Now that the Fiba World Cup 2019 is behind us, we can now focus on how we can build on the lessons of this debacle in China. There are a lot of clamors to evolve our basketball program, but we do need an over-all evolution of our sports programs.
In evolving our sports programs, we can learn a thing or two from successful football club FC Barcelona and the “La Masia.” La Masia is the youth football academy of the club who trains close to 300 aspiring youth footballers in Europe. A notable alumnus of the La Masia is Lionel Messi. Ask any football aficionado, and they will recognize his name and legend. The premise of the academy is simple: train these youngsters early. And their training is not limited to football skills but also includes the history and culture of the club. Learning about the history and culture of an organization is very important since this will help shape its members.
“It is about creating one philosophy, one mentality, from the bottom of the club to the top.”
-Pep Segura (former technical director)
This approach is not an overnight formula for success in our sports programs. If we try and utilize this approach, it can somehow ease the heartbreaks we have been experiencing in international competitions. Imagine young Filipino athletes while being trained with the necessary skills, also hearing stories from sports heroes before them. Getting exposed to the sports culture of our nation and the realization that they are a part of it now.
This level of immersion into the history and sports culture will factor significantly in how these young Filipino athletes may conduct themselves. There will be more pride in donning the national team colors during international events. And the lyrics, “Alab ng puso, sa dibdib mo’ y buhay” from the national anthem will bear more weight after each victory.
We do have good technical coaches for the skills development of our athletes. Incidentally, we cannot talk about one sports history and culture as a nation. For whom are we playing? Why do we yearn to represent the country in international meets? These questions need to be answered not only by athletes but all of us sports patrons, coaches, NSA’ s, highest sports bodies of the land. If and when we are all united to answer this then we can proceed to organize our own “La Masia” and move towards a better future in sports.