Looking beyond those natural abilities
It must be stated categorically, that St Vincent and the Grenadines’ sporting achievements, its human stock, facilities, among others, are not what they ought to be.
For many years, through natural progression, love and the state of mind, this country produced sportsmen and women of relative quality, more or less at will.
Of course then, sports was the in-thing as it were; sports was part and parcel of Vincentian upbringing, as that is what people knew and that is what the various communities thrived on.
Set aside the genuine love for sports then, whatever successes achieved then, mainly were as a result of persons’ natural talents, honed by playing over and over again.
Overtime though, this dependence on natural talent for us, has proven inadequate, as we are still behind others in the region; others which have similar population, facilities and the likes.
Yes, that common-sense approach, critical thinking and bringing into play the full utilisation of the brain, are missing components of our sporting makeup.
This is borne out by the fact that often times, St Vincent and the Grenadines’ representative teams and individuals, are outwitted by their opponents, and not because they lack the ability.
Is this an indictment on our educational system, or the way we are being cultured to accept mediocrity?
It is notioned and found to be true, that winning in sports is more brain than brawn.
We are further pushed behind by the realities that the science of sports has become part and parcel of the order of things. This has placed us in a conumdrum, as either way we are deficient.
But we cannot throw our hands up in the air, rock back and say it is what it is, as it is better to pack up and place sports as just a past time.
From the get go, it must be accepted that sports is now a science, hence, for us to make some sort of turn around, we have to begin to apply some science to the way we prepare our sportsmen and women.
There is no shortage of literature, training opportunities and technology in this regard, to assist us in getting over that hump.
We however have to accept that is what we need and go from there.
Hence, we have to begin not just to train as a routine, but train keeping in mind the various cycles needed to traverse and what they entail.
Attention has to be paid to nutrition, visualisation, match analysis and awareness.
This type of training preparation go across the board, as this is the route that sports is taking the world over.
Conversely, time after time, courses are held here informing about the need for the Long Term Development of our athletes (used here in the broad sense).
Unfortunately, these courses have turned out to be mere rituals and narratives, whilst the status quo remains firmly intact and our outcome regresses.
Is it that we don’t take it in or there is no political will to effect the necessary changes?
Our sports administrators seem not to understand that sports is more than just providing leadership, equipment, hosting competitions and participating in regional and international tournaments.
Sadly, this nonchalance trickles down to those who matter most, the sportsmen and women, who then are villified and lambasted for not performing.
Change has to come, as it cannot be the same. We can’t expect to do the same thing, the same way and get different results.
Day after day, we complain about the results of our national teams and what should be done to make the turnaround.
The time is rife for us to adopt a scientific approach to sports, as simply put, it is the only way to go.
The retraining and reculturing of the mind are first and foremost the priority areas that must be addressed before we can see any significant changes in the manner in which things are done.