All-Soul sports reflections
It’s that time of year again when we scramble to the expressways, airports or piers to scurry home and visit our dear departed and to reconnect with family and old friends. We can’t help it but there will be a festive atmosphere at the cemeteries as every one tries to reestablish ties while trying to remember those who have moved on.
Aside from remembering our sports heroes and colleagues who have left us, this break is a good a time to reflect on issues and developments in 2011.
Why wait for the end of the year to make these reflections?
So while you’re in a cemetery or beach trying to avoid the mad scramble in the cities, here are two sports issues worth thinking about.
WANTED: Shooters—Energen Pilipinas Under 16 coach Olsen Racela pointed out that the Philippine national basketball teams need more sharp shooters. South Korea and China have them, aside from giants that patrol the inside.
Racela’s boys had a sterling run but lost the last two big games that denied them a podium finish.
This call prompts us to think on how we run our youth basketball camps; there is a need to underscore outside shooting.
Having had my three sons attend hoop camps of all sorts, I’ve seen that the emphasis in most of these sessions is on ball handling skills and drills. This is perhaps because many of the boys and girls attending these camps can hardly control the ball yet.
There may be the wrong perspective that outside shooting is an individual talent and that if you have the touch, then it’s a gift.
But maybe it’s time we had more publicized and specialized shooting camps that focus on jump shots, running shots, three-point attempts and even free-throw shooting.
Because of the misinformed notion that shooting three-pointers in an actual game is the same as shooting them in a video game, many kids heave treys with the wrong footwork and release mechanics.
WANTED: A more reliable way of raising funds for the national team—There must be a more reliable way to raise funds, on a permanent basis, for the national teams that participate in the Southeast Asian Games and other international competitions.
It seems that every time we have to send a delegation abroad, we’re looking for funds for plane fare, uniforms and equipment. These costs escalate each year and you can imagine how hard it is to really peg an exact amount for these expenses.
We live in times where money is tight, but a way should be devised where both donors of the private sector and the contributions of ordinary citizens can be combined for a revolving fund.
For example, the Amateur Boxing Association of the Philippines boxes for small donations at department stores was a novel way of getting everyone to pitch in.
There has to be a program not just to raise the money but to keep the idea of giving to sports in the public mind.
It’s never a delight when you’re about to travel for a meet abroad and you’re still looking for basic funds to keep you alive overseas. This distracts you from training, even if coaches and managers help out by looking for funds.
Two points to ponder during this restful break. May we come back to the sports world ready to shake things up for the better.