or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Education › Learning at Home and Beyond › Unschooling › Radical unschooling and organized sports
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Radical unschooling and organized sports - Page 8

post #141 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by fourlittlebirds View Post
Nobody want to talk about the RU aspects of this? Or the monopolization of a schooly approach to kids sports? Really?
I do!! I just had to wade through all the muck first, and I applaud you for answering the same questions over and over again!! now that I'm all caught up...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kessed View Post
I have seen over and over that kids have fun playing sports when they are well prepared to play and 'even' as a team. Having 1 or 2 kids who are below the average in terms of skill or fitness levels - really brings the rest of the group down. They depend on each other. If a couple kids run out of gas near the end of the game - then it's like the team is playing short. And that's not fun for anyone.
OK, for me, this is the critical difference. In playing "just for fun", it won't matter to any of the kids what the skill and/or endurance levels of the other kids is -- it won't matter because they're playing "just for fun", right? so it doesn't matter if they win or lose? what you're describing here is highly competitive team sport where winning and losing is actually the most important part of the game -- otherwise, who would care if everyone got a little tired towards the end of the game? if it's just for fun, everyone would laugh about how tired they were...maybe they might even decide to quit early , or reconfigure the teams so that all the kids who wanted to keep playing could do so, while the kids who had lost interest or stamina could go count flowers from the sidelines... the whole problem is that kids' sports (even playground pick up sports in a lot of cases) have taken on an inherent competitiveness that is inescapable, even when the goal is just "to have fun".

My daughter, bless her little heart, wanted to join the u10 soccer league here on our little island. the mantra of the entire league is that it's just for fun, everyone is welcome, and the coaches actually do a pretty good job of kind of guiding it in that direction. HOWEVER, my little one (who is 8, doesn't know anyone on the team, and was the youngest and least skilled) happily volunteered to be goalie in their scrimmage against the boys U10 team. All the other girls looked at her like she was a little crazy (nobody else was going to volunteer, because it's such a high pressure position) but the coach was kind of shocked and gave her big props for volunteering. My unschooled, non-competitive kid didn't think anything of it, and happily trotted off to the goal posts. Her team has several really great soccer players on it, so the girls were definitely outplaying the boys, despite not being able to score a goal. the boys got the ball, made it all the way down to where lucy was guarding the goal, and they scored. nobody said a word to lucy, but it was so obvious to her that they were all really disappointed in her. over the next few practices, she did her best, but really began to feel uncomfortable having less skill than the other kids -- I do think that if they knew her better, it wouldn't have been as much of an issue (though I'm not so sure -- the more competitive kids sort of set the tone for the whole team, I think, and kids can sometimes be ruthless), but they were not exactly making her feel welcome. She started to just not feel like going to practice every time it came up, and eventually I helped her come to terms with the fact that maybe organized soccer isn't really her bag. She started out LOVING it, loving the whole experience, but as her lack of skill became an issue, it just wasn't fun anymore, and was making her feel uncomfortable and she chose to quit. Loves to "play" soccer, but that's not really possible for her here, without subjecting herself to all the competitive BS that has become an integral part of kids' team sports.

The problem is that there are no "just for fun" organized team sports for kids. Ultimate frisbee is the very definition of "pick up sports" and even a kids' UF team can be competitive, because that's just how sad our culture has gotten -- there is no room for just having fun, because we're all bombarded with the message that winning is important, so it's no fun if we aren't able to play at a competitive level and triumph. I have heard of teams where the kids have a terrible record, never win games, but they have a great time, and I applaud those coaches -- there is probably a fabulous natural camaraderie happening as well, that makes the whole experience enjoyable, but the coach has a HUGE influence in this regard.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kessed View Post
You came here asking a question. And you have chosen to ignore EVERYTHING that people have said that didn't line up with your view of the world.
don't know if you're still here or not, but she wasn't ignoring anything, she just wasn't agreeing with it -- more accurately, like others have said, you (and a few others) were coming from a totally different perspective than where a person immersed in a RU mindset is coming from.

Quote:
Originally Posted by UUMom View Post
I heard all the worry, now I want to hear about the resolution. :
once again, from a previous post of 4littlebirds...

The coach hasn't said anything to him the past two practices, so we may be fine -- my son is doing warm-up essentially with the jogging back and forth warm-up throws and the drills, and I'm thinking that perhaps the coach himself realizes that he's fine and it's just a control issue that he's decided to let go of.

