Friday, 11 December 2009

Loyalty & Commitment

With the recent transfer of Bradley Wiggins to Team Sky from Garmin, it got me thinking about the kind of world we seem to live in these days. (It's not as 'deep' as this sounds so bear with me!)

Before I start, I want to state that I love the fact that Wiggo's going to ride for a British team, with British sponsors and British staff. It's going to do wonders for GB road cycling and will hopefully transfer some more of the amazing track cycling success to the road genre. (Wiggo and Cav are already doing a great job.) How far away is GB from a podium place in the Tour? It could even be next year.

So what follows is going to sound like a contradiction, but hear me out...

What has happened to good old fashioned loyalty and commitment? Sportsmen and woman are such strong role models but what kind of example do they set when they show off the lack of the two words already mentioned. I don't know the legal ins and outs of contracts, etc but what's the point of signing them anyway? You sign a contract, something better comes up, tear up said contract and move to the next highest bidder/better option.

It reminds me of being a kid, getting invited to a classmate's party. After accepting the invite, a few days later a more popular kid sent out invites for a party on the same day. Not a chance would my parents let me cancel the boring party for the popular party! And I'm so grateful this is how they brought me up. (This is just one example, there were many others.) Yes it's easy to say this not being a pro sportsperson and I understand that it's their salary and future earnings but if you make a commitment for a certain length of time, should you not stick to it?

Yes it's big money for football teams to sell players while they're still contracted so maybe this is where it all stems from, but what message does this give to the youth? I totally appreciate the decision to move isn't made over night and loads of factors come in to it, but as a neutral member of the public, all I see are people taking the better option.

So yes, Wiggo should ride for Team Sky but maybe not next year. Had he fulfilled his prior commitment to Garmin?

I'm not naive, this happens in the working world and if someone offered me more money to do my job elsewhere, who'd be the fool to not take it? It just seems different to that of the world of professional sport. One could argue that employers aren't loyal either so it's a dog eat dog environment? The same's probably true for pro sports teams?

Wouldn't it be great to every so often see a sportsperson come out and say, 'thanks for the amazing offer, but I'm going to stick to my commitment'?

Yes I'm reading into it all a bit much and maybe it's only important that these characteristics are drilled into us as children and when we get older it's about looking out for one's self (and own family in terms of income).

I try to live by the mantra of not to criticise someone until you've been in their shoes and have understood the full set of circumstances. It's too easy to comment as as outsider, so maybe I should just put this loyalty & commitment dilemma to rest and stop boring you.

Who knows, the way the world works changes every second so as long as I can go to bed every night and not have my conscious keep me awake, that's all I can ask for.

(Let's not even get started on Tiger, or should it not be Cheetah?)

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