Trainers or consumers of athletes, the big question

With the development of professional sport, which first reached some team disciplines such as soccer, baseball and basketball, and which later reached a greater or lesser extent to a large part of the rest, the phenomenon of the differentiation between clubs and coaches-trainers of athletes was accentuated, with those others who only consume the valuable human product of that institutional investment and that technical talent.

In the new century the irruption of big capitals from all backgrounds, especially in football, who are trying to make a quick and easy business and maybe some form of laundering and dodging, also looking to create in various sports new elite formats like the super super leagues, and have created leading teams in many countries almost out of nothing.

Of course, in football and other sports, fortunately, there are still clubs that, although they feed on talented athletes, also they produce them in their lower divisions.

Meanwhile, in amateur sports, the advent of greater professionalism has unfortunately endangered for a couple of decades, the irreplaceable figure of sports trainer, who despite its decisive importance has lost more and more ground at the hands of coach-consumers. If they possess technical and strategic talent, they can pursue the constructive task of the trainer, but if, as unfortunately often happens, they are mediocre and are only supported by occasional sponsors, media or directly by the political or federative power, they simply do nothing other than use the work of others but with little or no zero added value On your part.

The club is only a “consumer” of athletes, in my opinion not only does it not contribute anything positive, except for the business of a few, but it contributes to the destruction of that invaluable right that is the social function of sport in every community. Both for practitioners as for the spectators.

The reality tells us today that the consumption procedure is carried out jointly with that of the economic extinction of many institutions, and unfortunately it is becoming widespread in high performance sport in various disciplines.

There are few times when the consumer club achieves maintain or even improve initial results of the athlete that comes to him, through the action and professional support of prestigious coaches that he can hire.

This is especially measurable in the time and mark disciplines, and in those that are developed within a framework of acquirable skills such as combat sports and appreciation sports. Which makes that the usufruct of this formative task initially alien, have a good epilogue and don’t miss the talented one.

We know that most of the sports called amateurs, They depend on the support of the State and some private sponsor. So one of the worst things that can happen in a country’s high-performance sport is that the amateur disciplines fall into the hands of incompetent technicians that they dedicate themselves to consuming the production of others, without improving the technical or physical aspects of their athletes.

The great American swimming coach, mark schubert, told me just five years ago: “Osvaldo, our biggest problem is getting the best swimmers train with the best coaches”. And then he would list me a long list of wasted talents.

In football this can mean the throwback to leagues or teams of a lower hierarchy, but in sports such as athletics and swimming it can even mean sports retirement.

Needless to say, this is not a particular or unique problem of the world’s greatest sports power, since I have seen it frequently in Germany and other countries, and of course in Argentina where has suffered regularly.

Unfortunately, ignorance and inaction of the federal authorities, and the lack of control or specific knowledge of the State and the media, help perpetuate these leaderships that use the production of others without having the necessary talent to give the sport and the athlete that plus that is necessary to reach the best international level.

In short, due to the unfortunate current trend of concentration of capital of diverse origins, in an elite of superclubs, it seems almost inevitable that more and more “consumers” will emerge over “trainers”, in a commodified and professional contemporary sport, that seeks immediate results through the action of money. But the attention and action of the federal and national authorities, and even of the media, should try to protect investment in social sport of the training clubs, and the expectations of society in those talents that should not be managed by people without the necessary level of knowledge.

* Former National Sports Director.

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