As the curtain is about to be lifted on England’s Euro 2012 campaign on Monday, what are England’s chances of Euro success?
I don’t know if anybody else feels like they have a lack of anticipation going into the Euro’s, whether it is with the Olympics this year or fans resigning themselves to England’s inevitable early exit… and that why get excited attitude – “as they always let us down!”
England has arguably one of the toughest groups, there is no Rooney for the first two games, a new manager, and there are doubts over who should play upfront in Rooney’s absence for the first two games! “Does England expect or not?”
There is no doubt, as soon as they kick off on Monday evening against France – that it will be hard to suppress those thoughts of potentially witnessing England winning an International tournament, and being part of a national out pouring of sheer joy that would inevitably follow!
Without getting too carried away… a final rallying cry will be heard on Monday at 5pm from every lounge and pub across the country – “Come on ENGLAND!” make us proud!
All the best and the worst of the Grand National were on show yesterday. The closest finish in the 165 years of the race brought the grey, Neptune Collonges a memorable victory.
The emotions of the victory were over shadowed by two more deaths to the Grand National death toll – Synchronised rode by A P McCoy and According to Pete sadly both suffered fractures from which they had to be put down. There has now been consecutive Grand National with two fatalities, is the search for National glory worth the price of life?
The responsibility lies with the powers that be to make the Grand National safer for both horse and jockey. The three main factors, in what makes the Grand National dangerous are;
1, The field of 40 is four or five times the size of a typical national hunt race
2, Many of the 30 fences are far higher than on any other course increasing the risk of a fatal fracture
3, The race is over four and a half miles, almost twice the normal distance
Aintree racecourse have released a statement emphasising the changes which were made since last year’s race, and reintegrating their intention to look at further changes. That will not be enough to satisfy certain critics of the race. The national has reached a crossroads – its survival should most certainly not be taken for granted.
Progressive Sports South East London dance teacher Kelly-Ann Fry is casted in 2012 Olympics closing ceremony!
Her Journey begins here:-
“In September I was lucky enough to receive an email stating I had been accepted to audition for a dance role in the ceremonies. When I arrived on that first day there were over 200 people in the room and I knew auditions were going on for over a month with over 600 dancers auditioning a day! Then I realised how many people clearly wanted to be a part of the ceremonies and realised this is the Olympics London 2012 after all – it is HUGE! – Once this audition had finished we were told it would take 8 weeks to hear whether you were successful for the 2nd stage of auditions.
It seemed like ages until I finally received an email in November, stating I had been successful and needed to attend a 2nd audition. Again in my audition alone there were over 200 people. The choreographers showed us the routine we would be learning, that is when for the first time my nerves really kicked in. The routine was very challenging and needed to be learnt quickly! I think I did okay! But you still come away wondering if there was any more I could have given! After this audition I had another 8 weeks of waiting before finding out whether on not I would be selected to dance in either the opening or closing ceremony.
Over Christmas and New Year I had by then convinced myself that I had been unsuccessful. When it got to 9 weeks after the audition I resigned myself to hearing my fate and rang the casting offices to see why I hadn’t heard from them – expecting the worst but still wondering if they would let you know either way if you had a role or not. They told me that if I did not hear by the 20th to ring them back again.
Then on 20th January – I received an email to say ‘Congratulations your have been selected to be in the closing ceremony of the Olympics’. I could not believe I was going to be a part of the Biggest event of 2012!
This is where my journey beginnings, rehearsals start in May. I’ll be blogging my progress and experience – watch this space!” Kelly-Ann Fry
A fundamental role of a coach is to inspire young people! Which enables them to enjoy taking part in sport and physical activity, if we get this right and engage them correctly in the right environments, these children will become the next generation of sports fanatics, professional footballers in the Premiership, take to the field at Twickenham, make a century in India, run the third leg of the four by one hundred at the Olympics (don’t drop the baton).
The Majority of our children that we teach as coaches will not become super stars – but all of them will become a part of society it is our chance to influence them and make them into not just better sports players but more importantly better people- as the benefits of sport are far reaching beyond the physical side!
I have put together my top five ways to achieve GREAT coaching…
1. Creating the right environment with enjoyment at the heart of it.
2. Using child led learning to understand their mistakes.
3. Maximising every child’s contact time with equipment.
4. Winning is not everything and moving the focus onto good technique.
5. It is more important to develop the child as a person before the sport star.
So common mistakes that are made…
1. The main reason you’re there as a coach is to inspire young people, (keep this your focus).
2. Make sure don’t treat them as adults they are children.
3. Using catch phrases that reinforce bad practice, ‘if in doubt kick it out’.
4. Telling children the answer – let them discover their own answers.
5. Forgetting children develop at different rates and have different learning styles.
With the 2012 Olympics quickly approaching, the excitement is slowly building on what will be a momentous occasion for the whole of the UK, from the competing athletes to their adoring fans – let’s rejoice as the 2012 Olympics creep ever closer. The Olympics are also a perfect motivation for children to be more active and to get involved in sporting events…
All sports bring collective emotion, spirit and support, encouraging children to appreciate and work toward shared goals (quite literally!). But it’s not all about football, netball and basketball. Sport is more than just a ball or a racket, it’s an emotional hotpot. Think of footballers’ goal celebrations; racing car drivers spraying each other with winning champagne; even the fans – have you ever watched their faces during a game? We all show emotion and whatever your individual goal is my friend celebrate as it feels good, doesn’t it?
