Radical unschooling and organized sports - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 161 Old 06-20-2008, 12:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I will try not to write a book here, it's more detailed than this, but basically it's about organized sports and the associated schoolish "teacher as god" mentality. I would expect this for most mainstream school-age sports, but I had different expectations for Ultimate Frisbee. My husband played it for several years, and it was very relaxed and fun. It was lovely to watch, it made me feel like this is what community sports (physical games) must have been a long time ago, before everything got organized and (as far as kids are concerned) before adults got involved.

So my boys signed up to play on a team through the city parks and rec program, but it's turned out to be the same old thing. It's so freaking serious. It's about training to win. And to "get in shape" of course. And you have to do everything the coach tells you, or you're not committing yourself to the progress of the team. So one of the things they have to do is run around the field before practice as a warm-up. One of my children has trouble with this, which I understand, because when I used to play sports in school we had to do this a lot and I hated it. Partly I think this has to do with the fact that it's fully aerobic activity and endurance based, and I'm (genetically?) better at stop-and-go activity and sprinting. And I make no apologies here, I'm just not one of those people that feels that exercise and play ought to make you miserable. Especially when you're nine years old.

So my son came to me upset because he had told the coach that the run hurt him and made him too tired for the practice, so he was going to sit it out and just do the stretching and drills. The coach "encouraged" (read: pressured) him to do it. My son felt really bad that his "no" was not respected and that this person took advantage of his social rank to intimidate him into doing something he felt very averse to doing. I told him that the most important thing is that he listen to what his body is telling him about what physical activity is beneficial for him, and I had a talk with the coach about respecting this and he acted very thoughtful and understanding so I thought it was settled.

Well, last practice the coach was again trying to coerce him into doing the run, claiming that it is essential for warming-up (the logic of which escapes me, since it's harder physical activity than anything they do in the actual practice, and starting cold to boot.) Then today the coach didn't say much before the run, but afterwards he told my son in a disapproving voice that because he didn't do the run "you are going to get hurt." Not might, but are. I just find this really obnoxious. Would he talk to an adult in such a condescending way?

But maybe there's a silver lining. We are going to start doing our own ultimate play once a week, and open it up to the homeschooling community as a non-pressure no-commitment just-have-fun sort of thing.

So, have any of you dealt with similar situations? How did you handle it?
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#2 of 161 Old 06-20-2008, 04:30 AM
 
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ugh. that sounds like a crap coach.
Perhaps he would be open to changing, but sounds like it would require a bit of effort on your part.
saying "you are going to get hurt" [if you don't run] is really out there, but totally on par with what L&D nurses and obstetricians tell pg and birthing women every day. I've heard an ob tell a client "if I don't do this vaccuum, your baby will die" and of course the baby was born 5 minutes later 100% healthy sans vaccuum. if you dont know 1000s of similar examples, check out the birth forum.

anyway, just because using a position of power to coerce and manipulate people in a rude and condescending way is common doesn't make it right.

creating your own team sounds like a great solution.

otherwise I'd be there for the practices, and keep up a firm and rational running dialogue (pun not intended) about respect and the realities of warming up.

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#3 of 161 Old 06-20-2008, 01:36 PM
 
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creating your own team sounds like a great solution.
That sounds like a great idea!

How does your son feel -- would he be happy with this idea, or does he want to stay with this coach?

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#4 of 161 Old 06-20-2008, 04:07 PM
 
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Warming up muscles prior to playing sports helps to avoid injury. Maybe you could talk to the coach about a modified warm up for your son, such as walk the first half, slow jog to his ability the rest. Maybe this could be a good life lesson for your son to learn compromise, while staying true to himself, as well as that other people do know things that can help him, if he is open to it, too. Good luck

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#5 of 161 Old 06-21-2008, 01:13 AM
 
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Bad attitude coach aside, even my teenage dd's cross country coach doesn't let them begin the actual stetching and training run until they do a slow run around the track to warm their muscles (too many injuries otherwise). If they get there late, they can't do a thing until they warm up with a short run. My teen dd is at the age where she trusts her coaches, although they have proven their goodness and expertise to her.

I don't know if your coaches expectations are in line with the age or not? (ETA because I thought it was baseball. I actually have a Frisbee player! lol ) I do not know how much warming up young muscles need to throw & catch freesbies, but the sport can be pretty extreme. My oldest is on his college frisbee team and he pulled some muslces in his shoulder this year and couldn't play for three weeks until it healed.

Kid sports programs are sometimes good and sometimes not at all good.

