As an Australian, I am afraid I struggle to build up the appropriate supportive fervour for an English sporting team no matter how long I may have lived here. Nevertheless, I am aware that English World Cup Football hasn’t been enormously successful over the past…er…decades, and despite everything I would like to see them do a little better if they could. And it seems that the FA would also like to see some improvement as well – and as a result, they have prohibited the players from saying anything via social media during the weeks of the World Cup.
Although one could see this as an effort to prevent the players from disclosing tactical secrets or letting any weaknesses slip out into the public arena, I am actually not so sure. I am pretty confident most of the players would like to see England do better as well, and most of them (one would hope) would think twice before giving their opponents an edge. Actually, I think this is more a case of trying, as the article says, “just to focus players’ minds on the task at hand.”
We live in a world afflicted by attention deficit disorder, in my humble opinion. With so much going on, so many things to update, look at, read, catch up on, respond to, announce or check, that fantastic state of pure, unadulterated focus is something that many of us rarely experience. However, no matter how clever we all feel we are because we can do so many things at once, in order to be the absolute best you can be, to truly become an expert or a master, you need focus. That might be an old fashioned way to look at things, but I do feel it still holds true…as does the FA.
I have to admit, there are fewer pleasures as wonderful as being totally in the moment when you are doing something. It is when you experience perfect focus, nothing else matters and time seems to disappear. The only thing important is what you are doing, and you could do it forever. I get it often when I am reading or studying. I also get it when I am running long distances. Unfortunately, when I get back to the ‘real-world’, with phones, Facebook, people, Twitter, email, forums, Skype and everything else clamouring for my attention, that feeling vanishes. I think that the reasoning behind the FA’s decision to do this is to ensure that the players are 100% in that moment without distraction. Personally, I don’t see it as a clamp down on social media, free speech, or anything of the sort. I see it as an effort to get England to win.
I guess the proof will be in the pudding. Will this be England’s year? And if so, will it be because they aren’t busy Twittering during half time?
Thanks to paulmorris for the image