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Premier League Releases Coronavirus Measures

The Premier League has announced it will be introducing a number of extremes measures for health and safety to protect club staff and players once football resumes after the CODID-19 lockdown that stopped all sports events across the globe in an effort to reduce the spread of the virus.

The Premier League has yet to provide any details regarding how or when the season will be completed. That resulted in most throwing out any ideas or speculating when and how that will take place after sport in England ground to a halt with the country’s lockdown measures

There are a number of claims that some Premier League clubs are looking at returning their players to training in early May as the current lockdown is due to end on the 7th of May unless extended by the government, which can if it chooses to extend the lockdown to the end of May. This would, of course, see the season pushed back even more, and that could be even more so impacted if additional lockdown extensions and executed.

One area that has been addressed is that the league will ensure that dressing rooms are equipped for proper hygienic and will be thoroughly disinfected prior to players arrival. In addition, coaches will be required to be disinfected and sterilised while players will be required to provide private transport in their own cars and respect times between their scheduled arrivals.

Additional Protective Measures

That includes the scheduled teams ensuring that players take different routes to the dressing rooms and then remain as far as possible away from each other until the match begins, which is rather redundant considering the close proximity they will have on the field.

Clubs are also being requested to make changes to their dressing rooms to allow for starting teams, substitutes and goalkeepers all change in different areas, which means, three dressing areas per team. Additionally, it is being expected that players will be required to supply their own food and not share it with teammates and must maintain individually named water bottles to ensure there is no risk of players drinking from shared bottles.

It is clear the league is putting a strong emphasis towards social distancing and is requiring all players who use the teams fitness equipment must put on face-masks and gloves while ensuring they sanitise each piece of equipment before and after use. In addition, all doors within the facility will remain open so that the need to touch door handles is removed.

University Athletics Coach Fired for Sexual Relationship

Shocking news has come out of the University of Guelph. It was revealed by Athletics Canada that a coach and student engaged in an under-age sexual relationship, which ended up being deeply disturbing. The Athletics Commission and Canada confirmed this news, with the Globe & Mail first publishing the story that a field coach named Dave Scott-Thomas committed borderline sadistic. Multiple female students were groomed for a sexual relationship with the track and field coach. Athletics Canada confirmed that they’re investigating all instances that Dave Scott-Thomas coached under this administration, which included sixteen occasions under Canadian national Teams. This included the 2016 Rio Olympics. This horrendous man could’ve attacked multiple other female athletes.

The University of Guelph was quick to respond to these allegations. Statements were provided on the official website, which expressed a series of complaints from 2006. Complains came from family members relating to Megan Brown, the woman sexually assaulted by Dave Scott-Thomas. Investigations didn’t reveal any pivotal information that indicated sexual misconduct. However, those prior investigations revealed additional illegal behaviour from this track coach which resulted in four weeks of paid leave. Mostly, he was paid to take a vacation while news dissipated from the campus.

What prompted his inevitable termination from the UOG was an additional complaint filed earlier this year. External investigators were hired by family members, which revealed numerous counts of sexual misconduct. Investigations from external sources indicate that Dave Scott-Thomas had lied countless times since 2006 to avoid termination. Investigators are now determining if the University of Guelph knew and allowed for these illegal relationships, which could prompt a larger story of corruption.

Athletic Canada Reveals Additional Details

Athletic Canada, in their official statement earlier this week, expressed that Dave Scott-Thomas influenced a seventeen-year-old woman into a sexual relationship. This was accomplished with threats regarding their future athletic careers, demanding that sexual favours be provided for chances at professional track and field. Investigators believe that sexual misconduct with women from Dave could be bellow fifteen years of age.

Coaching at Young Ages

Being involved in the lives of children of any age in the role of a coach can be both challenging and rewarding. Coaching a team requires a significant investment of your time and energy and is always an undertaking requiring great responsibility. Yet, the rewards which these children reap during their involvement within team sports, as well as the life skills instilled in their lives are valuable often at a later stage. Kids who are involved in team sports and are being coached at a young age have access to many benefits. Let’s look more closely at some of them.

