While many are quick to point to the succession of failures by our athletes at home and abroad few take the time to engage in any serious analysis of the plethora of potential causal factors.
In St Vincent and the Grenadines it does, however, appear that the lack of discipline is perhaps the single most critical factor hampering our athletes from developing through to their full potential.
Vincentian society is in turmoil and it begins in the home. The dominance of single parent households is not in and of itself a necessary cause of ill discipline but it certainly does contribute to it in some measure.
A single mother often finds herself stretched to be mother and father and breadwinner for the home all at once. This makes it extremely difficult to play the role of key socialising agent for the children in the home, a critical feature in the inculcation of discipline amongst them.
Even where both parents are at home there still seems to be some measure of difficulty in ensuring that the children are adequately served in respect of the necessary discipline.
We are not here dealing with discipline in terms of punishment. Rather, we are dealing here with the broader issue that relates to teaching an individual such that he/she is able to exercise greater control over him/herself in different situations.
Parents today seem almost incapable of bringing their children to a state where they are disciplined individuals, except in rare cases. Indeed, it often appears that an increasing number of parents are afraid to discipline their own children, leaving that responsibility to other agencies in society, almost absolving themselves of the mandate of doing so for themselves. These parents watch their children grow into adults whom they neither know nor understand.