Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Is Second Best?

I was at home the other day and for the first time in ages turned on daytime TV for some background noise and happened upon a chat show that was discussing: Is Second Best? The argument put forward was whether having to deal with defeat or finishing in second at an early stage of your career more helpful in the long term than instant success? This got me thinking so I wanted to share my thoughts with you on this subject.

Personally I feel instant success can be detrimental to long term success. There are exceptions to this rule but on the whole the quicker success is achieved the shorter the success lasts. Finishing in second place or losing out to others in things like competitions, job interviews and auditions is a test of character. It is at this time where we find out if the thing we are pursuing is truly what we want to do with our life. When this happens we can either accept it and say that we aren’t good at something or we can actually be proactive and tell ourselves we want to be the best and work even harder to become better than the competition. The one thing we can’t do is keep going in to competitions, job interviews and auditions thinking we are the best when we are getting knock back after knock back just hoping that one day we will win something, you have to earn the right to call yourself the best and you do that by working hard and delivering the good when it matters.

Having to go through a period of finishing second makes us appreciate it more when we finally win as we know what it has taken to get there and we know the experience of finishing second all to well. It is also good to start by finishing second and then finishing first as it shows your development and progress whereas if you have finished first from the start it has harder to see how you have improved. To succeed in this world it’s not just your talent that will get you to the top as you also need a strong character to make it happen.

Without a strong work ethic and support success can be taken away as quickly as it is gained. Take TV talent contest winners like Hearsay, David Sneddon, Steve Brookstein etc All these guys were thrust in to the limelight after winning singing competitions just for them to have short term success followed by a fall from fame within a very short space of time. If you compare Hearsay to Liberty X who finished second in the Popstars series who went on to have more chart success or David Sneddon who finished first in Fame Academy and Lemar who finished third who again went on to achieve more chart success. Its not about the position you finish in it is what you do after the result that counts.

If you ask most successful people they will tell you tales of times where they didn’t get the part or win the competition. Just because you only see someone on the telly when they are famous don’t assume that happened over night and they won everything on the way to getting there.

So in summing up to me finishing second is best when you are developing your talent as it can teach you much more than winning ever can and when you are developing your talent it’s not success that is important, its learning which is the important part.

What do you think? Do you agree? Have you experienced finishing second? And has finishing second motivated you on to better things? Let us know by joining in our topic of the week by going to:

Adam Sibley
Founder of the Talented Young People organisation
"Envisage it, Believe it, Achieve it!"

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

The Global Credit Crunch

The credit crunch is hitting the world hard. Prices of everyday items are going up, prices for petrol are rising and so on and so on. I don’t want to look at this from the affect this has on the economy or the general public, I want to look at this from the affect that it has on young people achieving their dreams.

When there is a global credit crunch the government have less money to invest in youth related projects. A big source of income for the government is based on the spending of the general public and when they aren’t spending it hurts the economy which the government have to support. Unfortunately funding and spending on youth projects is way down the list of priorities when governments do budgets so this means that youth projects supported by the government or by other funding bodies disappear or run a smaller service due to the lack of money. These youth services could be anything from art to sport projects.

Then we have youth charities which rely on donations to keep running. During a global credit crunch the public have less money so their income from donations dwindles and again affects the way in which they can operate. Similar to this we have youth organisations which require their members or the families of their members to pay a fee or a subscription to keep the organisation going. Because these organisations rely so heavily on subscriptions the inability of just a couple of families to pay fees could make a huge difference to the service they provide. The costs of running youth organisations are going up but because of the situation of their members many youth organisations can’t raise their fees.

We also have to look closer to home. If the family budget is tighter with more money spent on everyday things it means there is less money for parents to spend to help their children reach their dreams. This could be anything like buying a new pair of football boots, taking a child to an audition or paying for a child to attend a club.

In these times it is stories like that of George Sampson who won ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ become more common place. George performed dance routines on the streets of Manchester to raise money to put petrol in his parents car to get to shows and auditions because his family couldn’t afford to take him otherwise. Then in one night his life changed as he won £100,000 to help his mum pay her mortgage.

George wasn’t the first person to fight through financial adversity to achieve their dreams and won’t be the last. Young people and their families need to now be more creative with their thoughts and ideas and need to do more research on how they can help their young child to achieve their dreams on a shoestring budget as believe you me there are ways and it can be easily done. Buying someone the best guitar doesn’t make them the best guitarist. If you have talent and can find a way of showcasing it then you have a great chance of achieving greatness no matter what your financial situation is.