...she did a fabulous recap, but I wanted to point out that little paragraph, just in case you missed it.

So, as a solution...I don't really know. It seems like the only way to have it be totally non-competitive and fun (and have everyone support each other, no matter their skill level) is for it to be a totally spontaneous event, like the multi-age softball game you talked about previously. which is, thankfully, more common in the unschooling world... our homelearning group (which is mostly unschoolers) meets all fall/winter/spring for a drop-in group, and on the last day, we had a "sports day" -- it turned out to be freezing cold (dang canada!!) so we all sort of huddled around while the kids ran and played. we had planned to do egg/spoon races, bike parade, sack races, etc. the only "organized" event that happened was a sack jump, where we threw a pile of potato sacks on the ground and the kids utilized them however they saw fit. they jumped in them at first (no racing involved), then they climbed all the way in them and one of the dads picked them up in their sacks and swung them around, then they put them on their heads and ran around -- we were all cracking up about the "unschoolers sack races" where you wear the sack on your head -- it just seemed like such a stereotypically "homeschooling" thing to do! In the end, I was so glad that we parents felt so unmotivated to guide their activities, because they had so much more fun just playing together in a new and different way. We almost made it a sack race, but thought better of it just in time...

anyway, I'm sad about it too. I think individual sports like circus skills, parkour (free running), martial arts, gymnastics, tennis, swimming, etc are better for kids who don't like the competitive aspect of team sports... and the team doesn't even have to be uber-competitive for it to be "competitive", it can be just the really subtle attitude that only kids who are competently skilled are really worthy in a sport for it to rank as no longer "just for fun". I love to see multi-age groups of kids just playing for the sake of playing, and I do wish that competitiveness wasn't so inherent in our culture, because it only takes a few "eye on the prize" kids to change the whole feel of the team.

and just to be clear, I'm not saying there is anything wrong with kids being "eye on the prize" or competitive, but there is something wrong with those kids (and their parents or coaches) feeling like the lesser skilled kids are ruining it for the others. Or, like in the OP's experience, that kids who don't want to just tow the party line instead of finding a workable solution with the coach, are somehow ruining it for others. They're children, for crimeny sakes, not professional athletes!
post #142 of 161
Thread Starter 
Auntiehallie,

Quote:
Originally Posted by granolapunk View Post
I think what you did with/for? your son is great. Maybe it doesn't seem like a big deal but I think exactly what you did is the epitome of RU to me, I hope that my kids feel that supported as well.
Thank you.

Quote:
It took some more conversation but she finally agreed to let him call me at lunch time and let me know whether he wanted me to come get him or not.
Jaw dropping here. She agreed to let him call? Like it was even an option to not let him call if he felt the need for it?

Quote:
He ended up staying full day for the rest of the week and wants to do the camp again at the end of July, and I think in large part because he was comfortable having the option of leaving if he wanted to.
Yes, yes, exactly! Thank you for sharing that story.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4evermom
The final straw, for him, was when the teacher wouldn't let him come out and see me after snacktime and locked the door so he couldn't get out. He escaped out the lesser used other door and refused to go back, having lost all trust in the teacher.
Horrible.
post #143 of 161
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tiffani View Post
My unschooled, non-competitive kid didn't think anything of it, and happily trotted off to the goal posts. [...] nobody said a word to lucy, but it was so obvious to her that they were all really disappointed in her.
I can relate, and not just in sports. It's a culture-wide phenomenon, isn't it? -- it's not okay to make mistakes or not be "great". And that's not a useful limitation, because who knows, maybe if your daughter had been supported in continuing to do what was most compelling to her, she would have eventually come to excel at it and it would have been a great joy to her (and valuable to the others.) Even if she never became great at it, perhaps she would have gone on enjoying it. But that's not allowed, not really. They "let" her in the name of being progressive, but their attitudes about it sent a very obvious message that in reality it wasn't okay with them. The bar is set too high so that only the elite can be comfortable participating in certain things. It's not just in team pursuits either. How many people don't do something they dream about because they're afraid that their way of doing it will be judged negatively (and they're likely correct in that assumption)? It's a sickness in our society.

Quote:
the only "organized" event that happened was a sack jump, where we threw a pile of potato sacks on the ground and the kids utilized them however they saw fit. they jumped in them at first (no racing involved), then they climbed all the way in them and one of the dads picked them up in their sacks and swung them around, then they put them on their heads and ran around -- we were all cracking up about the "unschoolers sack races" where you wear the sack on your head -- it just seemed like such a stereotypically "homeschooling" thing to do!
Ha ha ha! That's so great!