Greater Self-Esteem

Over the years, many studies have shown that when children are involved in team sports, it delivers a significant boost in their confidence and self-esteem. These are instilled through small acts that appear normal within the team like a pat on the back from a teammate, some words of praise, and so forth. The effect which such behavior has is, however, giving children the confidence to believe in themselves and their own abilities and to push themselves to greater heights.

Developing Their Social Skills

Our society is often lacking the needed social skills to communicate properly or to approach disagreements calmly. These social skills are instilled in players of team sports. They are bound to learn how to interact, to give verbal support and to behave within this social environment. Teams are great places to make friends with shared interests.

Accepting the Fact That Defeat is Part of the Game

Nobody likes a sore loser and being able to take defeat in your stride is a valuable life lesson. A lesson that is even more important is to bear frustration and learn from it to improve future behaviour. Sports give children the freedom to accept that also though we all like winning, it can’t always be the case.

Maintaining Discipline

For a team to be successful, every single member needs to be disciplined and focused on the success of the organization. When a player is out of order, he or she is disrupting the team and will not remain part of it for long. Therefore discipline is vital, not only to remain a promising team member but also as part of who you are, to be disciplined in all you do later on in life.

Becoming Part of the Unit

It is an ancient saying that the letter I don’t appear in the word team. Regardless of how old it is, it still rings true. Success comes from working together as one, from exerting yourself so that all may benefit from it, from being well-behaved and disciplined so that the entire team can achieve. Team sports show children that it doesn’t always have to be you who are standing in the limelight, sometimes you need to be in the shadows of support for the unit to excel.

Steven Hansen

For the first time in a decade, the All Blacks are not the number one rated in the world. Many experts put this down to mere numbers and still confess that the All Blacks are the most fabulous rugby team in the world. Their worst position ever on the world rankings was when they were at number 3 during 2003. Behind any successful team stands a strong and powerful coach. Since 2012 this man has been Steven Hansen for the All Blacks.

The 60-year-old coach was born in Mosgiel, which is part of Dunedin in New Zealand. His parents were Desmond and Lauriss Hansen, and they had a dairy farm. Hansen childhood days were spent on this farm in the Taieri Plain, and he went to school at the Outram Primary School and then later on to the Taieri High School and also, later on, he attended the Christchurch Boys’ High School. During this time he was playing for Canterbury at the top level a total of 21 times.

Early Coaching Career

Hansen entered into coaching at the Canterbury provincial rugby union. He was coaching there between 1996 and 2001. During his time there his team won the National Provincial Championship twice. During the same period, Hansen also assisted at the Canterbury Crusaders as assistant coach to initially Wayne Smith and then later on Robbie Deans.

Hansen moved to Wales during 2002 where he became the 9th coach to the team in 13 years. The team would perform well initially and then fold and lose their matches. This became a trend with the team, and it resulted in a lot of criticism towards Hansen. This reached a peak when for the first time in history, the team lost all their matches during the Six Nations Championship in 2003. During the World Cup the same year, the team excelled once again, and this stopped the criticism on his coaching skills.

Returning to New Zealand

In 2004, Hansen decided to step down as coach to Wales and returned to New Zealand where he became assistant coach to the All Blacks under Graham Henry. He was appointed as head coach to the team after Henry’s departure after their victory in the 2011 RWC and started 2012 off in his current position.

Under Hansen’s guidance, the New Zealand All Blacks have gone from one tremendous success to the next. Over his coaching period, they had won the Rugby Championships every year except in 2015 when they were the runners-up. They were also victorious of the 2015 Webb Ellis Cup; they were Rugby Team of the Year every year from 2012 – 2017. Hansen was also chosen as the World Rugby Coach of the Year in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2016. These are only a few of the honours and accolades which the All Black managed to achieve under Hansen’s brilliant coaching skills. Hansen and his team is a success story, evident of the influence of an excellent coach.

Great Players Don’t Make Great Coaches

It is a well-known practice in the world of professional sports to employ great players in the role of coach to professional teams. This trend is based on the belief that great players come with bundles of experience and should automatically fill the role of a great coach. This isn’t always the case.

