Any good at football?

Inland paddling
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Scuba Dave
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Any good at football?

Post by Scuba Dave »

This week I’ve been helping at my local outdoor pursuits centre. One of the staff there happened to mention that the kids that don’t like/are not so good at football tend to become the better paddlers.

This got me thinking, none of the people I paddle with (including myself) play any football. So how widespread is this?

Any ideas of a reason why this might be? Or just coincidence?


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james fleming
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Post by james fleming »

I dont play football, when i do Iam crap. I like to watch the games on a Saturday night.

As for paddling...Iam better at it than football.

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Post by Finchy »

I've played for school and a sunday league team but now I've started paddling I wish I hadn't.

Still watch a lot and have sacraficed a few games watching Burnley this season to get on a river.

Can't say I've really missed not being on the games or the playing.

I also believe you can paddle for a lot longer in life so at 28 I still think I've a lot a years left in a boat.I can't wait.

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Post by buck197 »

Does the reverse apply, I was a pretty good football player and am a crap paddler (trying to improve though). My Name is stencilled on the bottom of my boat so people know whose swimming again!!!!!

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Mark R
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Post by Mark R »

I was the kid always picked last when they were deciding teams at school.

Trouble is, it's always been pretty much the same with kayaking too.
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Post by Rockrat »

I don't like football, and none of the people i paddle with particularly like the sport either. What i have noticed though is that alot of paddlers do climbing and other outdoor sport, like skiing.
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Ed Lefley
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Post by Ed Lefley »

Always the last to be picked for football, never made the school team (except at primary school where there were only 3 boys in my yr)

Never any good at Rugby (should have been though, one of the tallest and biggest in the yr)

Better at Hockey, but only a little bit

Can't climb brilliantly as i'm scared of heights (tried one of those auto belay things at Craggy Island where you have to let go of everything to get back down and hated it)

Mountain bike a bit, orienteering a bit adn snowsports a bit

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Post by CptBorg »

I consider myself a decent all rounder, including footy and kayaking. Im a jack of all trades and master of none. I find ability give or take a little natural predilection (is that a word?) is merely a reflection of the time you invest in things.

You are of course more likely to become involved in a new activity if you arnt already occupied with one, and football starts young whereas kayaking is usually something taken to slightly later in life (generalising). Therefore it stands to reason that those not 'taken' by football, rugby and whatever else are more likely to spend time kayaking.

Perhaps i need to invest a little more time in my deductive reasoning (and drink less)

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Patrick Clissold
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Post by Patrick Clissold »

I was never good at football in school. I cant find any interest in it. A lot of overpaid players kicking a ball into a net.

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David Fairweather
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Post by David Fairweather »

I always played football because that was what kids are supposed to do, I hated it and was convinced that I'd never be any good at sport. I've got no real love of any competitive sports.

Ed: if you climb at craggy, I guess you're based in or near guildford, who do you paddle with?

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James Hartley
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Post by James Hartley »

Patrick C wrote:I was never good at football in school. A lot of overpaid players kicking a ball into a net.
Pretty much the same for me. Last to get picked when at school, and that didn't bother me as I didn't want to play anyway. Don't really take an interest in it now and I'm quite happy to ignore it, when on the telly box.
I have played since occasionaly with the lads off the watch, and we do keep having a bit of a kick around, I'm still no good, but at least nobody minds, and I do enjoy it more than I used to do.
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Post by Poke »

Ditto most of the above... My footy skills are pap.
I played for a season on the subs bench of the under 12's team who were permanently at the bottom of the last division. We regularly lost 10-0. The best/worst of the thrashings being in the 20's.
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Post by Ricks-Freestyle-Mind »

Hi guys
Im only 15 so i play for school and have kick abouts with my mates. I cant play for a team, obviously as im paddling at weekends. Once i've left school i cant emagine playing much football! So i sappose i'll start to get a bear belly! Dirty beer!



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Post by Jules »

It is true that, broadly speaking paddlers are less likely to be footballers. I know why too...

Can't enlighten you just yet though as I have to put a 3 year old to bed. All will be revelaed soon.


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Post by Kretha »

yup, useless at football, used to play rugby untill I got the high school record for the shortest time on the pitch......25 seconds, oops!

Merry Christmas all!


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Post by NPearce »

Personally I dont like football, dont understand it and dont intend to, plus it fuels the football v's kayaking arguments at work.

A couple of the guys do enjoy and regularly go to football matches, but does Coventry City really count?


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Post by pwilkinson »

Jules wrote:I have to put a 3 year old to bed.
good luck with that tonight

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Post by popeye87 »

I must be the odd one out then lol.
Played football since...well very young. Captained my school team, played regularly for two teams at the same time aswell as my school team. I was a good player (not meaning to float my own boat) however when i began kayaking more my motivation for football dropped and now i only play for a team on a saturday. Kayaking takes priority tho, footballs second. I think my motivation dropped playing football because it just doesnt give you an adrenaline rush in comparison to kayaking.

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Post by Tom_Laws »

Jules wrote:It is true that, broadly speaking paddlers are less likely to be footballers. I know why too...

Can't enlighten you just yet though as I have to put a 3 year old to bed. All will be revelaed soon.


Is it because we have webbed feet?

I can't play football to save my life, but have started playing squash, well after a fashion!


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Post by Jules »

OK, babies all in bed. I can recommend "Mrs McTats and Her Houseful of Cats" as a bed time story, although the rhyming goes to pot on the last page because we are in the UK and therefore Z is a Zed and not Zee.

Anyway, enough of that....

Why are paddlers no good at football?

It is all to do with when you are born.

