Sunday, April 18, 2010

Professionalism

Winning and losing is often separated by the smallest of margins. A few inches, a moment of concentration or an inspired coaching decision could mean the difference between riding inside a mini-bus back to your village or on top of one in a victory parade around the streets of Kathmandu.

Those small margins come from getting the edge over your opponent - technical edge, psychological edge, physical edge,  tactical edge, organizational edge and the intangibles edge. While our teams and athletes might be technically on par with their opponents, in the other areas we lag far behind, thus we keep struggling to get over the hump.

That's where professionalism comes in. Professionalism isn't just about making a good living off of sports, it is about getting the edge. Professionalism is when:
  • a coach is more interested in a coaching manual than a tracksuit
  • a player is spending more time in the gym than on Facebook
  • a referee understand that knowing how to communicate is as important as knowing the rules
  • the government realizes that you help athletes to succeed and not after they have succeeded
  • sports officials go abroad not to shop for their relatives but to shop for new ideas to develop their sport back home
  • a club is just as focused on developing its administrative team as its playing team
  • fans understand that you encourage your players and not rag on them
That's what professionalism is about and that's what will give players and teams the edge to get over the hump.

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