I like the idea of having your own hs team.
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#6 of 161 Old 06-22-2008, 01:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Greenthumb, yes, you're right. Warming up is important. I wasn't speaking against that at all. I was speaking against warming up in the wrong manner. I think it's a full-blown myth that such a thing can be standardized and be optimally beneficial for all people, and that running is the best way, or even just a good way, to warm up for every person and every type of activity. Going into a fully aerobic strenuous activity, starting from cold, at the direction of someone else, i.e. not according to your own body's cues, which is often the case when the coach is yelling encouragingly, "keep up! You can do it!" and shame of lagging behind is a factor, which result in pushing yourself beyond what your body should be doing, especially when you don't want to be doing it, especially for someone whose body isn't suited for that type of physical activity, and especially also for someone who isn't in shape to do such a thing, is far more likely to result in injury than warming up in a way that is suitable for your body, appropriate to the type of activity you're warming up for (i.e. using similar muscles and cardiovascular movement,) and according to your body's cues. My son knows better than any so-called authority what type of physical activity is benefiting or hurting him. He's been raised to listen to his body, I have no doubt that if he feels a resistance to something, it's something that he shouldn't be doing.

What I've observed, too, is that when there isn't an official warm-up the kids intuitively start slower and gradually increase their level of activity. Also, my kids often dart to and fro in the games they play at home, they wrestle, they jump, etc., this is real activity, and they're not doing a more strenuous "warm-up" activity to get ready for it -- that would be absurd.

I wonder if the need to be conscious about warming up is something that adults think is necessary because they've lost the natural ability to be aware of what their bodies are telling them that they need. Hm.

Anyway, I would be fine with the coach talking about the reason for warming-up, and even with reminding the kids to warm up. Just not for making a pre-practice run mandatory. (And it's not like he's going to physically force my child to do it, and I don't think he can kick him off the team for it. But he's certainly trying to verbally coerce him into doing it.) What's bothering me is not that an authority figure has certain beliefs and expectations, but that he is using his status to coerce someone with less power into doing it his way, so it's left to my son to compromise his own self-knowledge and well-being in order to make an adult happy and get him off his back. I know the intention is good, but the effect is obnoxious and potentially harmful.

Majikfaerie, I appreciate you getting the point I was trying to make and that's a good comparison. In pregnancy and birth the "experts" know more than we do about our own bodies. So, for instance, the idea that it's best for women to push when and how they're told is "common knowledge" for the experts and the general populace.

Mammal_mama, for the time being he is choosing to keep going to this practice and just keep asserting to the coach that the run isn't a good way for him to warm up. I did tell him that maybe it is good practice saying 'no' to people who are pressuring him to do something that doesn't feel right to him, because it's in a relatively safe atmosphere. (I.e., the coach is a nice guy, and my son knows I have his back.)
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#7 of 161 Old 06-22-2008, 02:28 PM
 
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answering the OP
hmmm...he might be mean. but maybe not. i am a dance teacher and sometimes warm ups hurt...but you need to build up strength, flexibilty and endurance. but i am also very careful to be very in tune with my students needs, and help them find alternatives if a certain warm up is painful to them, or if they have previous injuries or whatever that make doing a certain activity not okay. but i always say there is a big diff between pain for a purpose (or the "burn" you get when you excercise) and pain because something isn't right.
like it hurts me to do squats because my muscles want to be lazy asses, so i push through the burn and feel better after...but i can't do kickboxing anymore because it hurts my knee and makes it swell up because i have patello-femoral syndrome...so i don't push through it because i could seriously damage my knee. ykwim?
so if your kid is just saying that he doesn't like running (which is a pretty common thing) because it "hurts" (i.e. maybe he is out of shape and his muscles are working and that is an unusual feeling for him) then i would say suck it up. if he is saying that something feels "not right" then i would take that seriously and talk to the coach.
it's important for you, your child and the coach to be aware of the two different kinds of pain, and to make sure that the kid isn't hurting himself. i don't know from this post if the kid has previous injuries, if he is out of shape or overweight (which would just mean that it might take him a bit longer than other "fit" kids to build up the endurance that is required for running not to hurt. shoot, running hurts me.)


in my experience, most dancers and athletes are very comfortable with the "no pain, go gain" attitude. it HURTS sometimes. dancing and sports are blood, sweat and tears. but that's just me. if you doesn't like it, you should take your kid off that dude's team. i personally love hard core training. i would love a drill sgt. to come and wake me up every morning and make me run uphill in the mud and snow and feel no pity for my pansy ass when i cry. (but i am 30, and not a little kid)

ETA: i personally don't think warm-ups should be optional. if the coach or teacher is a well trained and good one, then the warm up will be specially formatted to give the participants exactly what they need for the rest of the activity. it's not just meant to make you feel like shit. warming up sucks. but it's important.
but again, depending on how good of a coach this guy is, that might not be the case. he might be a random dad who has no training as a coach and might get his rocks off pretending he is in "full metal jacket" and making little boys cry. who knows.

and OP, only you can really know (because none of us are actually there) whether this coach is a jerk or not. there are so many variables in this that would make what you describe normal or not. so definitely go with your gut and listen to your kid...talk to your kid about muscle pain and what the difference is between fatigue and injury. and watch practice and see if it makes sense to you.
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#8 of 161 Old 06-22-2008, 02:45 PM
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My son felt really bad that his "no" was not respected and that this person took advantage of his social rank to intimidate him into doing something he felt very averse to doing.
Really? Your nine year old son told you that he felt that way? That's some pretty advanced self-awareness, abstract thinking, communication, and vocabulary for a nine year old.

