Thursday, 11 March 2010

SOS - Save Our Selebrations!

The English, Noun, compulsory complaining about the length of queue yet insisting on joining it, incessant need to pray for a white Christmas and when it comes - grind to a depressing halt. Genuine inability to accept compliments and celebrate achievements.

I have been lucky enough to play Football from a very young age, and even luckier I am yet to have a serious injury. Having played at a lot of clubs of a high standard under many successful coaches, I believe I have gained invaluable experiences. However, it was only a couple of weeks ago that I learnt my biggest lesson. Having just competed in a very tough game and thankfully winning 2-0 to put our side top of the league, we were all sitting in the changing room waiting for our manager to evaluate the performance. He walked in, and stared at us all, I was shocked at his expression; I thought we had played really well. Our manager then shouted “what is this?!” Puzzled, we all looked at one another debating if this was a rhetorical question that we shouldn’t answer. He then proceeded to rant and eventually sent us outside to complete a series of hard exhausting runs. Having finished, we sat even more exhausted than before. Our manager again came in, and asked why we thought he did that. Sadly again, no body new. He then began to ask a series of questions to which each response was a resounding “yes”. “
Did you play well? Did you win? Did you win well?”

So what was his problem?

We weren’t celebrating the victory! We came in, sat down, and waited for him to arrive. Although the team spirit is high at the club, no body celebrated winning the game. Why not? Is this just a make up of our English character? Possibly. Is it out of respect for the other team? Possibly. But why!? You have just worked incredibly hard for 90 minutes to win a game, succeeded in doing so, and won the game well. So why not celebrate.

This is a massive feature of the English game, we celebrate birthdays with style, and we celebrate new years and Christmas with great delight. But something that we actual achieve, we play down the success. We should celebrate every part of the game. If you score the whole team should celebrate the goal, if you win the game everyone should celebrate. As a nation, we need to address this.

In celebrating, it makes it more worthwhile, it creates better bonds, and it also allows the participants to feel a sense of pride. This is why at Little Kickers, we try and encourage celebrating everything they do. We keep our sessions fun and more often than not with a direct aim or target to differentiate success. We want our children to enjoy every aspect of Football, and with the coaches and parents of the children celebrating every goal they score, or save they make, or piece of skill, it will make the child want to do it again. Positive reinforcement of congratulations and celebration will create a more desired will to perform and achieve. This will obviously improve your child’s development, which is ultimately our main goal.

The following football match I played in, we again won 3-0, and in some style as well. Needless to say, there was cheering, and hand shakes all-round in the changing room, followed by a group huddle dance to our club song. Obviously, I am not expecting this at every opportunity; however the point of this blog is to encourage children to celebrate achievements, parents to share the celebration, and coaches to show that celebrating isn’t arrogance it’s a physical demonstration of joy.

And if for no other reason, we need to improve on Peter Crouch’s robot celebration

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