Quote:
I think individual sports like circus skills, parkour (free running), martial arts, gymnastics, tennis, swimming, etc are better for kids who don't like the competitive aspect of team sports...
Unfortunately the attitude that excelling and winning are everything isn't just in team sports. If you want to learn from others, it's the same sort of thing. When I took piano lessons, for instance, it couldn't be just for my personal enjoyment, no. I had to be working toward progressing according to what the teacher thought appropriate, and the goal was individual competition and performance. I took lessons for 12 years, because I was in a schooly sub-culture, and well, that's just what you do. You can't just "do" piano without taking lessons, and you can't take lessons without agreeing to focus on achievement. Having had this attitude instilled in me from an early age, I still struggle with it. I wouldn't have just offered up to play goalie like your daughter -- I would have waited to be deemed capable by an authority figure.
post #144 of 161
I'm sorry I couldn't read the whole thread, but I couldn't help but chime in. As someone who grew up playing competitive sports, I totally agree with the OP on your assessment of team sports. It was fun when I started, but in the end it was something that made me miserable. I was too scared to quit because it was all I knew since age 6 besides school. As it got more and more important to win through the years, it just wasn't fun anymore. I think that negative aspect has really affected me as an adult. The competitiveness that I still have holds me back in a lot of ways. I worked as a soccer coach of U10 girls while in college, and when I think back to how I was as a coach, it almost makes me sick. I was probably even worse than your son's coach. Making these poor girls run warm ups as they struggled and hated every minute of it. Pushing them to win. Ugh.
Although, I think having had these experiences has been beneficial in some way because I know what it's like, and I've realized what I don't want my son to go through. I have no problem with him playing sports, if he chooses to, but I hope that I can recognize if it is no longer fun for him and maybe help him find something else. I wish someone had really helped me realize how miserable I was with all these sports and not just kept telling me what a "good job" I did or sit me on the bench because I was playing badly that day.
Anyway, I'm glad your son has had a better time these last two practices, and that the coach is realizing your son does better when he's warming up in a way that he continues to have fun.
post #145 of 161
Leslie -- I've learned alot since becoming a mama, too!
post #146 of 161
Here's an interesting article I read about this just yesterday, and apparently there is a book too...
post #147 of 161
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much for your input, Leslie. Do you remember what it was that changed your perspective?

Water, thanks for the link! I do find it irritating that we seemingly can't hear about the value of exercise for all people without it being made into a fat issue in particular, with all that's implied with that, but there are some good points in line with what we've been talking about here:
Quote:
Grade-school travel teams don't reliably identify future stars but instead reward early bloomers and discourage other kids and leave them behind. Result: Kids quit.
Quote:
Unstructured play is often more valuable than organized competition because it develops creativity. However, the emphasis is on adult-supervised teams and often the teams play too many games and over-emphasize winning instead of fun and skill development.
post #148 of 161
That's a great article. We are not organized sports people, although we have done a *very* few certain things when coaches were respectful.

OP-- has your dc shared with you why he/she puts up with the coach's pettyness? I know none of my kids would have accepted the disrespect.
post #149 of 161
Having a healthy environment for kids is part of why I opened a dance studio.

I was also just hired as the Head Coach of the local high school dance team. It was amazing to see how squashed their spirits are. Ironically, their spirits were squashed from not feeling like they were taken seriously and presented with the skill sets needed to get to the next level.

I have already made MAJOR changes to encourage teamwork, equality, respect, and healthy emotional wellbeing.....such as throwing out the possiblilty of not being in the dances. If you are on the team you WILL dance every performance. We will have a JV and a V and EVERYONE will perform. Last year they had to audition before every performance. Some dancers went to every practice, game, and competition and still NEVER danced. They were made to wear their costume and full makeup/hair (performance attire) and sit in the front row cheering for their team. Now....if you are injured and can't dance....wearing your warm up and cheering is great. But to make these girls get in full get up with no chance to dance.......that is BS!

So....I am making as many changes as I can to make the team healthy and fun.

Sorry....may be off topic.....just can to mind as I was reading.

I guess my point is that I am not anti team really. I do not have a problem with "organized sports" on the whole. I coach sports and run a competition dance program. However, I am against disrespectful and unhealthy coaching. True team work means a collective effort which includes all members of the team. A good coach never forgets that. They are only one piece of the puzzle.