The Role in Coaching

To a certain degree, it helps to have some experience in the game, when taking on the role of coach. It is beneficial in the sense that as a former player, you have a more excellent grasp in certain sport-specific aspects of the game, in the knowledge of tactical and technical issues. It also gives an exceptional understanding of the kind of socialization which occurs within the organization of a club or a team. Even though these are great to have, it only makes up for a tiny part of the entire role which a coach needs to fulfil. A coach is also responsible for much more in the sense of planning, constant preparations, one-on-one training and the many personal challenges which such role presents.

Different Experience Required

If being a former great player is not the be-all and end-all to being an excellent coach, then the question arises, what the contributing factors which great coaches have in common are? Often these include specific formal qualifications in sports education. Going back to Jose Mourinho as an example again. Mourinho didn’t even play 100 games during his time in the Portuguese second division, yet he is brilliant at managing one of the greatest soccer clubs globally, Manchester United. Mourinho’s background includes studies in sport science as well as the fact that he was employed as a physical education teacher; he was also a youth team coach and was involved in scouting new young players. He also filled the position of assistant coach before he became the head coach. The results of his background are reflected in his league title wins for Italy, Spain, England as well as Portugal. The main reason for this lack of much-needed experience in fields other than playing in coaches who had a brilliant playing career is because these former players haven’t had the time to gather experience in anything other than playing.

The Issues with Great Players

When team owners start to give preference to former players when they are looking to contract a new coach or manager for their teams, they are limiting themselves to a group with inadequate education and experience in much-needed fields. They also reduce the pool of possible candidates to a tiny group. Hence the best approach would much rather be to hire someone with an adequate level of experience in all the skills required to coach a team to greatness, rather than to pick someone based on their success as a player.

The Reasons Behind the All Black Success

It is always a daunting task to qualify one single team as being the best globally. There are various aspects to consider, like winning and consistency. When this topic is under discussion, the name of the New Zealand All Blacks is at the top of the list.

Statistically spoken the All Black has been performing magnificently not only in winning but also regarding consistency. Dating back as far as 1903, their average percentage on winning the games which they played in, stands on 77.09%. This is a number which they have improved on too. Taking their interest of victories over the past four years, the team delivers a 94.44% on games they have won. When a team is delivering such consistently excellent results, it is worthwhile to learn from their success. Hence following are a couple of reasons which are considered to be attributing to their immaculate history of success.

Early Beginnings

Rugby is being promoted and taken seriously from a very young age onwards. Without a doubt, often the first thing that any boy would be taught at school is how to pass and catch. Learning these skills are fundamental in their education and upbringing. During their entire career of schoolboy rugby, a tremendous amount of energy and effort is placed into improving their passing skills. Hence when they reach higher levels of play, these young players have been groomed to perfection on the fundamentals of the game.

Massive Investment Into High School Rugby

The rugby careers of players on the high school level is already a grave matter in New Zealand. New Zealand schools make a proper capital investment into the careers of students, with the top five schools in New Zealand excelling in rugby, spending more than $400 000 annually on improving their rugby programs. Their games also draw large crowds, often in numbers exceeding 7 000 spectators and it regularly gets broadcasted as well.

Moving On To Provincial and National Level

When these young players advance to more senior levels of playing, they enter this world already with the advantage of being skilled to perfection in the fundamentals of the game, in taking their sport seriously and with playing in front of large crowds. The opportunities for players at the provincial and national level are also plenty, but more so, the administration and coaching which are provided on these levels are immaculate. Therefore when players need to be picked for the national team to represent their country, they are skilled to perfection. On the federal level, most countries which they compete against are showing intervals where they had excellent coaching, but in New Zealand, they never have anything less than the best in their coaching calibre.

Parent Coach Leading a Young Team to Success

Statistics indicate that between the ages of six to 12 years, 70% of all children are involved in some sports activity. Indeed sportsfields globally come alive when school comes out. These same statistics also indicate that around 90% of any youth sport has some parental involvement in the role of coaching the team. To be a great parent coach is a daunting task. Not only do you need to guide the team to success, but you are also intrinsically involved in the development of these young personalities. Here are some guidelines to fulfil that role with success.