All competitive games have one ultimate aim: to win! Although it really is the taking part that counts and not just the final score, it’s the dream of winning which brings out fantastic qualities in us all – optimism, motivation, commitment and team spirit – all spurred on by adrenalin. Take a look at some of our country’s sporting greats hoping to compete in the next Olympics – Jessica Ennis, Kelly Sotherton, Mo Farrow, Chris Hoy, to name just a few – and let’s look to them for inspiration. Let’s take our shared excitement for the Olympic Games and turn it into something great! We are all just people – our heroes included – and we are all capable of achieving great things. But we don’t have to wait 298 days – START TODAY!
This Blog was written by guest blogger – Jessica Hardy-Pritchard
As the dust settles on another Wimbledon, and another year passes without a British winner, the autopsy begins into why Andy Murray was unable to make it to the Men’s Final, a lot has been spoke about whether Murray is mentally strong enough. From one set up, and winning 15-30 in the third game of the second set he missed an easy forehand which would have put him in a great position to win the second set – from that point on Murray lost the next seven games in a row, and went on to lose his semi-final with Rafael Nadal by 3 sets to 1.
What I would like to share with you a quote from Don McPherson a Bath based sports psychologist that summed up what happened to Murray very well. Don said; “The dominant force in all this is a thing the Chinese call the monkey mind, it’s the thing that constantly chatters and darts around in the mind like a monkey swinging through the jungle when things turn wrong. During the first set, Murray was playing subconsciously and the monkey mind had nothing to feed upon because everything was going right. But once he made that bad mistake with the forehand the monkey mind took over and kept jabbering to him that he better do things right again, which of course only served to heighten anxiety and make things worse. He began to play consciously.
“It’s a skill to be able to turn off the monkey mind and reclaim the subconscious state. In my view Andy Murray is not weak but he does need his brain tuning in order to control his monkey mind.”
So going forward Andy Murray’s biggest struggle is going to be with himself, and his ability to overcome his monkey mind. If he manages this, we may see a British winner at Wimbledon one day.
On Saturday 28th May 2011, Wembley Stadium was the arena for the UEFA Champions League Final between Manchester United and Barcelona. In front of a worldwide audience of well over a 100 million viewers, it was Barcelona that triumphed in a thrilling game – but my inspiration for writing this post is a certain Lionel Messi!
Lionel Messi was born in Rosario, Argentina. And moved to Barcelona with his family in 2000 and has been schooled the Barcelona way, with his magician like skills and Barcelona’s footballing philosophy it is a marriage made in heaven.
Those of you that watched the final, witnessed a true GENIUS at work, the word genius is bandied around from time to time, it is typically associated when describing players who are no longer with us or retired from the game. In Messi’s case we are witnessing a living legend that just seems to get better and better, still at the tender age of 23 years, and has scored over 50 goals this season in just as many appearances. We all talk about his mesmerising dribbling skills, the vision and awareness of his teammates – but it is the way he plays the game in the true spirit of how football should be played – it is played with a youthful enthusiasm in the same way that we see in every school yard around the world, there are no theatrics, when opponents realise the only way to stop him is by kicking him, he acts with humility, there is no brash or cocky exterior, neither has he been blinded by the fame and fortune. A humble human being with an extraordinary talent…
….take a bow Lionel Messi – for every 9 year old in the world has an IDOL in the true sense of the word!
As a company that is involved daily in teaching children across the UK sport, we are seeing more and more “less traditional” activities become part of our services, there are a number of reasons for this – children want choice, and have a natural curiosity to try different sports, and for us as a company our many motivation is to inspire and engage children in sport, and fundamentally get children ACTIVE!
Traditional team games are still very popular however more schools and sports companies now offer children the opportunity to participate in a range of activities such as Streetdance, Cheerleading, Dodgeball, Tri-Golf and much more…
All these options are great for children as it gives them a real opportunity to sample a broad range of sports – which otherwise they may never participate in! So an inclusive approach, where emphasis is not placed on one sport, and a focus around providing opportunities for a range of sports is the way forward… as today’s child is the next generation of sportsman or even more important is an active adult!
Our motivation as a company is to increase opportunities and participation for ALL children!
Figures have been released recently from the schools measuring programme, which measures the height and weight of children in reception and year six in primary schools in England, establishing whether they are underweight, healthy weight, overweight or obese.
What these figures have shown from the more than one million children that were measured. Is that 1 in 10 children start primary school obese – which rises to nearly 1 in 5 by the time they leave primary school. Which suggests that primary schools aren’t doing enough to combat obesity, with a 100% increase in the amount of children that leave primary school obese. Of course schools aren’t fully responsible, as a lot of the responsibility has to lie with the parents.
What can we do to combat obesity in our children at school…
• Provide more opportunities for children to access sport outside of normal school hours
• Making sure all children are accessing at least 2 hours a week of PE in curriculum time
• Offer a wider variety of sports to engage more children
• Get rid of the culture in some schools of them being too worried about children taking part in sport and PE, as they deem certain activities too dangerous
• More activities for children during lunch and break times
• More advise on healthy eating and lifestyle
• More involvement from specialist organisations that can advise and influence children to make the right choice
• Educate parents on the importance of a healthy lifestyle
• Engage the whole family in physical activities
The only way we can make a real impact is by a multi-agency and collective approach, as without this… then we are fighting a losing battle.
I saw a statistic that the future costs of obesity in our country will cost the NHS 4.2 billion! YES, 4.2 BILLION… If that doesn’t make you get up off the sofa… then you will certainly feel it in your pocket – as guess who will be footing the bill!!!