It is sad to me now days how many horrible coaches there are though

For me...it is all about being on the journey as these children find there greatness in this world. I am just blessed to be able to be a part of it. :
post #150 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by fourlittlebirds View Post
Thank you so much for your input, Leslie. Do you remember what it was that changed your perspective?
Probably a lot of different things changed my perspective. I think it first started once I stepped away from it all. Then I was able to see my life in a different light and realize what was so wrong with my life before. I think the biggest thing that changed my perspective was thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail when I was 22. My whole life changed from that experience. I was a very different person after that. I also met my husband on the trail, and he has also had a big influence on me, as well.
post #151 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by LeslieB View Post
changed my perspective was thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail when I was 22. My whole life changed from that experience. I was a very different person after that. I also met my husband on the trail, and he has also had a big influence on me, as well.

Oh! That trail is amazing! I've done it three times (well, not through the second time!-- but it was still amazing!), and each time I felt blessed beyond words! (Of course at times I saw it as a near death experience.)

ETA- Do you mean you are you a 2000 miler?! I just want to say right off, that we didn't do that! We dreamed of it, lol. But no. We've done different states, but not the whole thing through from beginning to end. If you meant, that, I'm out of that league! lol That is so fatastic and I am so jealous!

I can't imagine how life-changing that would be.
post #152 of 161
[QUOTE=AngelBee;11665789


So....I am making as many changes as I can to make the team healthy and fun.

Sorry....may be off topic.....just can to mind as I was reading.

I guess my point is that I am not anti team really. I do not have a problem with "organized sports" on the whole. I coach sports and run a competition dance program. However, I am against disrespectful and unhealthy coaching. True team work means a collective effort which includes all members of the team. A good coach never forgets that. They are only one piece of the puzzle.

It is sad to me now days how many horrible coaches there are though

[/QUOTE]


I think it's great you're doing that.

I am not anti-team, really. Sometimes it's fun to be a part of something that is about more than just your self. We've had some good experiences (the boys have played town baseball on and off, and my youngest has played instructional soccer). One of my sons did leave a team at around 8 or 9, with a coach who wasn't a good fit for him, but he is in his second and last year of Pony League (same team) currently and this coach is a thoughtful coach. My son has no complaints and I've beenvery comfortable with what I've observed.

The instructional soccer borders on sticky-sweet. "We don't keep score! We play as a team! We don't ball hog!" lol Whatever. But you have to love a Husband/wife coaching team who brings cut up oranges to practice to share & that's that.

We pick and choose and so far, it's been absolutely not bad. lol
post #153 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by UUMom View Post
OP-- has your dc shared with you why he/she puts up with the coach's pettyness?
Wow, UUMom! You never cease to amaze me! I never had an inkling, from reading any of your previous posts, that you thought the coach was being petty.

Quote:
I know none of my kids would have accepted the disrespect.
The OP's son didn't accept the disrespect, and he didn't put up with the coach's pettiness, either. So it doesn't sound like he's any less assertive, or whatever, than your kids.

I know your question was to the OP, not to me. Your turnabout is just throwing me for a loop, that's all.

I must say, you're still coming across (to me) as somewhat critical of the OP and/or her son. But I hope I'm misunderstanding you. As I've greatly enjoyed your input on many other threads.
post #154 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
Wow, UUMom! You never cease to amaze me! I never had an inkling, from reading any of your previous posts, that you thought the coach was being petty.



The OP's son didn't accept the disrespect, and he didn't put up with the coach's pettiness, either. So it doesn't sound like he's any less assertive, or whatever, than your kids.

I know your question was to the OP, not to me. Your turnabout is just throwing me for a loop, that's all.

I must say, you're still coming across (to me) as somewhat critical of the OP and/or her son. But I hope I'm misunderstanding you. As I've greatly enjoyed your input on many other threads.
post #155 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
Wow, UUMom! You never cease to amaze me! I never had an inkling, from reading any of your previous posts, that you thought the coach was being petty.



The OP's son didn't accept the disrespect, and he didn't put up with the coach's pettiness, either. So it doesn't sound like he's any less assertive, or whatever, than your kids.

I know your question was to the OP, not to me. Your turnabout is just throwing me for a loop, that's all.