Adam Sibley
Founder of the Talented Young People organisation
"Envisage it, Believe it, Achieve it!"

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Londoncentric Thinking

Many countries across Europe are currently enjoying following their national football teams in Euro 2008 where us English people have to watch other countries enjoying the party whilst wishing we were there as every game gets screened live on terrestrial TV.

When England failed to qualify the national board the FA promised a what they were calling a root and branch investigation to get to the bottom of our nation’s failures over recent years to compete on the worldwide stage as well as the current lack of English born players currently plying their trade in the Premier League.

As many of you are aware I am actively involved in youth football in my local area so I was interested to see what changes if any were going to be made at grassroot level. So now months on from that investigation and I receive some news via local channels on new rulings from the national FA board.

For year’s professional football clubs and county organisations have ran academies. This is where they select the best players from the area to get trained by them and use their facilities whilst competing in a fixture programme against other academies. For girls football it use to be that girls could play for an academy side whilst still playing for their local youth side but now the FA are soon to either vote on or pass a regulation saying that if they play for an academy they can no longer player for their local youth side.

Now this may work in big cities where they have a wealth of players but when you are in a small region which is only just emerging with a handful of local youth teams with some of those teams struggling to get enough players for a full side an academy could kill the development of girls football dead in that area. The fifteen or so girls you have in the academy could turn in to great players but after they have gone through their will be no other players coming through as there will be no leagues for them to play in. To improve girls football there has to be access for all.

Instead of taking the easy option of just working with a select group of players if county organisations and professional teams could invest time in setting up good local leagues for girls it will give more players access to football and a lot better in the long term. Having a competitive league of ten teams would see a minimum of seventy girls playing football on a weekly basis which is nearly five times the amount that would be catered for by the academy.

If local youth teams get their best talent cherrypicked by academies then are they going to bother continuing without them? If this is the case what if that player gets let go by the academy half way through the season and she comes back and she has no club to play for? By taking one player from a team could spoil football for many girls. Young people become better players by playing with and against good football players.

So there you go that’s my rant of the week have you guys experienced situations like this where national organisations have passed down rulings which don’t help at local level? We want to know and you can share your views by going to our topic of the week:

Adam Sibley
Founder of the Talented Young People organisation
"Envisage it, Believe it, Achieve it!"

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Flava Have Got Talent

Did you stay in all last week to watch Britain’s Got talent? If you have been watching the series then you will already know about some of the amazing talented youngsters we have in this country. However this week I am not dedicating the blog to the winner George Sampson who I personally thought was amazing but an act that made me proud to be Cornish that being beaten Semi Finalists the dance act known as Flava.

In a society that puts young people across as a group of self obsessed wannabes who want to have everything but not put in the hard work to get it Flava were a breath of fresh air. As everyone else on Britain’s got Talent were pushing stories of personal hardship, pleading for votes or support and then getting upset about any negative comments or crying when they found out they hadn’t made it Flava stood out as a shining example of how young people should behave.

When young people are trying to make it in the world of sport and entertainment they are normally pushed to be as competitive as possible, to only care about themselves and to beat all competition at any costs. Flava showed that to get to the top you don’t need any of these characteristics, you just need to be dedicated to your talent and they showed that being a good role model can get you further than trying to stomp on all the competition to get to the top.

In a self obsessed world it was great to see them celebrate with “The Cheeky Monkeys” the young children that the judges put through ahead of them and to then lend their support to acts like “Signature.” When you are in the public eye like they have been they have showed that getting ahead in life is not all about winning competitions as I know they have now had many offers to go and perform for and work with many different organisations because of their performance on the shows. If you compare their behaviour to fellow semi finalist act ‘Per Diem’ who basically threw a tantrum after receiving negative feedback and then you start thinking “I bet they didn’t get many offers for work after the show.” This thought wasn’t based on their performance as they were both talented musicians but it was a prime example of how not to act when receiving feedback and to do that on national TV is career suicide.

When young people enter shows like this they have to remember that only one act can win so if it isn’t them that win they have to make sure that they get the best out of their appearance and put themselves in the best position to get work out of their appearance. Young people also need to be aware of the lives that their performances and actions on TV shows like this can have on young viewers and the power they have to inspire and motivate young viewers.

I wished that Flava were given the chance to perform in the final but by losing in the semi-finals it gave them a chance to show the world how inspirational they are as young people in the way they took defeat and they showed how you can turn defeat in to victory.

I can’t wait to see what the future holds for Flava.

Adam Sibley
Founder of the Talented Young People organisation
"Envisage it, Believe it, Achieve it!"