kids and full 100% commitment. Even now as an adult this is a part of who I am, I want to win and I want to be on the winning team and therefore surround myself with winners and not losers. So even looking back through this blog to 1997 you'd find the accounts of the MPA 1st XI's first matches and descriptions of my absolute disbelief that blokes almost half my age would play in our games and show a fraction of the stamina, fitness, skill, speed, agility, obsession and commitment than me. At the time, being the team captain I really struggled to come to terms with the fact that most of the other team didn't share my enthusiasm and desire to win and I had to look at the prospects of kicking people out of the team and replace them with mercenaries. These people were my mates who were founders of the team that had started out to be just a bit of fun and here I was kicking them out because they didn't share my passion and desire to win and meet my expectations. Needless to say it was a recipe for disaster and soon after things had reached this stage the team was disolved and I joined Grays & Chadwell.

It strikes me that the situation mirrors life and the law of the jungle which so many people are in denial of. The good kids who feel that they're being let down by the lesser kids will no doubt go on as I did and reach an age where they'll join older kids and integrate into the next level. The current good kids will bit by bit eat away at the lesser kids confidence or conversely might drive them to work harder and try harder. Whatever happens it will be a case of only the strongest will survive. I myself went through this on the receiving end as a child in conjunction with football, I wasn't a goal scorer and as a kid with no adult guidance the perception was that unless you scored goals you were useless and I gave up on the game only to rediscover it when I was 27. At 27 I found that my agility stamina and willingness to be a team player suited being a mid field player and I reckon I might have been okay at football in that role. I just hope that with the help of the coaches and my input my own kids can rise above the sense that they are letting the rest of the team down and go on to enjoy this game and find their confidence and speciality.