RSPL players embrace development programme
Leighton Levy, Gleaner Writer
More than 50 football players from clubs in the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) last Thursday got a first-hand opportunity to become familiar with social graces during a training session hosted by image consultant Laura Butler.
The players also learned how to resolve disputes and become leaders in their respective communities as the Red Stripe Premier League Player Development Programme began its second phase at the Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston.
The programme began in September as part of Red Stripe's focus on driving community and player development through meaningful contribution to the players.
"No country or player can achieve their full potential without strong guidance and investment in the sporting arena," Blandine Paul-Reid, head of marketing at Red Stripe, told the assembled players. "As such, the Red Stripe Premier League Development Programme was created as a means of closing the gap between local and international players."
The players were advised to develop both their strengths and weaknesses, communicate effectively, and learn the history of the clubs they play for. They also learned etiquette and grooming during an interactive session that got off to a slow start but eventually gained momentum once they became more comfortable with Butler and the material she presented,
Butler is the managing director of Fusion Consulting and has over 15 years' experience in the field of human resources and training, and was pleased with how the players responded to the information.
"I am happy to see that they were extremely receptive. They were taking notes, they were paying attention, which is very good. Initially, it wasn't so but as the information was presented they recognised that to be a cut above the rest, to be serious about their careers playing professional football, that they have to pay attention to these guidelines and apply them because they are guaranteed to improve their lives significantly," she said.
She also praised the title sponsors for exposing the players to the things that will help them improve on how they operate as professionals.
"It is also very commendable for Red Stripe to take this initiative because it's so competitive out there, and regardless of the field you are in you are still a professional and you need to ensure that that is what you communicate, and it's also about how you build your personal brand that can attract so many other opportunities for you," she said.
The players were later involved in a session by the Citizen Security and Justice Programme where they were exposed to how they could become positive role models and also increased their awareness of the fundamentals of conflict resolution.
According to the players, the sessions proved to be quote useful. Kevaughn Frater from Harbour View FC found the information useful and declared that he had already begun to make adjustments to the way he went about things. "I think it's very educational and it's good for the players. It's a learning process because it's not all about football so I guess we have a lot to learn," he said. "It's teaching us how to be more respected. How you are is what defines you so I am going to be a better person after today."
Three additional stages - public speaking and imaging, social media training, and money management - are to follow in the coming weeks.