|26 Jun 2010 @ 20:45, by Max Sandor|
but why wait so long to shoot some goals????
Now the soccer fever finally swapped over to the States. Even Bill Clinton and Mick Jagger are discussing the game in the VIP section of the South African soccer stadium.
More than time, overtime so to speak, to explain why such a simple game is able to move so many emotions all over the world. Too late of course, oh well...
Worldcup for Dummies (from [link] )
(An archetypal analysis of ad-hoc teams for novices, experts, and fans alike)
This year the entire world entered into the soccer fever for an entire month. Worldwide? Well, the average North-American is clueless how 22 adult men can run after a ball for 90 minutes without shooting a single goal and still talk of a fascinating game. For someone who was not raised with this sport, who never played even a little bit at the beach, the fascination with this game is certainly an enigma. And those who know the game usually don't think much about its ṕsychology, its unwritten implicate rules - they simply enjoy the drama as it unfolds.
And a drama it is, a spectacle with well-defined characters, with its good guys and its bad boys, its fouls, fools, and everyone under the sun is an expert. While its actors are fighting to the last second with self-less dedication, the adrenaline level is building up significantly every minute. All the losses and misses, nearly-goals, lost chances, shots onto the goal being saved heroically, all of these increase the tension of actors and spectactors to seemingly unsupportable heights. Only then the final climax of a ball entering a goal can become an orgastic experience or a traumatic shock, depending which side one is supporting in the game. Without becoming a fan for one of the sides, the game is a pointless waste of time indeed. But if one does, for 90 minutes life has another meaning. And only so it can happen that the whistle of the referree after a match without a single goal can cause a huge sigh of relief, make ordinary people dance in the street in cold rain and create new symbols in today's life and culture.
To understand this strange circumstance it helps to look at soccer as a reflection and a dramatization of life itself, its struggle for survival, its losers and its winners. Like in life, sheer luck and hard work conspire to produce sometimes unexpected results. Like in life we can detect the attitudes of what we call the archetypes, their scripts, and strategies, both in respect to the adversary as to its own team, its inner clockwork that, driven forward, creates the battle of heroes, the gladiators of our times. A welcomed break from the worries of real-life, bread and games for the people of the world.
What is Soccer?
Soccer was created as a team sport 100 years ago to serve as military training exercise. Its mission is to make a ball go into a rectangle of the adversary and he is trying to do the same on your side. A simple task it seems, not much different than rugby or basketball. However, with its rules, the dimensions of the playing field, and the number of players involved, it is prone to yield a very small number of hits and therefore just one single such hit can decide the entire game. The mission requires therefore significantly more strategy and cooperation than many other ball games and its mission members must have clearly separated responsibilities and objectives in order to form a successfull taskforce.
As with any task-oriented workgroup a soccer team will gravitate towards an optimal mixture of archetypes amongst its members if it is only given enough opportunity and time to mature. The principal parameters for any taskforce mixture of archetypes consist of the nature of the project, the numbers of players in the team, and the significance of a project instance within a larger context of meaning. If we take the Soccer Worldcup 2010 as an example the ultimate goal is to emerge from the first round and then survive the elimination rounds in order to arrive at the grand final. For a tournament, additional parameters apply. For example, a player who received two yellow cards is being excluded in the subsequent game and this rule can have a significant impact on the selection of pĺayers for a game at hand.
Over the past decades, the worldwide soccer business enabled transfers of talented players from all countries and continents towards the bigtime Central-European teams. This resulted in a more equalized quality level of players worldwide but also in an increased familarity of the players amongst each others. With some of these transfers being 'naturalized' in their host countries, the concept of teams representing their nations or ethnic groups has lost a lot of its original meaning. At the same time, successful coaches migrated to countries that were soccer-wise 'underdevelopped' in the past and boosted their technical excellence and strategy skills. In short, the characteristics of national teams are being more and more replaced by globally used and accepted game strategies.
With the teams themselves playing constantly more at the same skill level, the role of the coach becomes significantly more important than in the past. His primary task consists of finding the right 'mix' of 11 players within the context of a one-month tournament. He can access a pool of 22 players of which many play against each other in different teams and countries before and after the cup. In this context the psychological aspects within the team members come to a crucial importance and the decision of the coach whom to let play alongside whom can make or break a game and ultimately the tournament as a whole.
Let's look at the cast now:
Read on at the not-quite-official Worldcup for Dummies is at [link]