It is a proven fact that those who were born earlier in the academic year tend to be better at mainstream sports (in this case football). This is because they are more physically and mentally developed than their younger peers and so outperform them. As a result they get picked for teams ahead of younger players and are therefore offered more training/coaching opportunities. The result is that the skills gap between the two groups widen and the less able players (including a disproportionate number of younger players) loose interest.

So how does paddling fit into this. The above model doesn’t apply to canoeists for a couple of reasons :-

1. People get introduced to paddling at an older age than they do football, so the age gap between the beginning and the end of the academic year makes less of a difference.
2. Paddling is an activity which is normally, at least at an introductory level, non-competitive and therefore it is the paddlers enthusiasm which dictates their coaching opportunities (I believe this theory was first put forward by Steve Train).

From this we would expect a poll of canoeist’s month of birth to reveal an even spread throughout the year. Having carried out such a survey over a number of years and within many clubs (admittedly in a very unscientific manner) I have found that this is not the case and in fact the canoeing fraternity has a disproportionate number of people who were born in the latter months of the academic year (March – August).

To explain this we need to find a reason why people who are born later in the academic year have a greater enthusiasm for paddling than those born earlier (as stated in 2 above). My answer to this is that those born earlier in the year are more likely to be into mainstream sports such as football and as such have less time/enthusiasm to get into a new sport such as paddling, leaving those who are no good at football to take up a less mainstream sport such as canoeing. Therefore, in broad terms, paddlers are no good at football.

As I said earlier, this is not a scientific study and I am happy to open the floor to discussion, criticism, or applause. I think this is a really interesting area of study and there is probably a PhD in it somewhere.


PS I almost wrote this up a few days ago after Daffers sent me the results of a poll of her club members’ birth dates which showed 80% were born from March to August.
PPS I personally play football once a week although I am not very good. I was born in January.

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Post by DaveCC »

Never liked playing football or most team sports (excluding the odd bit of canoe polo)!! Always been more into mountains/climbing/rivers/sea etc.

I suppose for me, I don't like pitting myself against someone else, but rather me against me + nature and my fears.... Also, I've spent way to much time fixing football related injuries - never seen a kayak one and only 2 climbing ones at work!!

Jules - I'm born in March, so the theory holds true for me..


Post by Porgyaker »

cant play football for love nor money but i learnt to cartwheel within a year of starting boating and was looping in another six months

cant do those keepy uppy things though.......

funny that............

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Post by meatballs »

Use to be pretty good at football (even use to get up early to goto school and play in the mornings!), school teams, local sunday team (won league and few cups etc), wasn't bad at rugby, but I've always been slight and running past everyone doesn't work after a certain age, you have to run through them!

Never liked watching football on tv, and never really supported a football team either. Eventually got bored of football by the time I started gcses and don't enjoy kicking a ball about anymore, dropped it entirely.

Started kayaking at uni, after doing 1-2 tiny bits of flatwater stuff at school. Pool sessions once a week meant I pretty much picked up all the bcu strokes and rolling in a few months, definitly picked it up a lot faster than others.

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Post by jonl »

This topic is very intersting to me as I have been mad keen on sports from a young age growing up with 3 brothers. At a young age I was by far the least talented of all of the brothers at most sports, but I think as a result I had to try a little harder resulting in me probably having the most success. Rugby was probably my main sport and there is a similar issue with this and football, as most children choose football over rugby resulting in most of the more talented ball players choosing football.
I played football at school, making the school team more often than not, but have not played competitively since leaving school. I did not however start paddling until I was in my early thirties as every weekend was taken up with Rugby or Cricket, and I still spend more weekends on the rugby pitch than I do on the river.
Jules' point about when in the year you are born is a very valid one (october for me), though I suspect that there has been plenty of research done into this, and it would be difficult to write a novel thesis.

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Post by Adrian Cooper »

Football!!!!! Absolutely awful, bunch of thugs running round a pitch chasing a ball and kicking each other, I can think of nothing worse.

Yes I was hopeless at it and, maybe it's my influence, but my three boys hate it as much. Two of them have joined me in boating and have become proficient paddlers.

For your interest I also dislike just about all other team sports, rugby, cricket, basketball, lacrosse, dodgeball, etc.

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Post by ziehmstephen »

I was rubbish at footy except in goal, i.e crap at delicate control of the ball but good at throwing myself around. I was also a rugby player and I played to a pretty high level, quitting a year and a half ago when I realised I wasn't single minded enough (always having a love of the outdoors) to take it as far as I could. Then I took up W.W Kayaking and am obsessed. I achieved much quicker results in kayaking than climbing which I still pursue to a lesser extent. My point is I think there are similarities between football and climbing, i.e delicate movements and finesse. There is no doubt that these exist in kayaking and rugby aswell, all the best paddlers/player have it, but I think to a lesser extent. The qualities that made me a goalie rather than an outfield player are I think the same as the qualities that made my success quicker in kayaking and rugby. e.g dynamism and that "throw yourself at it quality" that I have seen in so many good kayakers. I guess the finesse will develop in my paddling (it is already starting to)but I think it would be useless without the attitudes and qualities I have mentioned. Phew!!
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Post by cswalker »

Funny, I was on the understanding that there is a direct correlation between football and the new law allowing legal gay 'marriage'?

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Post by blueraelian »

LoL, I' m afraid I would have to agree there, i'm not a bad footballer although I have hung up my boots, even from the 5 a side on a Monday with the lads, just started on the rivers so I can't put myself down to much....( swam twice on first run..damn eddy lines, just the once on the second run....damn rocks)
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Post by Porgyaker »

football is for boys paddling is for men

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Post by Gary Manwaring »

As a March birthday, I guess it is only to be expected that I am a nauturally gifted allrounder.

David Musgrove, who is an August birthday, and hence a school-year-baby-face, totally sucks at footy.

Theory proven.

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