Are you sure you're not projecting a little bit, and your son just wants to get out of running because he doesn't like it?
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#9 of 161 Old 06-22-2008, 03:32 PM
 
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This makes me think of something I've heard often on homeschooling boards. Someone opposed to homeschooling says, "But how will he learn to get up in the morning if he doesn't have to go to school? He'll never get by in the real world!" And the unschooling parent says, "What are you talking about? He gets up by himself at 4:30 a.m. every day for his paper route, because he's already IN the real world."

Well - this is one of those "real world" situations. Your family may not believe in requiring kids to do things they don't want to, but obviously the coach does, and your kid chose to sign up for the team. IMHO, he needs to suck it up and do what the coach tells him to, or quit the team. Yes, it may seem silly that they're taking Ultimate Frisbee so seriously, but that doesn't mean it's appropriate for your kid to join and then refuse to follow the rules. If he doesn't like the competitiveness, he should quit and look for a group that's more suited to his needs.
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#10 of 161 Old 06-22-2008, 03:50 PM
 
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Really? Your nine year old son told you that he felt that way? That's some pretty advanced self-awareness, abstract thinking, communication, and vocabulary for a nine year old.
My 6 yo would feel that way in that situation and do just fine communicating it to me.

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#11 of 161 Old 06-22-2008, 06:13 PM
 
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Are you sure you're not projecting a little bit, and your son just wants to get out of running because he doesn't like it?
Are you sure you're not trying to get the OP off of her son's team and onto the "adult" team? Your comment just seems, to me, to have a "Let's form a united front against our kids" ring to it.

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#12 of 161 Old 06-22-2008, 07:45 PM
 
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Isn't ultimate a game which requires good endurance and stamina????

As a soccer coach - I choose to combine endurance training and skill training. It seems to go over better with the kids to mix it up rather than have an 'endurance practice' where all they do is build stamina....

So - we start the practice with a run. In part - it's to tire the kids out. Practices are almost always less physically demanding than a game. Kids who do just fine during a normal soccer practice with no running - never develop the stamina for actual games because they naturally work harder during games.

You also don't increase endurance by doing a 'small' amount of activity. You have to actually reach the limit of what's comfortable. Then, depending on how quickly you want to increase, you either push a little bit further - or alot.

OP - if your son was tired out by a small amount of running - then how would he play an ultimate game? There's a heck of alot of running in ultimate.

When you join a team - you loose some personal autonomy. You no longer get to set your own priorities. By joining a team - you are agreeing to work towards the team goal. If the team goal is to have all the members having the stamina to play 70% of an ultimate team - then you need to be on board with that.

If your son wants to build his stamina another way - then he should do that on his own time so that going on the warm up run isn't to taxing...

I also have a question for you:

Have you ever coached a team of any sort???? I have coached from U6 to U16 soccer - from the lowest, just for fun, recreational level to the second highest competitive level for youth in my city. I have designed and run practices for them - and for the woman's team I played on (when the couch was out of town)... It would be virtually impossible to have multiple different types of warm up for the different kids. I have done it - when I've had a competent parent step up and volunteer to run part. But as a single coach - it is too hard to monitor different activities at once. In soccer I can do a goalie warm up (with a competent parent helping the goalie(s)), and then a general warm up for the rest of the parents.

If you really want you son to be able to have a different type of warm up. Then research them. Come up with a plan which will provide a solid warm up (to prevent injuries) is able to be completed before the coach wants to start drills (which, IMO should start full speed - and not serve as a warm-up), and accomplishes the same cardio goals as the coaches warm up. Then - volunteer to run it.
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#13 of 161 Old 06-22-2008, 10:12 PM
 
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I'm still just baffling over this bit:

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The coach "encouraged" (read: pressured) him to do it. My son felt really bad that his "no" was not respected and that this person took advantage of his social rank to intimidate him into doing something he felt very averse to doing.
Why should the coach have to "encourage" or "pressure" at all? Why would your son *expect* his "no" to be respected? I don't get to tell my boss, "no, I don't feel like doing that today, I'd rather work on something else." When I was in school, I didn't get to say, "I don't really like all these repetitive worksheets you're giving us, so I'm just going to skip them."

