Athletic Educator Timo Stiller – “What I Ask of Athletes is Attitude”

Discus throw in a sports competition (dpa / Fredrik von Erichsen)

For decades, the sports doctors at the University of Freiburg have been taking on the best athletes from various sports. Organized sport and the politics and sciences involved covered this system, and to some extent hindered the Enlightenment as well. In most cases, the athletes involved probably knew what they were doing. How does that line up with the claim to athletes’ maturity? For sports educator and philosopher Timo Stiller of the Schwäbisch Gmund University of Education, this is a contradiction in terms.

Stiller explained on the Deutschlandfunk website that steroids are a way to make victory predictable and accessible. However, the problem is: “Once that availability occurs, it becomes boring. Sports is basically the last vital environment where unavailability is part of the system. As soon as I let that unavailability become planable, the system collapses.”

Stiller said because the more a sport becomes more planable, the more it self-disposes. “Because even young children learn: If I knew I was going to lose, I wouldn’t play.” Unavailability, openness of sports competition for sports competition needs to find resonance.

“Why do we need a first-class sport?”

Doping circumvents this principle, even if the same conditions are apparently created again. But behind that is the desire to be able to plan for successes. “This is exactly why we as a society must finally ask this crucial question: Why do we need a top-class sport and why do we want a first-class sport?”

But what happens if there are no successes? The enthusiasm of the public for their citizens is no longer any heroes? In the end, it’s always about identifying spectators, says sports educator Stiller. “That’s why I don’t want to abolish first-degree sports, I basically want to abolish impersonal first-order sports. And it becomes impersonal when only the outcome is important. And it becomes personal when the focus is on the human. And then it becomes so much fun, because even defeat matters.” If they are achieved with the greatest effort or have to be tolerated, we consider this loser to be much more responsible than the winning child.”

This can be seen, for example, in professional football. “In the most professional and skewed system, this juxtaposition reveals that only in football, for example, do we have the word ‘success fan’, which in turn is not someone we want. Instead, we want to have someone who has the passion, even In football, defeat in front of a club when the club, when the players suffered.”

Character development as a goal for promotion

So the goal of public funding for top-tier sports should not be the number of medals, but rather the development of personalities who are role models. “Let’s be honest: The person we’re most attracted to is the one who puts in the most effort and makes us understand that too. We can’t explain passion to us, but we do understand what can go on there. Well” it’s the difference between what we understand about passion and what we’re told about him. We are stuck there. We finally need to understand what gets these athletes excited. “

Stiller says if the sports finance system is based on this understanding and not on outcomes, a system like the one at Sports Medicine in Freiburg would collapse from within. “It really breaks down when athletes take their maturity seriously. For example, when Max Hartung at the current sports studio said he wasn’t going to the Olympics because of the Corona pandemic, everyone was still messing around. He recognized his maturity. And that, I’m asking Of the athletes it is an attitude. And that is an attitude towards fair play. And if they give up on that, then it makes sense that the system would be broken.”

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