Opinion / From the Readers

Why China needs soccer and team sports

By TedM ( Updated: 2015-05-28 13:12

Why China needs soccer and team sports

Boys demonstrate soccer skills at opening ceremony of the R&F Soccer School in Meizhou, Guangdong province, September 19, 2013. The school, a joint project between Chinese Super League club Guangzhou R&F and English Premier giant Chelsea, has enrolled 140 students aged 8-12 this year.The English club has sent a number of technical staff to help youth training at the school. [Qiu Quanlin/Asianewsphoto]

Individual skills have always been encouraged in China. Individual skills can be easily measured, rewarded and developed. Individual events in the Olympic Games always feature China as a leading country. However, China's performance in team events is disappointing. Teamwork, sharing and cooperation have not been encouraged except in singing and dancing.

Why is team sport so important for individuals and for a country?

For a person team sports teach the importance of sharing and cooperation. For a team to succeed every player is an important cog in the team machine. A team member must learn to work with his team-mates and not take advantage of them for their own selfish benefit. Typical is the selfish attitude of young players who think they are the best because they can keep the ball longest without passing it. They quickly learn that their team cannot win with only one player hogging the ball.

This concept leads to another blog I wrote recently about Chinese people being completely unaware of what is happening around them. They are brought up to only think of their own needs and importance. This can easily lead to corruption and dishonesty, which is exactly what happened recently in Chinese national soccer teams.

"The best way to win is to cheat!" If they work as a team the only way cheating might occur is by management match fixing.

Individual members of a team learn to help each other. They develop fitness and skills with the team. A team sport encourages thinking, decision making, forethought and initiative.

In schools team sports encourage mutual respect, tolerance and patience. It develops trust and social skills so severely lacking in Chinese life. It enables the encouragement of team-mates for the individual to work harder. PE in schools here is devoted to fitness training and passing a test of fitness. Few, if any team sports are introduced or coached. Individual talent in a sport is only developed if recognized and the child is sent to a "special" sports school. This practice is impossible in the coaching of a team sport.

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