Matt Bloomfield column: London 2012 provides vital lessons

By Matt BloomfieldWycombe Wanderers midfielder
Matt Bloomfield (right) playing against York
Matt Bloomfield (right) playing against York

I have, like everyone else in the country, been totally and utterly inspired by the Olympics and Paralympics.

Hard work, dedication, passion, respect and humility are all qualities the athletes have shown in abundance.

There is no question that football can learn so many lessons from the summer that has just passed.

Our athletes conducted themselves in a manner that deserves the respect and adulation that has been afforded to them.

I think the main point that I will take from the summer is the value of teamwork.

Our athletes, although participating in many individual events, have all seemed to be so proud to be a part of the team - team ethics have shone through.

Every successful team needs to have good players or athletes in it, but nothing is more important than the team itself.

There is no better feeling than being part of a successful team, knowing that you can rely on your mate next to you and him on you.

I believe that the satisfaction gained from team sport far outweighs that of an individual sport, but maybe that's just the way I am used to things being.

Personal gain has never been as important to me as the success of my team. Maybe that hasn't always worked in my favour but it's what I believe in.

The current issues surrounding the England cricket team have also highlighted the importance placed upon team ethics. No one player, even if he has the highest profile, is bigger than the team.

The amount of hard work that it has taken these athletes to reach the pinnacle of their chosen discipline is not to be underestimated, they have not arrived here overnight.

I think that most of us like to believe that we work hard at our profession and get the maximum out of ourselves. But can we push ourselves even further?

The London 2012 crowds also stood out with their complete support not only for our athletes, but also the respect shown towards athletes from every nation.

Highlights of London victory parade for Team GB and Paralympics GB

This is also something that we could improve in football, mutual respect between players and spectators.

There are of course many differences between football and the athletics, the way the athletes train could not be replicated in football.

Athletes train in the main, for the sole purpose of peaking every four years. We must try to peak every Saturday afternoon and on a lot of Tuesdays as well.

Footballers have received a lot of negative press the past, most of which has been deserved.

It is now important that we try to take on board as much as we can from what we have witnessed this summer.

Football, at every level, will be under the spotlight. We must try to show the game in a good light.

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