Be Certain About the Role Which You Need to Fulfill

Not only are you a teacher of particular skills to develop their sporting abilities, but also a creator of personalities. It is important to remember that in youth coaching, it is as essential to creating the person as their skills. Children need to experience the fun of being involved in teamwork and physical activity. What happens during these crucial years have an influence on their entire approach to various elements of life later on.

You Are Being Observed, Be A Great Rolemodel

Being involved in sports is about more than just winning. It is also an indication of your personality, your sportsmanship, how you bounce back after defeat and can you persevere during hardship. Sport does not only mean to compete with others but also with oneself to continually strive to improve who you are. As a coach, you are being observed by many young eyes, and they learn much more from your example than from your words. How you as a coach talk about the opposing team, how you talk to your team when they fail and how you behave during the heat of the moment are all vital examples to them of what is accepted in life and the norm to go about.

Distinguish the Line Between Being a Parent and A Coach

It can be challenging to stop parenting in the field and then switch back from it, at home. When your child is in your team, it is best to treat them like any other child while coaching. It is even considered best to let them refer to you as the coach while on the field, instead of seeing to you as their parent. It can be challenging for the child as well to be coached by a parent. It is effortless for other parents or team members to attribute your child’s success to nepotism, and the worst-case scenario is if that is true. Always be sure to switch role according to the environment which you are in and make sure that your child understands why.

Usually, when children are part of a team where a parent coach is used to train them, the odds are that they are involved in learning the greatness of being a good sportsman, a characteristic which will influence their level of success later on in life. Hence be sure to teach in a way that that correct outcomes are received.

Great Teams Function on Trust

Being the coach of a team, you would know the importance of trust within a team to be able to excel. Faith grows when the individual experience a fair share of psychological safety within the team environment. As a coach of a team, it remains your responsibility to ensure that actions which improve individual psychological safety are continually pursed by psychological safety is grounded in knowing that even if you make a mistake, you won’t be punished. When this kind of security is present within the team environment, individuals feel the freedom to speak their minds, to stick out their necks and to be creative. This leads to improved team performance.

Conflict should be Used to Collaborate, Not Alienate.

Regardless of how much humans love to win, we will always hate to lose even more. Hence whenever a situation arises which creates conflict within your team, it is best to find a solution where both parties can feel as if they are part of a win-win situation. Going into battle with the expectation that you both can walk away from the location as winners, is decreasing the possibility that someone would settle for the fight-or-flight approach. Collaborating a solution which will resolve the matter for all parties positively, is an excellent tool in any couching’s box of tricks.

Speak To Each Other On The Same Human Level

In a team, there are certain positions of importance. This can be based on social status, respect, autonomy and even competence. When entering a situation where confrontation needs to be resolved, it is better to promote reflecting on the fact that all team members have thoughts, feelings, hopes, dreams, and the list can continue. Don’t approach someone with the differences in a position separating you from each other, instead, contact the situation reflecting on the similarities binding you together. When a coach approaches a slacking player, the best wouldn’t be to do it from the perspective of being in a leadership role and speaking from a position of status, but much rather stick to an approach of one person, talking to another on the same level of humanity.

Prepare for Conflict

Before entering a situation where conflict is present, it is best to prepare for the likelihood of a couple of possible scenarios. People don’t always hear what was said, and actions aren’t still perceived as they were intended. Hence be prepared to get a variety of responses and know how you will go about to stick to your principles and real intent.

Stick to Curiosity and Refrain from Blaming

When someone might suspect that they will get blamed for a specific action or scenario, they are already on the attack and not open to finding a resolution to the matter at hand. Avoid sounding like you are planning to place blame on anyone and rather ask questions out of genuine curiosity. Instead of pretending that you know everything, remain open to new learning experiences.

Football Managers Setting Records for Worst Performance Ever

Often discussing the great and the brilliant in the industry, it would only be a balanced approach to take a glimpse at the opposite end of the stick as well. Knowing that Premier League is notorious for being very difficult to manage, who are the top five performers delivering the worst results in the history of Premier League management?

