Grassroots Coaching

Sowing the Seeds – Footballs Olympic Legacy


August 2012 was dominated by the Olympics, and what a breath of fresh air it proved to be. We put on a world class event and our Olympians demonstrated all that is good about sport. They competed fairly, with passion and magnanimity, congratulating opponents whether they won or lost. No surliness, sulks or strops

Eager crowds flocked to every event, behaving impeccably and affording contestants from all nations respect and support. Team GB Ladies football team fully entered into the spirit of the games, setting an example that their male counterparts would have done well to emulate. It was all a far cry from the antics and attitude we witness weekly from some players and spectators of our beloved national game.

How often do we see foul mouthed tirades from pitch and terrace aimed at officials or opponents? Or time wasting and play acting from some of the highest paid sportsman in history?

Grassroots coaches and referees know that the behaviour of professional footballers directly influences young players on a Sunday morning. How refreshing it would be for the professional game to take seriously the responsibility it has to the youngest and most impressionable members of our society. The argument that it’s this unbridled “passion” that makes the game so special misses the point. Passion shouldn’t be confused with unpleasant and unnecessary aggression.

So a big thank you to Watford’s own Kelly Smith and Team GB Ladies who reached a Quarter Final, showed what football should be about and in the process offered us an Olympic legacy worth preserving.

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