Is it just me or ……

Recently I read an analysis in Dutch sportmagazine in disbelief….. it was about my profession as a coach.
Holland has 17 million inhabitants and 4.3 million are somehow engaged in sports. Holland has 400.000 coaches (it’s not clear what the definition of coach was), but 90% of the coaches is uneducated, really …. 90%!

In a time where even a person who is delivering your pizza or walking your dog is required to be educated for this task. But coaching, also meaning being responsible for the mental, physical and even the social health of your children, anyone seems to be able to do that without an education, it’s probably the last “profession” in which this is possible.

Not a miracle that the social status of a coach in Holland, is all the way at the bottom of the status ladder. Jokingly I always answer when asked how I became a coach that I was too lazy to work and too stupid to study, so I became a coach. Unfortunately this joke doesn’t seem to be far from the truth. Sending your kids to a sports club in Holland means that you have 90% change that the person becoming responsible for your kids has no clue what they are doing. To make it worse, I am not convinced about the quality of 10% of the coaches that actually is educated, of which a large percentage did a 1 day workshop on let’s say speed training, and now has become a “speed expert”.

In many cases, the license or diploma is also just a paper shield, gained by attending a course or workshop. Nowadays people don’t like to be examined, their egos are too fragile to be evaluated, they might be confronted by their own incompetence, and who wants to break their illusion of competence. Most coach’s education systems for coaches in Holland thus are without exams, you just sit there and get your yearly necessary accreditation points. Points for attendance, not for quality.

I realize won’t become popular or making friends, by saying that coach’s education is terrible at the moment and that this should be improved and that coaches need to be examined again, instead of being rewarded for mere presence. I never won a popularity poll and never intended to, and I have enough friends left on Facebook.

Say no to doping …. but yes to drugs.

Our national sports council is a recently founded organization in which invited people (or better celebrities) will try and help to improve sports in Holland.
And that is a good thing, sports has many potential positive qualities, although most of us deny the fact that sports also gives place to less desirable qualities as well. Or like George Orwell stated: “Serious sport has nothing to do with fair play. It is bound up with hatred, jealousy, boastfulness, disregard of all rules and sadistic pleasure in witnessing violence. In other words, it is war minus the shooting”

After all, the roots of sports can be found in preparation for the hunt or the preparation for war or survival: archery, wrestling, boxing, fencing, equestrian, shooting, javelin throwing, running, jumping are good examples. Civilization only molded modern sports into a more socially acceptable form and at the same time saw opportunities to again misuse sport for political goals, and propaganda.
Just watch the movie “Triumph des Willens” by Leni Riefenstahl about the 1936 Nazi-Olympics tosee a perfect example.

Or sports has been degraded to  money-making machine for a small and select group of people, lots of money and thus created organizations controlled by white-collar criminals, like IAAF, IOC, FIFA: white-washing, theft, fraud, corruption, nepotism, etc. You name it, they do it and they get away with it as well.

One of the members of our National Sports Council is Duncan Stutterheim, a guy who made his fortune organizing famous Dutch dance-events like White Sensation. He is in the National Sports Council, because of his experience with large scale events and because he knows what a young generation of people want.

In a recent interview he stated that he is very much opposed against the use of doping in sports. No surprise here, but what surprised me is that within the same sentence, without blinking an eye, he added that he is tolerant towards drugs, having used them himself and in the beginning of his career even made lots of money selling drugs. His event, White Sensation has been known to be the largest gathering of drug users in the world and drug dealers have been making a fortune there, mainly XTC and cocaine.

This really beats me: I do not know of any athlete in Holland who died from the use of doping in the last 20 years. I know however that in 2016, 235 people die of drug use. I don’t know of any doping wars, but I know about narco-states and drug cartels, killing thousands of people yearly, think aboutMexico, Colombia and Afghanistan to mention a few. Even 9 out of 10 criminal liquidations executed in our country are about drug gangs, drug production, trafficking and sales. I know about the environmental and health damage by criminals dumping large amounts of toxic waste from the production of synthetic drugs in the environment.

So here is my point: how can someone who says no to doping, but say yes to drugs, be a member of our National Sports Council, trying hard to improve the health, wellness and the future of our youth?
Probably I am not smart enough to understand that, maybe it is my lack of the use of mind-altering drugs.


  1. Willem Leeuwenzaal

    Status is primarily determined by income. The reason that the status of a coach in Holland is low is because the overwhelming majority of those 400.000 are volunteers. Raising their level of education, although a laudable goal on its own, is not going to change that.

    1. Income is only one of the factors determining social status, level of education is another one. Since in Holland we suffer from degree-fetishm, having a degree, or proof of a level of education will certainly raise status. Not having any education nor anything to show certainly doesn’t help, it has the status of a hobby. Education of coaches is cheap and simple. But also we will get better and healthy athletes, mentally and physically, which I consider at least to be as important as income or status.

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