Around the Wicket - Big Roy and Leadership GroupsWell, a week on – and it seems that Big Roy Symonds is still the talk of the town. Since his departure from the team, every journo worth his or her salt has come out in support of the move, and many have canned Symonds further.
Rebecca Wilson (who erroneously believes that all sportsmen and women are role models) claimed in the Sydney Telegraph that Roy told one of her mates (a well-known TV presenter) to F*** off at a function once, Malcolm Conn wrote in The Australian that Symonds once “shaped up” to him in a bar in Sri Lanka, but security intervened, and Ben Dorries has also been very scathing of Symonds in The Courier Mail. Perhaps the most shocking thing I’ve read though, was that Doug Walters said that Simmo should pull his head in. Pardon? If Doug was playing today, he’d have been on that boat with Roy - no doubt about it. Maybe Doug should pull his head in.
But, there will be no Roy bashing here. I’m a huge Symonds fan, and I reckon he is a bit of a throwback to a bygone generation - a generation where there was no such thing as “optional” training sessions, or “compulsory” team meetings organised on short notice. It was also a generation devoid of the one thing I hate most about sporting organisations these days – leadership groups.
It has become vogue for sports teams all over the world to have what is termed a “leadership group” or “senior players” group. I don’t know how they started, or when, but they are a bad idea. Any sports team should have just one designated leader – a captain. That captain should be responsible for all decisions regarding the team. A team should also have a vice captain – because the captain could be injured. That is where it should stop. There should be no such thing as a “Deputy Vice Captain”, “Co-captain”, or “Team Leader”. All those groups accomplish is make younger players feel uncomfortable approaching, and ostracised from, the senior players. They also turn players who are in the “leadership group” into prima donnas, because they start thinking they are a bit more important than they really are (you can insert which current Australian player you think I’m talking about here), and these groups actually detract from the strength of the captain. If a captain is saying things like “The leadership group has decided…” instead of “As captain, I have decided…”, he instantly seems like he’s not a strong enough captain to make decisions on his own.
The current Australian Cricket Leadership Group also has too much power. The leadership group decided Symonds shouldn’t play? Well, why does the team have selectors then? Isn’t it their job to decide who does and doesn’t play? The leadership group decided to suspend Roy Symonds? Well, why have coaches and administrators? I thought it was the coach’s job to be in charge of the group, and the administrator’s job to discipline individuals?
Maybe I’m not “up with the times”, or I’m not “hip”, but it seems to me that something which shouldn’t be all that complicated, now is. What do you think?
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