‘Sport in society’ has become a catch-all phrase that embodies everything from the definitions for success and identity, acquisition of fame and fortune, and embellishment of power and prestige. But how would the Ancients have related to such a collage of forces? What say the gladiators of Rome as spectators at a Super Bowl; the wrestlers of Greece as flag bearers at the London Summer Olympics? Would the role of today’s athlete, their celebrity attraction and societal influence, be foreign to the athletes and sport performers of the Classical Age? Comparisons? Lessons? Conclusions?
From the history of sport in the classical era, can we draw informative comparisons and essential lessons that help us comprehend the power, the danger, and the absurdity of the world’s number one entertainment industries, intercollegiate and professional sport?
What do we need to know about the questions, themes and concepts listed below? Our personal values, our sense of society, our definitions of success, good and evil, and self-worth are all tied, inextricably, to our obsession with all things ‘athletic’, from competitions to competitors, from teams and championships, to affiliations with schools, cities and states. Apply these questions to your concepts of sport and you may reveal much about yourself. Apply the questions to the history of sport, and you may learn much about the power of athletics in our society today.
Identifying and recruiting the “right person” for development of the superior individual as a team member and sport champion
- The rigors and pressures that influence athlete performance
- Understanding women in sport and the power of athletic competition for all
- The Olympic ideal and the Olympic reality- Years in the Making, Seconds in the Moment
- The role of mental and physical discipline in preparation for sport
- Coaching as teaching; teaching as coaching
- The role of tradition and history in the preparation and motivation of teams
- The athlete’s decision—when to let go of their sport; understanding the end of a journey
- The value of historical perspectives and finding ‘winning combinations’
- How to find, how to inspire, and how to cultivate motivation
- What facilities mean to the successful athlete and/or championship team—athletic success from the ground up and the athlete’s training and competition environment
- Harnessing the athlete’s competitive spirit and drive for success
- Managing external forces, distractions, and pressures for athletes, teams, and competitions
- The power of sport—who is doing the driving—money, fame, status, and power
- Administration of sport—the organization, rules, and resources to build and maintain a team and an industry