In this “new normal”, are skills more important than education?

The science is settled. Besides any personal opinion one has, it is proven that man is a social animal and all the progress we have made up to this point is a result of forming social bonds and institutions.

At any given point or place in history, all great things have emerged because people got together, formed some kind of collaboration and cooperated to make things happen. Communication is the key, along with human contact. From early societies, to golden ages, empires, renaissances and modern societies, people work together and achieve together common goals.
The same with our darkest hours; we came together to make harm or create evil upon others, a group of people against another group, followers of an ideology, a belief, against others who shared another worldview. We are our own saviors or destroyers.

This is a time when we once again are at a crossroad, having to choose(or having someone else to make this choice for us) a path that makes us or breaks us. A decision that will affect generations to come.

What does all of this have to do with sports, athletes and the field we are dealing with? Keep on reading and the connection will become clear.

This is not intended to be political, just random food for thought.

We have been living in this “new” {normal} for some months now and it just seems it is getting wilder and wilder. Laws, restrictions and all kinds of new suggestions on how we are to live, are on a daily basis. Makes you wonder if we shall ever go back to what used to be our life in the distant 2019. Even the most naive knows that the answer is no, we are not going back. But where are we at, and what seems to be important right now and tomorrow?

From what we have seen, there are things which are allowed, and things that are not. Important and not important, essential workers and irrelevant, permitted actions and non-permitted.
So, what have we seen? We see that traditional education might be coming to an end in the form we know it. Schools close due to the response to Covid-19, leaving the first and most important field of human socialization out of the picture. Schools turn to either digital education from home or to extreme measures like masks, fewer students and hours, distancing rules, and more rules that makes you wonder whether any student has ever been sick in school before March 2020. Younger students can go to school, while the older ones and universities urge their students to adopt the digital platforms. So, human contact at a minimum. What kind of animal will this approach breed?

That is a trend.

On the other hand, sports-although competitions have their restrictions too- seem to be continuing. There are contact sports that cannot have social distancing in place obviously, so they are “left out” of the discussion altogether, with the authorities just asking for a negative test. Seems a bit double-sided.

So, does this trend show that in the future, we will shift from the gravity a formal education has, to a more skill-oriented education? That diplomas won’t mean as much as what a person is and how they can actually perform in a given task? That what results one can bring is not tied to the diplomas they possess?

In this world, youth sports can be a beacon of light. It can be used as the educational platform that kids need.
Sports teaches exactly that; with your own personal value, commitment and work ethic, you can master anything. There is no need for other proof than that which you provide everyday on the court(and translate court into anything you wish).
We have seen people that finished great schools and have a ton of diplomas, and letters after their name, not being able to live up to the hype, and just hide behind the titles but never achieving or getting better at their task, or even providing something of value.

Athletes are not of course magically the best. But I have never seen an athlete that didn’t want to improve, to compete to be the best they can be and not want to listen to advice given from someone with more experience.
That is what an athletic education brings to the individual. The discipline, the way to get things done and the commitment to goals.

It seems that if the world shifts focus from traditional education and it’s gravity, and points focus to the qualities of the individual to be cultivated, those with a genuinely athletic mindset are the winners. Athletes know how to practically implement everything they learn. That doesn’t stop at only their sport, but even more it goes beyond, it becomes a habit and a normal way of living for the individual.

At this point, I really don’t know what to wish for…