The coach is not abusing his "social rank" (whatever that means), he is exercising his completely legitimate authority as coach, and your son thinks he doesn't have to respect that. Frankly, I'm shocked that the coach was as accommodating as it sounds like he was.
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#14 of 161 Old 06-22-2008, 11:34 PM
 
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Why should the coach have to "encourage" or "pressure" at all? Why would your son *expect* his "no" to be respected? I don't get to tell my boss, "no, I don't feel like doing that today, I'd rather work on something else." When I was in school, I didn't get to say, "I don't really like all these repetitive worksheets you're giving us, so I'm just going to skip them."

The coach is not abusing his "social rank" (whatever that means), he is exercising his completely legitimate authority as coach, and your son thinks he doesn't have to respect that. Frankly, I'm shocked that the coach was as accommodating as it sounds like he was.
Reminds me of some people's attitude about doctors, that they have legitimate authority and we should do as they say, forgetting WE are paying THEM. They are our employees in a sense, just as this coach is. If I tell a doctor I don't want antibiotics for a cold, I shouldn't be pressured. When I was in labor and the midwife told me to push when my body wasn't ready, that needs to be respected. Only I know how my body feels. I may go to a doctor for an educated opinion but ultimately the choices are mine.

This isn't school. This isn't a job. This is recreation. The OP was trying to find a not too competitive form of activity. Obviously, she didn't succeed and her ds will have to decide whether he wants to stay on or just have their own fun homeschooler ultimate frisbee group.

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#15 of 161 Old 06-22-2008, 11:39 PM
 
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Reminds me of some people's attitude about doctors, that they have legitimate authority and we should do as they say, forgetting WE are paying THEM. They are our employees in a sense, just as this coach is. If I tell a doctor I don't want antibiotics for a cold, I shouldn't be pressured. When I was in labor and the midwife told me to push when my body wasn't ready, that needs to be respected. Only I know how my body feels. I may go to a doctor for an educated opinion but ultimately the choices are mine.

This isn't school. This isn't a job. This is recreation. The OP was trying to find a not too competitive form of activity. Obviously, she didn't succeed and her ds will have to decide whether he wants to stay on or just have their own fun homeschooler ultimate frisbee group.
The coach is almost definitely a volunteer. That makes him fundamentally different from a doctor or midwife.

Also - playing ultimate Frisbee through this league is optional. Once you're pregnant, giving birth isn't...

I don't object that this probably isn't a good fit for the OP and her son. But - I think the coach did nothing wrong.
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#16 of 161 Old 06-22-2008, 11:57 PM
 
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Reminds me of some people's attitude about doctors, that they have legitimate authority and we should do as they say, forgetting WE are paying THEM.
... and if you don't like the way doctors do things, you go home and call a midwife, right? You don't sit there in the doctor's office saying, "hey, I don't like hospitals, I think you should have to come to my homebirth."

Not to mention, coaches are not hired by you, and doctors aren't trying to work in the needs of a team of other patients in around your demands.
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#17 of 161 Old 06-23-2008, 03:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I may have not given enough background and assumed too much about readers' understanding of the subject. I left a lot unsaid, assuming it would be read and understood from a certain perspective, and an RU perspective especially. Basically, I'm lamenting the dearth of playing-just-for-fun sports in our culture, and the schooliness of kid sports. That was meant to be between the lines of my son's personal story. I'm sorry that I wasn't more clear because it's veered off in a direction that I didn't intend.

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hmmm...he might be mean. but maybe not.
For the record, as I said, he's a nice guy, and I have no doubt his intention is good. He doesn't need to be a bad guy for me to not agree with him.

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so if your kid is just saying that he doesn't like running (which is a pretty common thing) because it "hurts" (i.e. maybe he is out of shape and his muscles are working and that is an unusual feeling for him) then i would say suck it up.
It really is okay to do play (yes, even team sports) that doesn't make you hurt (sans quotation marks, as I don't see any irony in the use of the word here.) For some people the point is to have fun. If my son's choice in this situation is to either do everything he's told without question or not play, then yes, obviously if he wants to play he needs to do what he's told. I've not said otherwise.

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most dancers and athletes are very comfortable with the "no pain, go gain" attitude. it HURTS sometimes. dancing and sports are blood, sweat and tears. but that's just me. if you doesn't like it, you should take your kid off that dude's team. i personally love hard core training.
I just have no idea how that's relevant. Of course some people are into that. But not everyone is, and this thread is about someone who is not.

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Originally Posted by happyhippiemama
Really? Your nine year old son told you that he felt that way? That's some pretty advanced self-awareness, abstract thinking, communication, and vocabulary for a nine year old. Are you sure you're not projecting a little bit, and your son just wants to get out of running because he doesn't like it?
Yes really. I didn't say those were his words. But he's quite capable of being aware of and expressing those concepts, and I'm quite capable of understanding what he's expressing to me with his vocabulary and paraphrasing it using my own vocabulary.

