Monday, 1 August 2011

Clichés and TV Pundit Language on My Banned List

This is a subject I have discussed with numerous people in the past and is a particular annoyance to me when watching grassroots football.

If I were coaching a grassroots team today I would personally require that along with a generic 'code of conduct' this banned clichés list should be integrated into it.  Ideally it would be strongly self-regulated by all (coaches, parents, players & managers).  I would also like it to be integrated into the coaching qualifications, courses, the FA Respect campaign and some kind of 'best practice' guide for youth football.

My I'm shouting from the sidelines, don't really know why, probably because it's what everyone has done before so I'm going to do it anyway List is as follows:

"Away" - as in get rid of the ball and concede possession as soon as possible.
"Get Rid" - as in see the above, complete negativity.
"If in doubt" - this is getting boring now.
"Clear it" - yawn.
"Row Z" - Not only is this negative, kids probably won't know what you are talking about.
"Play it simple" - This is probably the one that gets me the most along with............
"Play the way you're facing" - as in lets pass the buck to the goalkeeper or somebody who is in an even worse position on the field than me.
"Pass it! who do you think you are Messi" - I am convinced that this is the reason why possession based football in this country is so far behind that of our european counterparts.  What really annoys me is that even if a young player takes on two or three opposing players  but there is no 'end product' people from the sidelines automatically dismiss the innovative part of beating opponents with a negative remark about why the ball needed to be passed in the first place.
"Second ball" - I have a mental image of the kids looking for another ball to play with!
"Hit the channel" - Again, adult language that will just go over most kids heads.
"Get stuck in" - This is crazy and is just Sunday League pub football stuff.  Young players will always want to win the ball back if they haven't got it and they certainly don't need this kind of neanderthal comment.
"One of you" - For me, kids will learn a pretty quick lesson by bumping into their team-mate and this is a classic that everyone else has heard so think I'll say that!
"Noooooo! not there" - I don't get this.  For me, football is a game to be improved on in the development stage by experimenting, seeing what works, what doesn't work and doesn't need somebody from the sidelines preventing this kind of self-learning by criticism or negativity.  If something doesn't work in a game ask your player why it didn't work, what can be done differently in that position next time and where on the pitch it is more likely to work next time.
"Do we want this! or Don't we want this!" - What's that then? Me to be able to go to my mates in the pub or at work and say how my U9's 'destroyed' the opposition? Kids will always 'want this' as in they will always want to play.  They won't 'want this' if somebody from the sidelines keeps questioning whether they are even trying.
"Put him under!" - Under what exactly?
"Get your head up" - I've actually seen this happen where a lad just looked up into the clouds!
"Line it" - Just think about this from a 10 year olds perspective and ask yourself what exactly you think this might mean.
"Easy ball" - See Play it Simple.

Feel free to send me your own 'favourite' clichés, TV punditry and general useless comments that may have been heard from the sidelines and I will add a list at the end of the post. 

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