"Soccer brings out the worst in us." "No Jose, football shows us how we really are". So ended a conversation on one of those days of reflection after one and a thousand sad anecdotes that I have seen in this complex environment of football, and especially grassroots football. And yes, I changed my mind, I think it shows us just the way we are. In recent days we see again cases of violence in football, but unfortunately if this was written within several weeks, I could start the sentence in the same way, because it is common. When they are not fathers or mothers, they are coaches or referees, or even adult players and children. In the end everything ends in the same, violence. We blame each other, and no, the fault is not of anyone in particular, or of any sector, but the responsibility is of everyone in equal measure. For this we must first look at what commitment we each have in our role.
In the first place, I would like to banish that lynching that I sometimes perceive towards football in particular. I do not like the opportunism to dirty this sport. Football is a precious sport from which I have learned many things that have helped me to live, including this text. So let's discard this option, the problem is not football. I take this also to say to all those teachers Do not forbid football in the courtyards "because they fight", that use this sport to help them to the contrary, to not fight and learn to compete.
We all have opinions, judgments and ideas to eradicate it but first we must think if we preach by example ourselves. We campaign, we send videos, texts, photos and phrases full of lessons and lessons, we are alarmed, we are surprised? But we are still in the same starting point.
Such typical phrases as "the fault is from the parents" or "the parents the further the better" settled in this world, but which I do not share at all, on the contrary, I am convinced that the parents and mothers the closer better, but instead. Like it or not, fathers and mothers are the most important people in the lives of children, to ignore that part is so incoherent that we have left the options of being able to move forward. Parents, mothers, family, environment in general, are one of the basic pillars in each person, the famous ones legs that maintain our life
And for this same reason I go back to the first sentence; I do not like the word culpa or culpable because we are not judges, but responsible and a lot. We know coherent, educated, kind, understanding people ... When the child begins to play, it is just a game without more, but little by little without realizing it as the child grows, you start to know another person and you It comes to disappoint. That is an example, where football shows us how we are. I know that many times it is unconscious, you get into that world, you get infected and when you realize you are one of them. With our children we will never be objective.
To eradicate it, there are always many opinions or ideas, such as removing the classification or aspects related to the competition because we have assimilated the concept that competing is bad. Competing is not bad, competing in an insane way, it is. We are devaluing the concept of competing and we have internalized very badly the real meaning of the word. We want to prohibit things, when the problem is not competition and education, because we are not prepared, educationally speaking, to compete. Education is one of the great differences between categories in football.
Education is a very broad concept and in this case I mean to understand a context, learn to live and overcome certain situations, increase the threshold of frustration, etc. So no, it is not the fault of the classification, nor of the results. But the measures that we intend to adopt are almost always protective, which is even worse what we promote in the future. Weakness. So that we understand it in another way, it is as if we kept covering the corners of the tables all the time to the children so that they do not hit the head. As a father or mother, many times we are not prepared to enjoy, regardless of the match, the result or the position in which they are classified.
The latter is what we call fanaticism. Be a fan It hurts us when they identify us with that word, nobody feels that way, but we are without wanting it, probably. We consume too many television programs and media in general, which incite us to be from one side or another, and also in a radical way. We extrapolate all that to grassroots football. That children play to be professionals is nice, when they are parents, mothers, coaches, representatives, clubs, they do not realize it, but they give pity. They would probably be ashamed if they could be seen from outside. Anyway, the ball is gone.
Every week there is some violent act, to a greater or lesser extent, but there are every day and in every field and of all ages. Insults to a referee, criticism of coaches, children or adults. Coaches who do not demand, if not recriminate, spiteful referees, people who rejoice more than a rival defeat that of their own victory, conversations and banal debates about gaming systems, classifications, results, club methodologies, with the same approach as when we sit on the sofa to see what they say on TV of your favorite team, fathers and mothers of the same team who do not even look at each other, and who can barely coexist in a group, instructions in the stands, with words, gestures or looks , coaches and non-professional clubs that do offers to kids? And so I could give examples without stopping.
We never identify ourselves with any of this and less with violence, because we always justify ourselves; but the reality is that with that detail, no matter how small, I am contributing to generate what is happening nowadays. Because it is so important what is done, as what is said, as what is transmitted, and this last always betrays us. Values are many things that we exercise very little. It is not enough just to publish it in a social network, we do excessive demagoguery and we hardly know what each value that we intend to transmit means. But the reality is that we lose the ball, everyone.
José Igner Base football coach of the UD Las Palmas and exjugador of Barcelona.