And, "just"? As if it's not a valid sentiment in itself?

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Yes, it may seem silly that they're taking Ultimate Frisbee so seriously, but that doesn't mean it's appropriate for your kid to join and then refuse to follow the rules. If he doesn't like the competitiveness, he should quit and look for a group that's more suited to his needs.
The rules weren't stated up front, and no Ultimate Frisbee we've ever seen is done like this, so it was entirely appropriate for him to sign up with expectations of what he knows of Ultimate Frisbee. Nowhere did I say that he's not competitive. And yeah, it would be great to find a group playing in a way that he enjoys. That's easier said than done, as our schooly culture is not set up to support such a thing.

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Isn't ultimate a game which requires good endurance and stamina????
It's a game in which there is a lot of stop-and-go movement, which is qualitatively different from distance running. It can require a lot of endurance and stamina, or not, depending on what level you're playing at, and why you're playing. In any case, it's possible to enjoy playing physical games and not be concerned with optimizing endurance and stamina. My annoyance is that the kids are not allowed to simply just play the sport -- they have to be in training if they want to play.

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OP - if your son was tired out by a small amount of running - then how would he play an ultimate game? There's a heck of alot of running in ultimate.
Sure, but it's stop-and-go. He does the drills and the scrimmage for an hour and a half, then sticks around to throw the frisbee around some more. He obviously has endurance. But the distance running hurts his legs, and tires him out in a way that the game itself doesn't, and that's demoralizing to him to already be in pain and worn out and really not enjoying himself even before they do anything even remotely associated with the actual game.

It's really not an unusual thing. Different types of physical activity put different demands on the body and psyche, and some bodies are more suited for certain types of activity than others. I can't run any appreciable distance without suffering, yet I can play hard racquetball for an hour and enjoy it. My husband is the same way, and unlike me, he is an athlete. He's just not a runner. And neither, apparently, is one of our children (we have another who clearly is.)

My husband played several softball games this weekend. He didn't do a run beforehand. (Nobody did.) The adults are allowed to do that. The kids aren't, when the adults are in charge. And for once, they weren't: a group of about ten kids stormed the field after the last game and started up their own. It was a thing of beauty to see them just playing without all the adult-imposed standards. (I guess we were negligent for not stopping them and making them do a run first, but oh well.)

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When you join a team - you loose some personal autonomy. You no longer get to set your own priorities. By joining a team - you are agreeing to work towards the team goal. If the team goal is to have all the members having the stamina to play 70% of an ultimate team - then you need to be on board with that.
Yeah, I get that that's convention in our society. I can still be bothered, and perhaps want to have a discussion with others that are bothered, by the fact that sports in our culture are organized up the yin-yang to the point where you can't play a game without agreeing to train like you're going to be a serious athlete. My husband played Ultimate for years, hell, he helped organize tournaments. And I never saw the degree of seriousness in it that I've seen with other organized sports. So I was expecting this to be different, and was disappointed that it wasn't.

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Originally Posted by pookel
Why should the coach have to "encourage" or "pressure" at all?
I don't know what you mean by this. ETA: Oh, you mean that my son should just do what he's told, period, so that the coach doesn't "have" to put extra effort into coercing him. Well, no. My son shouldn't just do what he's told indiscriminately, and the coach doesn't have to continue to harass him about it.

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Why would your son *expect* his "no" to be respected? I don't get to tell my boss, "no, I don't feel like doing that today, I'd rather work on something else." When I was in school, I didn't get to say, "I don't really like all these repetitive worksheets you're giving us, so I'm just going to skip them." The coach is not abusing his "social rank" (whatever that means), he is exercising his completely legitimate authority as coach, and your son thinks he doesn't have to respect that. Frankly, I'm shocked that the coach was as accommodating as it sounds like he was.
It seems to me that you're confusing "respect" and "agree with". By "respect" I mean not continuing to badger someone to do something they don't want to do. 'No' having to do with one's personal bodily integrity or emotional well-being should always be respected in this way regardless of the situation. It might not be workable to accommodate it, or the one in control might not be agreeable for whatever reason, in which case the circumstances change. In that case you make the choice to either acquiesce, or accept the consequences of not doing so.

By "social rank" I mean the fact that adults have more social power than children do, and tend to treat and speak to children less respectfully than they do other adults. I didn't say he was abusing his social rank, I said he was taking advantage of it. Whenever there's inequality of power, that's a tool that gets used whether consciously or not. The vast majority of parents take advantage of it.

