Emotional Intelligence | Stevehein.com
Sports, Schools, War, England, Emotional Intelligence
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March 27, 2006 - Page creation
The other day I was reading an article about sports and soldiers. The article basically said that sports training is very similar to, and very helpful to, military preparation. The article was written by a South African firm promoting its "Military Pentatholons" as a way of preparing soldiers. South Africa, of course, has been influenced substantially by the British culture.
From my chats with teens in England I have started to see how important sport is in the schools there. (note about England vs the USA) And I have started to see the connection between schools, sports and war. I started wondering how much influence England actually has had around the world, for example whether they are primarily responsible for the idea of making young people wear uniforms like soldiers. And whether they are, or were, the masters in preparing young people to kill other humans. Now, perhaps, the USA has that honor. But then again there is a lot of British influence in the USA, after all they share one of the most basic uniting forces between cultures, a common language. By the way, I recommend the film "Ghandi", in case you have never seen it. It shows clearly how the British massacred humans beings in India. What it doesn't show, though, is how England prepared it's young to be able to emotionally handled such killing later in their lives.
In any event, the article got me thinking more about the connection between sports, feelings, emotional intelligence and killing. On March 27, 2006 I posted a few excerpts from the article. Today I found some more. I will probably be putting more on in the future.
All links at the bottom of this page.
March , 28 2006
Excerpts from the article on sports training for soldiers
General Douglas Macarthur of the United States said: Back in the battlefields, I was convinced that the soldiers who practiced sport had become the best combatants. They were the boldest, hardest and most courageous of those that fought alongside me. These men, when they took part in battles, fighting other human beings and submitting to the rules of the combat, were the ones that more readily were prepared to accept and accomplish missions.
Lt Col Ribas of the Brazilian Armed Forces wrote: The modern combatant, as well as the elite athlete, depend on the adequate psychological preparation that will allow him/her to work under pressure, enduring pain, to concentrate on tasks, to have persistence, displaying a positive aptitude and participating in competitions or missions, feeling calm and secure. In this fashion, we see in military competitive sports of high performance an economical solution to military training, comparable to the harsh realities of combat, since both demand equivalent emotional, psychological, and physical conditioning. Military sportspeople may be trained to conquer given objectives giving the most of themselves in swimming pools, courts, fields, tracks, as well as in modern operation terrains. Thus it is suggested, that the emotional behavior may be trained and evaluated through competitive sports.
The psychological effect that an activity such as Military Pentathlon has on the soldier according to Ribas, who did research for eight years since 1996 where it was established that there is a clear relationship and comparison between the emotional behavior of athletes practicing in sports and soldiers in combat. Military Pentathlon can contribute to the training of both soldiers and athletes by introducing modern concepts of Sports Psychology by simulating specific skills needed to conduct successful operations
Quote about Emotionally Intelligent Soldier
The stresses of the modern battle zone will be very severe, not only due to the advances of technology but also due to the complexity of it. It will call for an emotionally intelligent soldier who can control his or her behaviour.
By this quote we see that the idea of controlling your behavior is thought to be an indication of emotional intelligence. This is an idea that Goleman made popular.
Part of a chat I had with Jen, a teen student in England
Here is part of a chat I had with Jen in May of 2005, when she was 14 years old. Jen is one of the teens who I would call exceptionally smart emotionally. She is one of the best listeners, one of the most emotionally supportive and understanding people I know. She doesn't like to hurt anyone or anything. On this day she was telling me that she was supposed to shoot a rifle in her school, as part of what is called CCF - Combined Cadet Forces. (link below)
and 2day..........o i feel so stupid compared to the others......they'r all brave enuf to do it............y cudn't i..............u'll prob say i did the rite thing but i feel like such a wimp.......
to do what?
we had shootin 2day...
and u didnt want to?
i cudn't do it.......i was almost cryin agen............i carried it over fine..........but i cudn't shoot it...................
Jen also told me once that she goes to school 6 days a week and she has sport on 5 of 6 days. She also told me once that she hates sport and always feels bad about herself when she has to participate. I want write more about all of this later, but for now I will try to summarize a few thoughts and beliefs of mine about all of this:
- An emotionally intelligent person is also emotionally sensitive.
- An emotionally sensitive person would not want to learn to shoot guns or kill people.
- An emotionally sensitive, and emotionally intelligent person would look for other ways to resolve conflicts.
- Schools do not reward or encourage emotional sensitivity.
- In particular, a sensitive individual's feelings (whether teacher or student) must be subordinated to obedience to authority in order to survive in the school environment.
- Sport in particular minimizes feelings and encourages competition.
- This kind of preparation is exactly the kind needed to make soldiers out of otherwise caring, sensitive, empathetic young people.
Some of my comments
The Dan Goleman and Reuven BarOn, and perhaps the David Caruso concept of emotional intelligence seem to support the idea that an emotionally intelligent person is a person who conforms in school, is competitive and highly motivated, is obedient, a good "team player", and can cope with high levels of stress and emotional pain. These seem to also be the qualities of a "successful" soldier, or we might say a killing machine. I suspect they are also not far removed from what makes a good corporate employee. That is why I think we see that tests like Reuven BarOn's EQi predict who is a "successful" student, employee or soldier. But I wonder if his test would predict who is a "successful" artist, poet or peace activist. By the way I put "successful" in quotes to call attention to the fact that it is a very subjective word which few people seem to question. Maybe a "successful" military leader is actually one who leads his troops away from a battlefield and opens up an international institute on non-violent conflict resolution and "successfully" invites the enemy to participate in his workshops, and then persuades them to give up fighting and kill forever.
This past week I have been working more on the Reuven BarOn to show the connection between his test and his military background in the Israeli army. There is also a connection to sports through Steven Stein. I plan to try to present all of this in a more clear and concise way later but for now I want to post this much.
March 27, 2006
Note about England and USA - I think it is more important there than in American schools. In the USA a lot of people watch sports, but not that many participate in them in the highschools. In England though, I get the sense there is more sport and competition forced on all students.
CCF - Combined Cadet Forces in England highschools
Quotes from paper on sports training for soldiers
The quotes at the top were found on the html version of a pdf file. This explains how to get there:
This is the html version of the file http://www.military-pentathlon.org/Download/Military%20Pentathlon%20Training%20Aid%20RSA.pdf.
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