"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.