Ian Holloway at Crystal Palace During 2013

Holloway had the reigns of Crystal Palace in his hand for the 2013/14 season. This was during a time when they were experiencing difficulty in the top division, straight after winning promotion from the Championship. Under his guidance they have played eight games of which they only managed to win one, giving them an average of 0.38 points per game. This resulted in Holloway being fired, and it proofed to be an excellent decision for the team, moving up into 11th place afterwards with 45 points to their name.

2012, the Year of Terry Connor at the Wolves

Terry Connor truly has a reputation for being very nice, but he struggled severely in Premier League. Connor took over from Mick McCarthy. Unfortunately, the team was unable to win any games of their 13 played. Four draws brought in enough points for a 0.31 average on points per game. The Wolves ended up with a mere 25 points at the end of the season, and they moved back down to Championship, while Connor moved back into a more comfortable position of assistant manager.

Double Whammy for Mick McCarthy at Sunderland

McCarthy did it twice for Premier League at Sunderland. Once during 2003 and then again as manager during the 2005/06 season. From 37 games Sunderland managed to win two. Leaving them with a total score of 0.27 points per game. Thus they ended up at the bottom of the list with only 15 points achieved.

Derby 2007/08 season under Paul Jewell

Jewell took over a losing Derby team from Billy Davies, and he too was unsuccessful in bringing the team around again. He had his challenge cut out for him since keeping a promoted side in the League is a daunting task. During the season Derby did manage to set up a record, but it was for the lowest number of points at the end of a season ever. Not the kind of history any manager is hoping for. Derby played 24 games, lost 19 and had drawn on 5. A total of 0.21 points per game.

Crystal Palace Did It Again in 2017 with Frank de Boer

De Boer is famous for being the only manager in Premier League not to have scored a single point during the season. De Boer had grand plans when starting and wanted to get a new style of playing in the Crystal Palace team, but they were just only not up to it, and it led to great misery. They played four games and lost them all. His stay was short-lived, and he was fired relatively soon without ever earning any points in English management.

A Short List of the Toughest Sports in the World

Curiosity or for bragging rights, it is good to know which sports are considered as the most challenging and brutal in the world. If compared in endurance, agility, skill, speed, physicality and strength, which ones will rise to the top as the toughest? Here are the top five.

At Number Five – Ice Hockey

Firstly note that this rating is given without considering the fighting, which is a regular feature on the ice. Speed and physicality are the highest-ranking attributes for this sport. It requires a good share of endurance to chase a puck with a stick for sixty minutes on ice. Dribbling a ball with a stick at high speed demands high levels of skill too.

At Number Four – Rugby

Rugby can sometimes appear like a bunch of thugs in a brawl. Probably also the reason for rugby not having any superstars flashing their fame, for the rugby field is most likely the place where you will get knocked down for being flashy. Brutal in many ways, requiring you to run through a wall of defence much rather than going around it. It is a high impact, physically demanding 80 minutes of running around requiring endurance and strength.

At Number Three – Boxing

This one is so straight forward; it is hard to find the proper words on expanding on it even more. Except for the high impact factor, the primary physical challenge, speed, endurance and strength which it requires, it also asks for mental toughness. Whenever any boxer gets into a ring, they know pain is an undeniable factor, and they are bound to get hurt. Then they still get on with it and delivering their best.

At Number Two – Aussie Rules

Rating on a global scale of sports played internationally, yet unless you live in Australia, you might not know what it is. Also referred to as footy by the natives. This game is played with a football-like ball on an oval field, and teams need to score by getting the ball through the posts on opposing ends of the area. This can be done either by punching or kicking the ball. It sounds easy, but the endurance required is massive, and the physicality involved is challenging.

At Number One – Water Polo

With the action happening under the surface, this Olympic sport is easy to miss out on as being the toughest. Still, it requires much of the same act of any handball played on solid ground; it only happens in the water. You can expect a lot of grabbing, kicking and other sly moves which require much physicality. The games require strength and speed, and the fact that players aren’t allowed to come in contact with the bottom of the pool is increasing the endurance requirement even further. Making this sport, mainly accessible in eastern European countries, the toughest competition in the world.