Game play certainly can be accommodating of individual needs. When my husband played Ultimate, there was nobody making everybody else do this or that. Anyone could sit out at any time, come in to the practice at any time, go home at any time. No one was having to be the boss of anyone else. And yet, they still managed to have fun and to win games.
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#18 of 161 Old 06-23-2008, 12:11 PM
 
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It seems to me that you're confusing "respect" and "agree with". By "respect" I mean not continuing to badger someone to do something they don't want to do. 'No' having to do with one's personal bodily integrity or emotional well-being should always be respected in this way regardless of the situation. It might not be workable to accommodate it, or the one in control might not be agreeable for whatever reason, in which case the circumstances change. In that case you make the choice to either acquiesce, or accept the consequences of not doing so.
I had a player who refused to participate in any meaningful way during practices. It was U16 if it matters... She would come to the practices, refuse to run, sat out of half the drills...

So I didn't let her play. (This was with her parent's blessing...)

I think that your son wants to play 'pick-up' ultimate. And that's fine.

But please don't insult recreational team sports. Just because the kids aren't good enough or have enough money to play on a high level team - that doesn't mean that most of them don't care.
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#19 of 161 Old 06-23-2008, 12:43 PM
 
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OP, yet again i am amazed at another person asking a WWYD type question and then saying: "i don't see this as relevant" when someone posts something you don't see falling into what you were hoping they would say.
if you already know what you want to do, and you are just looking for people to pat you on the back and say "gee, you are so right in every way", then don't post it on the internet asking.

and ftr, fun activities can also lead to fatigue (i.e. muscle pain).
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#20 of 161 Old 06-23-2008, 01:13 PM
 
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I think pick -up games are fine, and more where it's at for some kids. It's perfectly fine to prefer those.

Where I am torn about some kids not wanting to do part of the workout (if it is reasonable and appropriate and the child wants to play) is that the coach does have a certain repsonsibility to keep the players from unneccsary injury. I would want a coach to know basic biology. If an adult wants to play without warming up, of course they can, but adults who are trying to run a safe program for kids have more responsility and should take care to keep kids from unneccesary injury, and that includes reasonable traiing/warm ups etc.

A run (and I don't know how long it is, whether it is apporpriate for the age etc) will warm up the body so that young muscles will not be injuredby being used cold. There really is a lot of muscles use in throwing a Frisbee, and a warmed body will help keep the kids muscles safer. The play may be stop and go, but the throwing does impact muscles.

In pick up games of old, kids might have biked or run to the filed, or had a good game of hide and seek beforehand. Kids today aren't often biking or running to their organized sports. A child who has spent the time leading up to the practic at the computer or sitting in the car, will have different warm -up needs than the kids of old.

If the coach is not a good fit, he's not. If he is not respectful to the kids you don't have to continue.
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#21 of 161 Old 06-23-2008, 02:10 PM
 
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UUmom, i agree...if he is a good coach, he will be doing a warm-up that he has specifically created to meet the needs of the particpants...so not doing it would perhaps even be dangerous. and as Kessed said, it's nearly impossible to do a different warm-up for every kid...a parent would need to volunteer to research a suitable alternative and then be the one to carry it out every practice. if this is a rec. sport, the guy is most definitely a volunteer and probably has a job and family of his own to deal with, so i doubt he has to the time to come up with all that.
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#22 of 161 Old 06-23-2008, 03:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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But please don't insult recreational team sports.
I didn't. I didn't even insult institutionalized/managed team sports.

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Originally Posted by bellymama
OP, yet again i am amazed at another person asking a WWYD type question and then saying: "i don't see this as relevant" when someone posts something you don't see falling into what you were hoping they would say.
Yes, I'm saying it's not relevant because it's not relevant. I don't know what's so amazing about that.

UUMom, I've already addressed those things. I am not against warming up. I don't know how to say it any clearer than that. It is not the issue. I also know, as I've already said, that my son doesn't have to continue with this coach. Not the issue, doesn't have to be covered again. Thanks.
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Originally Posted by bellymama
it's nearly impossible to do a different warm-up for every kid...a parent would need to volunteer to research a suitable alternative and then be the one to carry it out every practice.
I think this is absurd. Why does a parent have to oversee the warming-up? Why does it have to be researched? This is kids playing a game. This is exactly what I'm talking about. Kids sports in general are completely over-thought and over-managed.

Now look, of course you don't have to agree with me about that. But I'm just at a loss as to why I can't come here to express my disappointment with that without being met with the same response over and over -- "it's the right way and the best way and if you don't like it you can leave. We don't want anyone questioning the appropriateness of it or not towing the party line."

Nobody want to talk about the RU aspects of this? Or the monopolization of a schooly approach to kids sports? Really?
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#23 of 161 Old 06-23-2008, 03:23 PM
 
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I didn't. I didn't even insult institutionalized/managed team sports.
Yes you did...

