Sport Systems – fragments of thought #3

Mark Upton
Apr 25, 2017

previous fragments – #1, #2

The previous fragment considered the coaches dilemma – do what they consider best for the athlete, or protect the income derived from engaging with that athlete. A dilemma perhaps created and engulfed by socio-cultural, political and economic forces.

Should the empathy for this coach extend to others in sport systems, youth sport in particular, who are seeking to generate profit by whatever means possible with no genuine care for the needs and interests of the sport participant(s)? Probably not.

In this regard I’ve been considering sport systems as similar to troubled Education and Health Systems.

I came across this tweet from Harold Jarche

…and a couple of days earlier this one from Henry Mintzberg

Are we already at Youth Sport™? Certainly adult performance contexts have been for some time. Yet increasingly child and youth sport? And what does it say about a society that allows its children to be treated as commodities in a bid to maximise financial profit for adults?

It has been suggested that maximising shareholder value is the world’s dumbest idea – doing so at the expense of young people’s experience in sport may not just be dumb, but quite possibly dangerous and destructive.

fragment #3 complete