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Lessons - But No Learning

Published: 20 Oct 2008 - 14:47 by raystrach

Updated: 20 Oct 2008 - 19:45

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Missing -  the essential quality for improvement

As a coach you often come across people with talent, but from the outset, you just know that you are not going to be able to help them along the way. They lack the one quality which is vital in helping them help themselves. They are not  receptive.

Although they come to you for coaching, for whatever reason, they don't want to, or unable to listen to what you have to say. So teach as you might, nothing gets through.

The reason I make these comments are because of the downfall of Squash Site. Squash Site was undoubtedly the World's best Squash website when it came to news and information on what was happening in the world of competitive Squash. See Squash Site's own obituary here.

To try to help them make it pay they sought the support of some of the large international Squash bodies, but recieved none. Why am I not surprised?

Is passion expendible?

Coming back to my original point, it is easy to apply it to the  Squash community as represented by PSA, WISPA and WSF - the world bodies of Squash. They are not receptive, they cannot or will not learn, especially from the past. Instead of valuing some of the big contributors in our sport, the sport chews them up and spits them out.

Although I have been involved in the hierarchy of the sport, there are those within that heirarchy who, at best, exhibit poor judgement  on a regular basis and at worst, use the sport as a vehicle for their own ambitions and pleasures. I have experienced this first hand at just about every level of the sport.

As a result, capable people with passion and the ability to make a contribution are often treated as second class citizens, taken advantage of and taken for granted. We are not talking about people who serve on committees and who, once a week or once a month spend a couple of hours talking about squash (we don't want to devalue their contribution - we need people like them).

We are talking about people who spend their own money, sometimes put their own income at risk and spend hours every day trying to enrich the world of Squash. They don't want to become millioniares from the effort, but they do want some form of compensation so that they can at least show something for it. These are people with real passion because they back up what they believe in with money.

Unfortunately there are too many out there who begrudge some renumeration back to those with passion and those who are capable of making not only a contribution but an impact. It is an attitude that goes from club to international level

It is all too familiar.

I have seen it at club level where club officials are not willing to play professionals to coach and improve young players, even though there are thousands sitting in bank accounts. I have seen it at state and national level where those with ability are driven off by those with an axe to grind or those who lack the vision to see how things could be.

It is the same with just about everything, especially in sports like Squash. If you want to make a difference, you must be prepared to be in it for the long haul, and you must put in a tremendous amount of effort. Part of the reason Squashgame exists is because of arguments we had with Squash officials. Arguments over remuneration for time, effort and expertise that went into a Squash project. They are simply ignorant to the amount of time and effort that goes into creating and maintaining something of value.

That a website like Squash Site could not get some form of support from the three international bodies for the service they are providing Squash is hard to fathom, but for me, hardly surprising. There would not be one person on staff, and on the boards of those organisations, that would deny that Squash Site was making Squash more accessible to more people, especially the younger demographic that we in Squash must strive to engage.

Every day on Squashgame we would add at least one link to Squash Site either through our forum or in our news headlines. I am certain thousands of people everyday would visit the website to get their daily Squash fix.

Is it too late to learn?

How many Squash Sites will come and go before those at the top level of Squash realise that they need to find ways of ustilising the talents and ablilities of the people in Squash that can make a difference. Those at the top need to look closely at their own actions and take responsibilitiy for the success of Squash or lack of it. Instead of building on what Squash Site offered, which was a platform to promote, share, discuss, profile and report on the game of Squash at or near the top level, they will now be left to provide some inferior product at, I would estimate, a much greater cost.

Squash Site was unmatched in its coverage of Squash events - nothing came close. Sure we still have some websites that cover these things, but not with the immediacy and breadth that Squash Site offered.

I wish I were surprised by this development, but unfortunately it is deja vu all over again. We just do not learn.

Vale Squash Site.

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From rippa rit - 20 Oct 2008 - 19:45

raystrach - I have been going from the World Squash site to the PSA site and back to Squashsite trying to visualise squash without Squashsite's input. - the action shots, the stories, the lead-up to the tournaments, the video interviews with the players, etc. all on a daily basis too, and in short the squash world irrespective of their PSA membership or WSF affiliation.  The latter two sites are boring and with few pictures, and do not represent all players and events throughout the world.  Squash shows up once again as being fragmented.  PSA represents the top Mens Pros and reports on sanctioned events. WSF represents the players from the affiliated nations, WISPA represents the Women on the Pro circuit.  Squashsite has never let me down and it represents all squash players, even the second stringers.  Squashsite did the lot,  just anything at all, and everything in particular to do with squash.  Rarely did I look for some news and find it was old or stale; it was always up to the minute.  We definitely cannot afford to drop a site that has immediate reports, pictures that capture the emotions of the players, highlighting skills, promoting sponsors.  You name it, Squashsite was sure to cover it.  The presentation also very professional.

 

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