On Target
January 7, 2022
Instil passion too

It is all well for coaches of any sporting discipline to ensure that their charges are equipped with the skill sets needed for their respective activities.

Indeed, these skills must be fine -tuned and mastered to the last of details. This, as any flaws in techniques can result in failures, both as individual endeavours and as collective team sports.

When one looks around the sporting stock of St Vincent and the Grenadines, there has been an increase in the number of disciplines available to the young and old.

Coupled, the list of sporting facilities to which the general population has access has also gone up a notch.

However, whilst these are positive signs and must haves, the corresponding returns are not being reflective in many ways.

No longer is there that fight for space on the many playing fields and hardcourts strewn across St Vincent and the Grenadines.

In fact, many of these facilities are under-utilised, used for purposes other than sports or are left to ruin.

The unfolding of these unwelcome happenings is ironic, as a few years ago there was a constant bellowing and clarion call for more sporting facilities to be erected.

But things have turned around, unfortunately for the worse, as people’s mindset and focus have shifted away from sports, much to our national demise.

As things move in a southerly direction, the fear of these facilities becoming white elephants is looming large as time elapses.

This column will, without fear or contradiction, un-hesitantly thumb the lack of passion and love for sports among most of the Vincentian sporting community, as the root causes.

Those key ingredients needed for us to make that nexus have waned appreciably over time.

Things have also gone further downhill with the onset of the pandemic 22 months ago, as that has driven the final nail in an already laxed, lethargic and nonchalant demeanour of our sports people.

Hence, without that passion for sports, results and performances which would warrant others to look the way of our sportsmen and women and be cock-o-hoop , have been replaced by that acceptance of whatever are the outcomes, we are satisfied.

Have we gone too far to turn back now? Of course, not.

What then will be the pathway to traverse the worrying trend of many persons just playing sports for playing sports sake?

Reversing the trend has to start from the top, as they have not been setting the pace, neither providing that enthusiastic and fervent leadership, which would effectively trickle down to the various levels.

The lack of fervour did not start in March 2020, but before that, however, many of our sports leaders are using the pandemic as an excuse for not giving their all in the prolonged off-time which sports here in St Vincent and the Grenadines has to endure.

It would be doubly difficult for coaches especially, to get their charges revved up whenever our current health state gets better.

As such, coaches have to add passion to their tool kit of instructions, as they have not only to show that zeal and zest when they are coaching, but make the conscious effort to instil it in players.

This should be one of the most critical aspect which Vincentian sports need at this juncture.

Our young sportsmen and women have to begin to love sports again. They must not now only be taught how to better their technical and physical skill of the respective sporting disciplines, but most of all be keen and love what they do.

Whilst we cannot expect things to be like they were of yesteryear when sports was the craving for most people, we have to craft out a way to rediscover that pride, passion and purpose we have for sports.

But to be honest, it will not be any quick fix, as sports is just one of the casualties of the wider issue, whereby that lack of drive has crept into our national psyche.

Furthermore, life has advanced through technology, hence our youngsters are quicker drawn to gadgets, computer and television screens to get their filling of entertainment.

Again, it will not happen overnight, but if that constant push is made, small steps will be made, so too we will be victorious in the small battles and love sports again.