1a) I am a full time football coach working for Salisbury City Fc and running my own football company called Footballs-kool. I am studying this course because I enjoy learning and want to be able to help others by passing on what I have learnt, in years to come (when I’m 40) I would like to work in schools full time teaching.
My background includes working in France, Australia and the US teaching activities from archery to kayaking. Other than sport as a general my interests include playing the guitar, dabbling with computers (currently working on own app) and reading.
1b) I have chosen to study E112-introduction to sport, fitness and management as a module is because all three titles interest me, I am also looking to gain a degree in sport. Once I finish this degree I plan on doing a PGCE so I can work as a teacher in the future. I am currently working as a full time football coach at a professional club and running my own football coaching business so this route of study not only appeals to me educationally but it also makes sense as it matches up with the path I am currently on.
Where my business is sport related I feel it is important that I learn and understand in depth about fitness and management. I have previously taken an A level in sports nutrition and sports psychology which have certainly helped but now I would like to know and understand more.
I personally consider football to be a sport[i] but this doesn’t stop it from being played as a recreational[ii] game. For me I now play football in a team because we want to competitive and win all the competitions we enter. This is the reason we train together and work hard on tactics and set plays. Association football has league tables and laws to which we have to adhere to, the tables are competitive, meaning if you finish in the bottom three you going into a different league as you would if you finished in the top three. These factors are what class football as a sport.
With all that being said, growing up we used to play football on the street or a local field. Here we did not have officials blowing a whistle if the ball went out of play or if one player fouled another. We did this just for fun. There was never a pitch marked out, it would simply be our coats made into goal posts. Most of the time, because there would either be an odd number of us or not very many we wouldn’t even play a match. We would play other games with the football like keep ups or all versus all scoring in one goal. This side of football is very much just recreational. Even though we knew what a pitch was and the laws of the game, we chose to play our own game for the fun of it.
In playing a game of Chess there are no major physical benefits, your body is not required to physically work hard, your heart rate will not be increased through physical exertion and you will not become physically fitter by playing Chess. No part of this game requires you to be physically active; it will not increase energy expenditure above basal level. You are not required to be as physically fit as say a Tennis player or a Rugby player. Because of this I view Chess as a recreational activity[iii]
Although I understand there are rules and there are also competitions and tournaments but because this activity lacks the physical aspect I believe it would be categorised as recreational. This in no way means that is isn’t good to play as Chess players have to be very quick thinking. They have to be able to plan ahead several moves at a time and also have to very strategic. So although this recreational game does not meet all the criteria to be classed as a sport it is certainly beneficial for the brain.
Chess is seen by the IOC[iv] (international Olympic Committee) as a sport. This could in part be due to the competitions that take place within the game. People who play Chess to win leagues/ trophies or money may well view it as a sport but I personally think that if you asked 100 people whether it was a sport or recreational then 90% of them would say recreational.
3) In the last forty years the game of football has changed dramatically, from the way players are taught down to what type of boot the players wear. These two points and many more are down to the scientific developments that clubs all around the world are investing in. The days where clubs used to have players running around a football pitch several times as a warm up followed by running around cones as training have long gone. The years and millions of pounds spent on researching the best training methods to keep the clubs prized assets at their peak have brought us to an era where science and football work together.
More and more players are now turning to yoga and gymnastics[v] to keep their bodies in better condition, so they can play at the highest level for longer. Gymnastics can play a big part in helping a player stay injury free, as with fatigue during a game a player may lose balance which can cause an injury. The gymnastics will help to improve the players balance, decreasing the risk of injury. Another major development in football through science is the player’s diets, going back as few as 20 years ago when Paul Gascoigne and Vinnie Jones graced our pitches. The players of that era were allowed to eat and drink what they liked; nowadays the players are all on very strict diets which are made specifically for them. It tells them what to eat and when to eat to ensure that their bodies are in peak condition when required.
Over the years a lot of decisions have been made regarding the laws of the game (in football) one of these regulations that has been imposed by UEFA (Union of European Football Associations) is the use of home grown[vi] players (must have been registered at the club for at least three years, between the ages 16-21). Since the bosman ruling[vii] made in 1995 and the increase of revenue within the game, the big clubs have been able to go out and buy whoever they want, whenever they want. This had led to a lot of youth players not gaining enough match experience to achieve their goals of making the first team and subsequently either being loaned out to lesser teams or even being sold.
With the new ruling, UEFA and FA registered clubs now have to have a minimum of eight home grown players in a squad of 25[viii]. Currently there is no ruling to say a certain number of home grown players must be on the field of play at any one time. With this ruling in place more youth players will be given the chance required to impress the manager of a club. This will no doubt save clubs millions of pounds on signing new players, using players they have already developed at a fraction of the cost and also benefit the national teams as more home grown players will be playing at a much higher standard.
In the last decade or so there has been an influx of foreign billionaires buying into clubs all around the country, from the oil tycoons in Russia to the Royal Sheiks in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The sort of money these owners have been throwing into the football clubs has been astronomical and has often caused debate on whether these types of owners are helping the game or hindering it[ix].
Of course the initial funding does allow the clubs to buy players of a higher value, but what happens when the owner decides that he/she wants the club to support itself… fans are then expected to pay a higher price for game tickets, for club memorabilia and even for food when in the ground. Portsmouth FC are a good example of a club seeing the highs and lows of having a multi billionaire investor come and go, in 2008 they were relishing a record win of the FA cup, this year they are languishing near the foot of the league one table and struggling to pay their players wages[x]. As well as the fans having to pay a higher price to support/ follow their team the clubs are also struggling to pay the higher wages that come with signing ‘bigger named’ players.
[i] http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/550852/football [ii] http://www.alaskayouthsoccer.org/doclib/What%20is%20Recreational%20Soccer.pdf [iii] https://www.google.com/url?q=http://www.buzzle.com/articles/chess/&sa=U&ei=c1WGUN6nCsPMhAfloICADQ&ved=0CAcQFjAA&client=internal-uds-cse&usg=AFQjCNFeis46y5IMx1SScGSDJLNXDk9YAw
[iv] http://www.olympic.org/content/the-ioc/governance/international-federations/ [v] http://www.scienceofsocceronline.com/2012/07/fatigue-balance-and-injury-learning.html
[viii] http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/eng_prem/8255784.stm [ix] http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/aug/22/football-clubs-finance [x] http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2105048/Portsmouths-perilous-financial-position-prompts-redundancies-Fratton-Park.html [xi] http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2105048/Portsmouths-perilous-financial-position-prompts-redundancies-Fratton-Park.html