Thursday, August 22, 2002

If you take a walk around any of the public parks around here on a Saturday or Sunday morning you will see dozens of football games going involving nippers from little tots to teenagers. Loving football as I do this should be a scene to gladden the heart, in fact I should be involved as an active parent, but I'm not. The scene is invariably depressing and I will not let my nipper participate in organised football. Invariably, inevitably, the pitches are surrounded by assorted parents and coaches in ridiculous coats. They shout, cajole and exhort the young players: "CLOSE HIM DOWN! KEEP YOUR SHAPE! PUSH UP! HOLD THE LINE! GET INTO HIM! DON'T BE A FUCKIN FAIRY!!.
All uttered with maximum spite and aggression by people who look like they have never kicked a ball efficiently in their lives. They have certainly never heard of the Dutch model which has worked for generations and centres on encouraging kids to enjoy the game and learn technique. Competition is regarded as superflous and it seems to work for them.
The FA seems to be aware of this and has launched a website designed to encourage parents and coaches to think a bit more about how they encourage the nippers. It's pretty good, if a bit simplistic

How do you measure up? It's all cobblers if you ask me.

I have to be hoest and confess I thought Chatanooga was famous only for its choo choo. Now, thanks to a link found on metafilter, I know a little of the bloody history.


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