[quote
Yes, I'm saying it's not relevant because it's not relevant. I don't know what's so amazing about that.[/quote]

Why do you get to decide what's relevant to this discussion? You brought a topic forward. And people are discussing it.


[quote
I think this is absurd. Why does a parent have to oversee the warming-up? Why does it have to be researched? This is kids playing a game. This is exactly what I'm talking about. Kids sports in general are completely over-thought and over-managed. [/quote]

You child should warm up before the practice or game. The coach is providing a standard warm up.

The point is that if your son doesn't want to do that warm up - it is NOT a valid option to just sit that part out. He still should do a warm up. So - that would become your responsibility to provide a good warm-up for him.


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Now look, of course you don't have to agree with me about that. But I'm just at a loss as to why I can't come here to express my disappointment with that without being met with the same response over and over -- "it's the right way and the best way and if you don't like it you can leave. We don't want anyone questioning the appropriateness of it or not towing the party line."

Nobody want to talk about the RU aspects of this? Or the monopolization of a schooly approach to kids sports? Really?
I guess it's mind blowing as to why you're disappointed. You signed your kid up for a mainstream sports team. And now you're upset that the mainstream coach doesn't support RU??????

That seems really harsh.

It also doesn't seem fair to approach a mainstream sports team and expect them to conform to your ideals.
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#24 of 161 Old 06-23-2008, 03:38 PM
 
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Well, to get back on topic, lol, I haven't figured out how anything in a large group works well with RU. I don't understand how unschoolers even do co-ops with each other, let alone organized sports. I'm not saying it can't work, I just can't wrap my head around how. I think it's really sad that there is such a lack of opportunity for sports played more cooperatively (and I don't mean working together as a team to stomp the opponent).

We did try playing soccer with some other homeschoolers once but there was a disconnect with communication. The organizer called it not competitive which I took too literally. I didn't understand why my suggestions of playing with more than one ball so the younger kids would have more opportunity to kick was assumed to be a joke.

That didn't work out for us because some of the older kids played on organized teams and brought that goal oriented attitude onto the field. And there was a great age disparity so it just ended up that the big kids monopolized the ball and the younger ones got discouraged.

So we're sticking with bike riding, running around, and maybe in a year, some martial arts if we can find something that doesn't emphasize competition too much. Personally, I've never enjoyed any organized sport I've tried though I have enjoyed the actual activities when disassociated from a team.

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#25 of 161 Old 06-23-2008, 03:48 PM
 
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The coach is almost definitely a volunteer. That makes him fundamentally different from a doctor or midwife.
Not really. His position is created by a demand, whether or not it's paid. It's his choice to do it and he presumably gets some gratification out of it. Kids shouldn't have to just suck it up and be grateful for whatever they get from a volunteer.

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#26 of 161 Old 06-23-2008, 03:56 PM
 
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Nobody want to talk about the RU aspects of this? Or the monopolization of a schooly approach to kids sports? Really?

I am just not sure what you mean by that. You said the coach was a nice guy, yes? He's running a team, he's trying to keep the kids safe? Is he belittling the kids ? Encouragement/harrasmment/coersion are not the same. 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.

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 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?

I would say be done with it since it's not working your your family. I am not big into organized sports myself.
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#27 of 161 Old 06-23-2008, 04:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yes you did...
Where? Either you're reading into my words something that isn't there, or I was unintentionally misleading. It would be nice to know why you're getting that impression.

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Why do you get to decide what's relevant to this discussion? You brought a topic forward. And people are discussing it.
I'll try once more. I wrote several posts about how my son is having difficulty with an activity and an adult's response to it, and my own lamenting of the micro-managing of kids' sports, and the general lack of respect for kids in our culture. Someone responds by saying that lots of people like hard-core training. Well yeah, sure they do. But I didn't dispute that, and it has no bearing on the thread topic. It's not a big deal that she mentioned it, I just don't understand the point of bringing it up.

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The point is that if your son doesn't want to do that warm up - it is NOT a valid option to just sit that part out. He still should do a warm up. So - that would become your responsibility to provide a good warm-up for him.
I didn't say he shouldn't do a warm-up, nor that he wasn't doing a warm-up, nor, for the umpteenth time, that I have anything against warm-ups. You're missing all my points, apparently. I have a problem with following authority for the sake of following authority. I don't agree with the hallowed notion of running as necessary and appropriate warm-up. I don't think kids should be coerced to do something that feels internally wrong to them. I feel sorry that non-micromanaged sports-play is so difficult to find in our culture.

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I guess it's mind blowing as to why you're disappointed. You signed your kid up for a mainstream sports team. And now you're upset that the mainstream coach doesn't support RU?????? That seems really harsh. It also doesn't seem fair to approach a mainstream sports team and expect them to conform to your ideals.
Wow, you're putting quite the spin on this. As I said, I didn't knowingly sign my child up for a mainstream team. My experience with Ultimate Frisbee has been very different, so that was what I was expecting. I don't have a right to be disappointed about that? Gosh, well I'm sorry.

