Why are athletes bad role models

Philippe Müller: Bad role models

A soccer field the day after the second semi-final of the World Cup in Brazil. Argentina and the Netherlands had fought a grueling battle for the finals a few hours earlier. In a city park around 10,000 kilometers from Sao Paulo, a handful of ten to twelve year old children stood facing each other. Emphasis on getting up, because instead of playing, the kids quarreled, complained and discussed as if they had fallen out of the flat screen the night before. A free kick was required for every touch, the whole pack discussed throw-in decisions and flight inserts over and over again. This observation lasted ten minutes - extrapolated into two of them, the ball rolled.

On the subject: What effects do sports role models have on adolescents?

A central task in childhood is the development of one's own identity. Both planned - education - and unplanned learning processes contribute to the socialization and identity formation of girls and boys. Above all, observing the behavior of parents and adults is of great relevance. In sport, there are also role models. Idols arouse enthusiasm and admiration in young footballers and induce them to imitate and emulate their heroes. They motivate young people to develop their skills and to pursue a goal. It is not uncommon for behaviors such as gestures and facial expressions as well as externalities such as haircut and clothing to be adopted.

However, role models also convey values ​​and morals. This includes treating the opponent and referee as well as the opposing fans with respect. Although FIFA is eagerly promoting fair play and the players wear the emblem on their sleeves, they often had to be searched for during the last World Cup in Brazil. Hardly a decision by the referee was not discussed for minutes. Even with obvious rule violations, no insight could be seen. What was striking in Brazil was that almost every action in the penalty area required a penalty kick. Hand games were claimed where there were none. And with every slightest touch, a noticeable number of players dropped theatrically. We remember Fred's case in the Brazilians' World Cup opening game against Croatia or Robben's flying skills in the round of 16 against Mexico.

Moral role model Miroslav Klose

Where have the moral role models gone in football? Do they even still exist? They are hard to find. One who still lives fair play is the German national player Miroslav Klose. He has already received two awards for his fair behavior. Once he had a goal scored by hand annulled. Sport1 quoted him on the subject as follows in 2012: “That was a matter of course for me. I know how many young viewers we have. This is a role model that has been lost a bit. We have to become role models again and maintain fairness in sport. "

It is to be hoped that such players will continue to be found more frequently in the future. Only in this way will the images on the football field change and a future generation of football will grow, in which fair play and mutual respect will be lived again. A key function is also played by the many junior coaches who have to put the behavior of professional football in perspective - or have to scoop up the soup in everyday life.


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