Originally Posted by UUMom
I am just not sure what you mean by that.
And I'm not sure what you're asking me to clarify, but I'll try. I mean that team sports in our culture are a very hierarchical highly-managed dogmatic affair. There are very specific standardized things you must do, in a specific standardized way, when you're told to do it and for how long. In that way it's very much like school. You do what you're told, you don't question it. It's not cooperative. There's an inherent inequality of power. Now, obviously a lot of people like that, and I have no problem with that. It's frustrating to me that it is regarded as the default so that there can be absolutely no flexibility (between coach and player, anyway; obviously different coaches have different ideas about what dogmatic assumptions must be obeyed.)
I'm not saying people shouldn't be able to play sports that way. I'm not saying they have a responsibility to do it our way. I'm just wanting to talk about this assumption that team sports just are
this way, or that they should
just be this way, so that anyone who steps outside of that even just a little bit is seen as inherently wrong.
It's also frustrating to me when in any
setting children's feelings are not respected, and having just experienced that in a sports setting, where it's very common, I was interested in talking about it with others who have experienced it in that setting.
|Encouragement/harrasmment/coersion are not the same.
No, no they're not. That's why I put the word "encouraged" in quotation marks. The coach would have said, and maybe even believed, that he was only encouraging my son. But to continue to not accept "no" for an answer as it pertains to personal autonomy is disrespectful, even if you think you're right. I would consider the coach well within his rights to say, "Well, I'm the boss here, and if you're not going to do things my way you will have to leave." I do not think it is within his rights to continue to try to get someone to do something that feels wrong to them.
|Team sports might be wrong for some kids, but they are optional. We tend to just call up a few friends or meet at the park and that works well.
Team sports are right for my child. But yes, this particular approach
to team sports is obviously not right for him.
|I didn't hear the coach , his tone, or his disrepect-- and I also not sure wanting the kids to warm up is a sign of disrespc.
I didn't say it was. Again, again, again, I have no problem with warming-up or believing it valuable. The coach's beliefs about that have nothing to do with my son, they are not a personal affront to him, therefore they are not disrespectful of him. What is disrespectful is to not take a child's "no" seriously, and to continue to put pressure on him to just do what he's told. The coach's answer at this point ought to be "okay", or "is there a compromise we could come to that we'd both be comfortable with?," or "I'm uncomfortable being responsible for you when you won't do what I believe is right, so I can't be your coach." Those are all respectful responses.
|I would want my child (if she did an organized sport) to be safe. To me, that does mean warming the body beforehand. I know you don't want to talk about this part of it anymore, but I can't see why warming up as part of the program is bad. How long is the run? Are the kid able to manage or is it extreme?
Well, since you ask so nicely.
Now get prepared for a book.
Again, I didn't say that warming up is bad. The kids are warming up even before practice starts, jogging back and forth catching the frisbee. They also do stretching and warming-up drills, using the same types of movements that they'll be using in scrimmage, only lighter in intensity. I don't think doing a special warming-up regimen is necessary as long as you don't jump right into hard play, but as I said before their bodies intuitively know that, and they don't do
that. So I don't have any fears about them getting injured due to sudden extreme exertion of cold, contracted muscles.
I don't think my son's aversion to distance running needs defending. His very real distress at feeling pressured to do it when it feels wrong to him is enough for me to consider his declining to do it to be valid.
But I know that people who are runners often don't understand it why anyone would have an aversion to it outside of being lazy, so they assume it must be that. I'll try to explain.
I won't try to get into the science of it, because I would only be parroting what I've read, I don't really understand how it works. I was just reading an article on lactic acid, about how for years athletes were told it was the reason for muscle burn-out and now that appears to be wrong. I don't want to fall into that trap, for instance talking about slow- and fast-twitch ratios in regards to distance running and sprinting (which serve what.) The important thing is, like muscles becoming fatigued is a real phenomenon, so is (I believe) different body types being better or worse suited for certain activities. That can be changed to a certain degree, but there is certainly a genetic starting point that is different for everyone and which determines how far you can reasonably go with a particular activity.
Which I think explains why two of my children with completely different body types, being raised in the exact same environment and doing the same types of activities (riding bikes, swimming, gymnastics, tennis, etc.) have such different strengths. My daughter is a natural distance runner. She runs only occasionally, certainly doesn't train for it, but when she does it's easy for her, and it feels good to her. Her body moves like it was made to do it -- even when she was a toddler people would comment on her beautiful form.
My son lurches around and struggles to keep going. He has difficulty regulating his breathing. It's not a pretty sight and he's clearly suffering. He can, however, sprint for short distances, stop, then sprint again fairly well and do this for quite some time.
As I mentioned earlier, my husband (who is a skilled athlete) and I have trouble with sports in which you're constantly having to be moving. When I played soccer, I was great as fullback, miserable as forward. Spurts of energy. I'm a pretty good (and competitive) racquetball player, if I do say so myself. I can walk for ages over hill and dale. Plenty of endurance. But I'm not a runner, and I think I'm qualified to say that, having tried to be one for a long time. I ran three miles a day, I did longer distances on weekends, I ran races. It never got easier. It never did not feel miserable. I had this notion, which I think most people do, that I just wasn't trying hard enough. But I did try. And my legs never stopped being rubbery and shaky, my chest and throat never stopped hurting, my joints never stopped hurting. And then I'd go kick my boyfriend's butt at racquetball and have plenty of energy and drive to spare. Sure my muscles might get a little sore and I was breathing hard, but it wasn't hurting
So yeah, I believe my son when he says that it's hard enough on him that it's taking away from his enjoyment of playing the game. And I know perfectly well that it's not necessary for him to be able to play the game safely.