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Improve and educate the whole person

Nickolas Paynter holder en Bachelor i Idrettsvitenskap med fordypning i administrasjon og ledelse, for tiden studerer han sin andre Bachelor i Football and business i England. Han har vært innom ulike aktiviteter i fotball fra 2007 og fram til i dag, blant annet inneholder; hovedtrener for 3 forskjellige fotballklubber innen aldersgruppen 13-19, fotball mentor, aktivitetsleder, frivillig for fotballkrets, praksis i Norges Fotballforbund, observert flere fotballag og holdt en gjesteforelesning på Høgskole om “Intro til personlig ledelse og lederskap. Interesserer seg for blant annet sosiologi, filosofi, psykologi, basketball, håndball, tennis og sykling, I dagens gjesteinnlegg skriver han om hvordan fotball og samfunnet henger sammen og hvordan de i stor grad påvirker hverandre.

Football has become a significant and worldwide sport that influences young people in many ways. Millions take part of the beautiful game with a hope to reach the star and follow their idols footsteps.

Being physically active is important for youth. It helps to develop social skills and better learning conditions. It also improves the health and wellbeing on every level. For instance, it can contribute to promoting social cohesion, especially in a multicultural society, and is a tool to establish and sustain social capital, where the connection between sport and social capital is the concept of those individuals in their communities will benefit emotionally, socially, physically and economically if they spend more time together.

One can therefore argue that sport and society are in symbiosis, sport reflects the society, and society reflects the sport. This means young footballers are influenced by their surroundings. Socialization is a process and through socialization one learns something through interaction with others in a specific context. Socialization stands for a processes occurring in the interaction between the individual and the environment, and in all phases of life. Socialization agents are people who we socialize with, and who influence the behavior of the individual. Examples of these agents for young players/athletes are family, coach, institution/club and the local community.

Socialization is important for integration into society in general and also important for children and youths in their practices and attitudes towards football and physical activity. The society has created non-stop lifestyles for youth that create limited spare time and added pressure on youth to be number one in every activity. This will potentially damage the individuals’ well-being and their experience of the sport.

As the society has changed over the years, the change of learning also needs to adapt to it. Learning is, therefore, only effective when it complies in comprehensive social circumstances. That means social skills are required and these skills involves, behavior, cognitive, interpersonal or intrapersonal. It can be argued that the session needs to be structured and quality of the context of the football activity is important because it establishes the footballers’ outcomes. It is essential to understand that social (also called life) skills gained in football or other sporting activity are applicable to other social areas or vice versa,  it an important process in order to improve and educate the whole person.

Football associations (NFF/FA) and national governing bodies want football participation to be based on fun and fun alone from the age of 6 to 15 in order to fight obesity and gain social capital. Where football coaches and clubs want to develop and identify talented players. In between parents pushing young players to become the best, complaining about excessive member’s fee and some cases parents lack of their presence regarding sessions, matches or volunteering.

As mentioned earlier society requires too much and focuses on the wrong thing in the right places. To elaborate, in order for football and players to develop in good rhythm and path, it has to start from within. Football associations, clubs, coaches, and parents need to expand their competence; it could be argued that competence is the most important element for the development of football and the opportunity to improve football skills and the whole person. In addition, the ideology of football needs to change. A development idea for this direction is that it is a requirement that employees of the different football institution have a degree that is aimed for the appropriate job position.

In addition, football coaches are required to have coaching licenses (that is starting to become a common requirement, but in some cases difficult to transfer between different nations) and preferably a degree that contains sociology, pedagogy, sports science, leadership and health and wellness related to sports and football. It means that football associations, clubs, and university needs to come together more so that the community, coaches, football administrations and those who participate in football gets the best framework for development.

This is because the academic provides a strengthened foundation for developing players physically, mentally, football academic and social learning. It is essential to be professionally qualified when working with children and adolescents, on equal terms with jobs as a teacher, kindergarten pedagogue or other institution where one is working with people.

This professional expertise will strengthen the combination of learning, play (fun) and development and can help to make the sessions better structured and might increase participation rates. When quality of coaches and management in football rises, it could than argue the factors for the high membership costs and parents with little to no knowledge of football will then benefit from the quality of the knowledge the clubs and organization holds.

That means that issues such as social exclusion (barriers to entry to football) as poverty or discrimination towards sexuality, gender, age, ethnicity or disability, and even injuries could argue that it would be dealt with a better understanding between players, parents, club and community, because of the quality of the knowledge that has been implemented. By using the arena model that contains a contagion factor at the various venues (sports, leisure, work, family, friends, transportation, school, sleep and diet) run into each other. Goes all well on the football field, it becomes contagious and transfers to other arenas. It’s the same way in reverse. If the individual experience something poor in school or the family situation is difficult, it will quickly spread on the performance on the pitch. This model can be an important tool for development of the whole person to see holistic perspective on the individual’s everyday life and not isolate achievements in sport from the whole.

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