I must say, you're still coming across (to me) as somewhat critical of the OP and/or her son. But I hope I'm misunderstanding you. As I've greatly enjoyed your input on many other threads.
I really, honestly don't understand what happened with the OP and her son. The coach is nice but it didn't work out, then it did? I still don't have a handle on *how* it worked out so well or why the kid is still on the team. I still don't even understand what the coach said or did or why or why he stopped, only that he stopped.

My kid quit a team when he felt the coach was petty and disrespectful to the players. The coach for the OP must have worked something out tiwth the kid. He's still playing, right?

I am not not respecting the OP or her son. I haven't said one unpleasant thing this whole thread.

I don't understand what happened at first or why. And yes, I've read every single post (goddess help me). The coach was nice and the kid is still on the team. Please don't requote stuff again, I've read it all, but I am still not clear on how it all unfolded.

That's not me being critical, that's me not understanding what happend, why or how it was resolved. Except the coach just started saying nothing to the child (although I don't know what the coach said to the child in the first place...I want my players to run?), and so now they live in peaceful practice coexistance. Yes? No?
post #156 of 161
I think she said the coach eased up on pushing her ds so it sounded like the ds stood up for himself with mom facilitating communication and after another practice or two the coach either took him seriously or decided it didn't matter.
post #157 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by UUMom View Post
I really, honestly don't understand what happened with the OP and her son. The coach is nice but it didn't work out, then it did? I still don't have a handle on *how* it worked out so well or why the kid is still on the team. I still don't even understand what the coach said or did or why or why he stopped, only that he stopped.
And I really, honestly, don't understand why all of the OP's explanations, plus her re-cap, have not satisfied you in the same way that they've satisfied me and (seemingly) most others here.

Quote:
My kid quit a team when he felt the coach was petty and disrespectful to the players.
And sometimes that's the best recourse. In the case of the OP's son, however, apparently he enjoyed playing with the team enough previously, that he thought it was worth sticking around and trying to work things out. And, in his case, sticking around and being assertive paid off.

Quote:
The coach for the OP must have worked something out tiwth the kid. He's still playing, right?
Uhm, yeah, unless something has changed since the OP's last post.

Quote:
I am not not respecting the OP or her son. I haven't said one unpleasant thing this whole thread.
It feels unpleasant to me when someone says things like, "How come your kid put up with such disrespect? My kids would never put up with that!"

Quote:
I don't understand what happened at first or why. And yes, I've read every single post (goddess help me). The coach was nice and the kid is still on the team. Please don't requote stuff again, I've read it all, but I am still not clear on how it all unfolded.
Yah, don't worry, I wasn't going to bother re-quoting that again. It's been well-covered. And 4evermom just gave another really nice re-cap.

And the OP has said more than once (I won't bother re-quoting her, as you've read the whole thread, goddess help you) that she's interested in having a general discussion about the issues (I can't remember her exact words), she feels happy about how her son's problem was resolved, and she seems to have moved on from that.
post #158 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
And I really, honestly, don't understand why all of the OP's explanations, plus her re-cap, have not satisfied you in the same way that they've satisfied me and (seemingly) most others here.



And sometimes that's the best recourse. In the case of the OP's son, however, apparently he enjoyed playing with the team enough previously, that he thought it was worth sticking around and trying to work things out. And, in his case, sticking around and being assertive paid off.



Uhm, yeah, unless something has changed since the OP's last post.



It feels unpleasant to me when someone says things like, "How come your kid put up with such disrespect? My kids would never put up with that!"



Yah, don't worry, I wasn't going to bother re-quoting that again. It's been well-covered. And 4evermom just gave another really nice re-cap.

And the OP has said more than once (I won't bother re-quoting her, as you've read the whole thread, goddess help you) that she's interested in having a general discussion about the issues (I can't remember her exact words), she feels happy about how her son's problem was resolved, and she seems to have moved on from that.
This really is all beyond my own experience, and I cry Uncle! I am admitting I am nowhere near this level of knowing.

I am admitting right here and now that my mothering skills are lacking, as I still dont get it.
post #159 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by UUMom View Post
I am admitting right here and now that my mothering skills are lacking, as I still dont get it.
Huh? What does any of this have to do with your mothering skills?
post #160 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
Huh? What does any of this have to do with your mothering skills?
My kids would be shamed by my ignorance.

Seriously, I haver never really understood this thread. :discuss:

I'm sorry.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Unschooling
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Education › Learning at Home and Beyond › Unschooling › Radical unschooling and organized sports