Thu | Nov 26, 2020

Encourage online gaming and learning for footballers – Semaj

Published:Sunday | October 25, 2020 | 12:23 AMLennox Aldred - Sunday Gleaner Writer

Mount Pleasant’s Suelare McCalla (right) jostles for possession of the ball with Molynes’ Sergeni Frankson at the Constant Spring Sports Complex in their Red Stripe Premier League encounter on Sunday, December 15, 2019.
Mount Pleasant’s Suelare McCalla (right) jostles for possession of the ball with Molynes’ Sergeni Frankson at the Constant Spring Sports Complex in their Red Stripe Premier League encounter on Sunday, December 15, 2019.
Semaj
Semaj
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As the country continues to fight with the deadly coronavirus disease, sports in Jamaica has been at a virtual standstill, with only horse racing and golf getting the green light to go ahead under strict protocols to host events.

With the community spread of the virus in full effect, it is still not known when the country’s most popular sport, football, will get back underway.

Renowned psychologist Dr Leahcim Semaj believes the lack of on-field action is forcing a lot of young sportsmen into anti-social elements, as was the case with a popular top-flight local footballer who is now in custody following the shooting death of a businessman in St Thomas recently.

Semaj explained that, psychologically, young sportsmen are motivated by the excitement and adrenaline rush of conflict within a competition, and with that, the powers that be must find creative and safe ways to allow for these individuals to absorb and channel those energies in a meaningful way.

One suggestion for Semaj is to utilise the downtime with online gaming and learning, which he believes will benefit the individuals in the long term.

“There is the famous saying that ‘The Devil finds work for idle hands’, and I would encourage them now to start using some of that idle time and energy to play football online, play video games to get some of that competitive edge out,” said Semaj.

ONLINE CLASSES

“If we could so encourage the footballers and sportsmen in general, while you are waiting for your league to start back, I want them to do a class online. I want sportspeople to start to think about their post-football career,” added Semaj.

The noted psychologist says this is the opportune time for sportspersons to think about what they want to do after their careers are over, and the climate is ripe to get a jump-start in that regard.

Meanwhile, Andrew Price, head coach of National Premier League team Humble Lion, is in total agreement with Semaj, as he is encouraging everyone who is involved in football to utilise the downtime to do a lot of research and update themselves to the best practices that have evolved over time.

“Whether you are a coach or a trainer or defender or goalkeeper, you can go online and look at the new trends and keep yourself occupied by reading a lot. We are in a global village now where we have the Internet and can utilise YouTube to learn things that can assist us to improve our game. At the end of the day, what we want is for our players to come out of this pandemic more productive in whatever way possible,” said Price.