Introducing CRUCS – SMN’s Campaign for Real Urgency in Community Sport
Complacency: a feeling of contentment and-self satisfaction especially when accompanied by unawareness of actual dangers or trouble, Merriam-Webster Dictionary
We have a serious problem in too many parts of community sport. It could grow more serious in the future if we all (yes, that does include you, sorry) do not act now. The good news is that there is a solution.
The problem is complacency. We have all seen it, yet we underestimate its power and how widespread it is. Highly destructive complacency is in fact all around us, including in places where people would vehemently deny its existence.
Complacent people are mostly content with the status quo. “Yes, the numbers are down but that is down to X-Factor, the Government, funding cuts or the Internet. Nothing to do with what we do, and don’t do here.” (Yes, I am sure you have heard all the excuses and more).
There is certainly not a lot we can do, the Complacent agree amongst themselves. In the meantime everything around them is sliding downwards. Classes are closed, teams are disbanded, events are cancelled and the cash reserves are dwindling – but as you will notice in the definition above this is about feeling and self satisfaction. Complacency is very much a feeling that a person has about his or her own behaviour, about what he or she needs to do or not to do.
The Complacent never think they are complacent. “We are doing what is right – so why consider new opportunities or be concerned about hazards – we know what has worked in the past. If only others would change, all would be well.” And so the vicious spiral of complacency continues. “Crisis? What crisis?”
Too many sports clubs and other activity providers focus primarily (if not only!) on day-to-day operational issues from the quality of the swimming pool water and staffing and/or volunteering issues to complaining about bosses/politicians or the Governing Body. It is too rare that I experience activity providers which spend any significant time and resources considering and planning for the impact that changing lifestyles, technology and economic and political factors can have on their enterprise, both positively and negatively. The challenge is to change and innovate before the bailiffs are at the door; then it’s too late.