I borrowed this title from Joan’s Facebook post. Joan’s a visually impaired athlete and the top scorer for the women’s national Goalball team. She was reflecting on a 1 v 3 modified Goalball game where she competed and won against three sighted athletes. This happened just before the circuit breaker.
She was pondering about who would be considered “disabled” should the tables be turned – in a context where the sighted athletes had to operate in a “blind” environment instead. You can read about her thoughts and watch the game here. While you are at it, do send her a friend request!
“Is disability a result of one’s condition, or the result of the physical and social environment?”
I thought that Joan’s sharing connected really strongly with the Social Model of Disability and there is an important message here to be shared with my fellow coaches and the public.
It is no longer surprising to hear athletes make statements such as “I should focus on the process rather than the outcome.” Compared to when I first started coaching, both coaches and athletes today are better informed about the need to focus on the process.
However, there is still a gap between information and application. Despite being better informed, athletes often do not know how to let go of the outcome and refocus on the process.
From what I’ve observed, there are three related reasons that are limiting their ability to do so.