Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Another Take on Sport

"But what do we mean by advancement? I think it’s fair to say we all want more of the following: players playing the game, mainstream media attention, sponsorship/financial support, exposure and better _____ to be played. While all separate goals, they’re all connected and make up overall ‘advancement‘."
Could be talking about paintball, right? He's not, he's discussing the state of this sport. But the similarity is interesting, isn't it? It's informative and sheds some light on issues paintball is dealing with--except they are a lot further down the road than paintball is--so it's a little depressing too.

Joe, who drops me a note now and again, sent this link but he also had a separate point to make. These days he's involved in club rugby and is a wrestling coach with contacts among the amateur wrestling crowd in his area of the Midwest. In American rugby the top league has lost (is losing) 4 teams going into the new year. In Joe's area recruiting new players is becoming a struggle. And this is from a pool of players who played high school and college rugby. A once motivated and active pool of players. They beg poverty but plenty of them routinely spend money in bars and on video games. (Surely the larger economy is playing a role. The question is how much of a role?) And in talking to area coaches recent freshman classes of incoming students don't have the same interest in wrestling they used to. Some schools have even had to disband their wrestling programs. Joe sees the parallels and can't help but wonder if at least part of the problem isn't simply that his generation and the one coming up really are lazy slackers. Nobody is willing to work hard. Somehow they expect things to be handed to them. If it's too demanding and too hard it's not for them. And you know, I can see where he's coming from. Undemanding parents, mediocre schools, everybody wins competitions, short attention spans and few responsibilities. Not a recipe for success.


bruce said...

Not to mention the absolutely insane amounts of passive entertainment available now.

Why struggle and work hard and be mediocre when you can sit and be a super star playing the latest xbox shooter?

Mark790.06 said...

Xbox is a symptom of the disease.

Low expectations and lack of responsibility are ingrained in too many before they ever touch a paintball gun.

Although stuff like this has been written about since Plato was a noob. The next generation are always lazy slackers to the one before. However we are towards the end of that first ever generation where medication has replaced a parents expectations. When before a young mind that wandered too often got a smack up-side the head demanding focus, today it gets drugs and the side-effects are tolerated.

Did they do a South Park episode about this yet?

papa chad said...

I've noticed a lot of paintball players in my time that write themselves off early. I think this is because from a beginner's perspective, paintball looks hard. really hard. they see the break and tons and tons of paint flying in this massive gunfight that seems to make no sense, and it would seem to them that you could never move from your bunker or you'd be shot, if only by accident.
new players never seem to understand how the game is played before they play competative paintball, they just go for it and end up getting bunkered.

papa chad said...

and just so it's out there, I wanna say that the competitive game is about: moving to the right bunkers at the right time to get angles, and putting paint at the right place at the right time.
roughly. that's how I see it, I dunno how much everyone agrees. ppl in paintball can't agree!

papa chad said...

the right spots*

Reiner Schafer said...

It's just getting harder to get the couch potatoes to commit. It's much easier to get the winning sensation by sitting on your ass and working your thumbs. Sure it might take a while, but you can do it while sipping sodas and scarfing down twinkies.

I think half of the participation problems paintball is seeing is being seen by most other sports as well. We always talk about what we can do to get more people playing paintball, but we should probably be thinking about what we could be doing to get the lazy slackers off the couch period.