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What is competing?

I wish to share some reflections on what competing means.

From my experience, knowing how to compete is the essential component of the performance of any athlete or team (in competitive sports).

I believe it is one of the elements that is proving most difficult to instill in developmental stages, and perhaps, I dare to suggest, even more so in recent generations of athletes mainly due to having a very devoted but also very ignorant (in terms of sports) environment (family, etc.), which translates into a very dangerous disorientation.

I direct this reflection to the athletes who may be reading this article, but above all to family members (mothers, fathers, etc.) and executives so that they can have a better understanding of the game and the decisions that coaches make in their respective teams.

Competing is not conceding.

To avoid extending the article excessively, I will reduce it to a minimum: COMPETING is essentially NOT CONCEDING.

In other words, it is preparing not to give our opponent anything that depends solely on oneself. It refers to absolutely all factors that intervene in performance both on and off the field.

The opponent in most disciplines will be another team or athlete, but in some sports, the opponent can be another factor, such as in golf, where the opponent is always and will always be the course.

An "ignorant" environment.

Once we understand that competing essentially means not conceding, the next step is to educate ourselves to get to know and understand the sport we practice very well, how many and what phases it consists of, what skills it requires, and in the case of team sports, what variety of roles are played.

As an example of the above, if we look at soccer, for example, what one should know before daring to judge anything or anyone is that:

It is a game of 4 phases (possession, non-possession, transition from possession to non-possession, and transition from non-possession to possession) that I would also add an additional phase, pauses in the game, as they are manageable to take advantage of. It is also a game that requires physical, technical, tactical, and psychological skills equally, which will be executed on the field through a role assigned to each athlete, and this implies knowing how to accept the role that may be assigned to you.

Well, generally, no athlete shines naturally in all phases or all skills, nor in interpreting roles. And any deficiency in any phase, any skill, or interpreting a role is undoubtedly a concession to the opponent.

Do you think that the entire environment (family, club executives, etc.) of the players fully understands the game, the skills, and the roles?

Not by a long shot! And this is where there is a lot of ground to cover. Another day we will reflect on the path to be traveled.

To conclude the reflection,

One should not judge the decisions made by coaches without being well versed in the aspects of the game and performance because frequently the environment, let's call it "ignorant," makes false conceptual associations that cause notable misunderstandings.

For example, a typical false conceptual association of the "ignorant" environment is to believe that a player with exquisite technique is a top player.

Let's correct this. This skill (technique) only responds to the technical aspect of the game (a minor part when competing) if the player in question concedes in other aspects of the game and competition, I guarantee you, they will never be top.

Lots of light at the end of the tunnel.

The good news, which I want to share with you, is that clubs and sports organizations are increasingly aware of the problem and are taking action.

Every week, more and more clubs and entities hire us for the specific training service we offer at Vibliotec to help clubs ensure that their environment (parents, mothers, executives, etc.) is trained through our continuous training and that this environment will someday multiply instead of divide. This demand highlights the problem while illuminating the solution.

Xavi Guilà