And yeah, it's upsetting to me when anyone is coercive toward my child. What, I'm not supposed to feel anything about that? Seriously?

And please, I'm not trying to take over the team here. I expressed a concern with the hope that the coach would listen to it with an open heart. If it doesn't work, it doesn't work. But the notion that one shouldn't even try to affect change, if it's possible, is crazy to me. Maybe the coach would have been open to it. Maybe he would have said, "hey, I never thought of it that way." Some people believe that it's never okay to speak up when you don't like something or think it's wrong or think it could be better. I'm not one of those people.
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#28 of 161 Old 06-23-2008, 05:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, to get back on topic, lol,
Well, thanks!

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I haven't figured out how anything in a large group works well with RU. I don't understand how unschoolers even do co-ops with each other, let alone organized sports. I'm not saying it can't work, I just can't wrap my head around how. I think it's really sad that there is such a lack of opportunity for sports played more cooperatively (and I don't mean working together as a team to stomp the opponent).
You know, I think at least part of this is that it's not something that just is in our culture. The framework for it isn't already set up. And we've all been brought up to rely on a framework already being in place instead of creating community in an organic way.

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So we're sticking with bike riding, running around, and maybe in a year, some martial arts if we can find something that doesn't emphasize competition too much.
My boys do Ki-Aikido, it emphasizes the mind-body connection and physical skills and, at least at the kid level, it's not competitive, more about personal growth.
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#29 of 161 Old 06-23-2008, 05:50 PM
 
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Perhaps there will be some useful ideas here below, perhaps not. Please take what works for you and leave the rest.

Practice is tough. I hated swim practice some days back when I was younger, others I liked it. Meets were okay sometimes, but very stressful and demanding to me mostly. If I could have had one wish, it would be that my swim team had been non competitive, just cause that's how I am. I am more about having fun and working together as a team. I could care less about "beating the next guy" and whatever. It's fun to win, but not at the expense of enjoyment. I don't mind working hard, too, if there feels like a reason for it.

Everyone is different. If your son experiences this team, dislikes practices that wear him out and are not fun, and really feels after an amount of time that it's not for him, then I think your idea to start up a less-competitive homeschool team fits the bill better.

I recall quitting swim team my senior year. It was taxing, especially emotionally for me with a very impersonal coach. The year before, I'd had to battle with the school admin. and my previous coach for my swim letter, a very big deal to me, due to my coach's dislike of me...it was terrible and left a bad taste in my mouth...so the last year, I wasn't that sad to go. I was slower than I'd ever been my senior year, and was working a part-time job teaching swim lessons and getting ready to start college and swimming on the team was ebbing away from my strength and not giving me back enough.

When I quit the team, my coach gave me a lot of guilt tripiness, saying things like, "If you quit, you'll always regret it." In my heart, I knew she was wrong, but I was so confused why she said that. It wasn't like I was going to swim in college or anything. It was the end of one part of my life in order to make room for another.

I wish she would have said, "I respect your decision. If you change your mind, you're always welcome to come back. We'll really miss you, but good luck with your future!" I had so much ahead of me and could have used the encouragement. I myself have very sad feelings about sometimes coaches or teams getting caught up in what's best for them, and leaving out the individual entirely. Or thinking they know what's best for me, though our values differ greatly.

I never regretted my decision b/c I had thought about it carefully for a while and it made sense to me. I knew what I was doing was what I needed to do. I encourage you and your son to pay attention to what is right for him. Only he and you can figure that out.

It sounds to me like you are giving him the opportunity to learn more about himself, what he likes, and the chance to challenge himself. Even if he decides this team and atmosphere aren't for him, he's learned a lot and it's very valuable. If he finds he learns to do the hard stuff, and he gets stronger, and there are aspects of being on the team that he feels good about, then he's learned he has internal strength and maybe the team is worth it. Good luck

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#30 of 161 Old 06-23-2008, 05:55 PM
 
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My boys do Ki-Aikido, it emphasizes the mind-body connection and physical skills and, at least at the kid level, it's not competitive, more about personal growth.
I was checking out martial arts places last night and they all sound pretty scary to me except a nearish aikido place. But what is funny (to me) is that what I find scary about them are what other people assert is a positive. For instance, one of the homeschoolers on a yahoo list mentioned how great one place was because if a kid wasn't doing well in school and at home, they weren't allowed to test for the next belt. They asked the parents whether the kid was behaving well enough at school and home to test. Another person emphasized how great another place because it stressed Christian values. Then some of the websites talk about how they teach self discipline. Scary stuff.

My conclusion is that I cannot ask anyone for recommendations.

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