"we wouldn't want anyone to be held back" sports

Posted by: somewhereonearth

"we wouldn't want anyone to be held back" sports - 01/12/15 04:08 PM

So, again, I am amazed at the attitude found in my kids' gym (where all 3 take gymnastics classes). The teachers are continually concerned that children should be taught at the right level and that children should always be challenged. I am recalling a recent day at the gym. We had some foul weather and there were a lot of absences. The teachers combined 3 different level classes into 1 because there were so few children. But then one of the teachers noticed the wide range of ability in this 1 class and said to the other teachers, "We need to split them up. We wouldn't want anyone to be held back." The teachers couldn't tolerate having any children "held back" for even 15 mins.

I have virtually no experience with organized sports, so this attitude is all new to me. Is it like this with all sports?

And of course, I keep joking to my husband that these teachers need to go into the public schools and teach the teachers how important it is to sufficiently challenge children and, you know, educate them at the right levels. Why, oh why can't school teachers have this same attitude?
Posted by: syoblrig

Re: "we wouldn't want anyone to be held back" sports - 01/13/15 08:07 AM

Ha! My son is a competitive gymnast. When they do their tumbling passes, for instance, each kid knows what they need to work on, and they get coached on their individual pass. Wouldn't that be something if school was like that?! After a bad school year, my son has said he's grateful for gymnastics because sometimes it's the only place he learns anything (heard this after the fact!).

I will say, I think gymnastics attracts a lot of gifted kids, maybe for that reason. On my son's team a significant number of the older boys who have graduated have gotten prestigious full-ride academic scholarships and go to elite colleges.
Posted by: Cookie

Re: "we wouldn't want anyone to be held back" sports - 01/13/15 08:19 AM

Originally Posted By: syoblrig
Ha! My son is a competitive gymnast. When they do their tumbling passes, for instance, each kid knows what they need to work on, and they get coached on their individual pass. Wouldn't that be something if school was like that?! After a bad school year, my son has said he's grateful for gymnastics because sometimes it's the only place he learns anything (heard this after the fact!).

I will say, I think gymnastics attracts a lot of gifted kids, maybe for that reason. On my son's team a significant number of the older boys who have graduated have gotten prestigious full-ride academic scholarships and go to elite colleges.


Swimming too....huge swim team at the high school in my town that has the IB program. My son's high school's swim team (different school than the IB school) had a 3.9 grade point average.
Posted by: KTPie

Re: "we wouldn't want anyone to be held back" sports - 01/13/15 10:31 AM

I think of the difference between our culture's view of athletic ability vs. intellectual ability often. It is frustrating but I don't foresee it changing.
Posted by: ashley

Re: "we wouldn't want anyone to be held back" sports - 01/13/15 11:32 AM

Originally Posted By: KTPie
I think of the difference between our culture's view of athletic ability vs. intellectual ability often. It is frustrating but I don't foresee it changing.


We have always seen remarkable differentiation (to the point of customization) every time DS has worked with tutors or mentors for academic subjects as well. But, the experience in his brick and mortar school is a different story altogether. My belief is that if you hire a tutor or a coach, they have deep specialization and knowledge in their domain and also love to teach and work with kids. The same can't be said of the elementary school teachers we have encountered for the past 3 years - some have lacked subject knowledge, some have lacked enthusiasm and some have lacked the interest in meeting the learning needs of the children in their classroom. But, most of them seemed to follow a "lesson plan" that is pre-made and comes in one-size-fits all.

My DS learns more in his once a week afterschool math tutoring in 1 month than he does in a whole year of school (where they tend to stretch out arithmetic and measurements for a few years) even though he is in a small group. The tutor spends maybe 10 mins with him and leaves him to work on his own and he still makes great strides in each class. In my opinion, all that it takes are - a deep knowledge of a subject, 10 mins per week of 1-on-1 instruction and followup work (correcting test papers or answering questions) to accelerate a child at his own pace. For most schools, that is so hard to do frown
Posted by: polarbear

Re: "we wouldn't want anyone to be held back" sports - 01/13/15 01:10 PM

Originally Posted By: master of none

With sports, you can walk with your feet to another place. And teams can be picky about who they take and the standards they work to. They don't need to do IEPs and pass the state tests.

We see this comparison often on this board, and usually, I stay out of it, but this time, just wanted to offer my 2 cents. If we could take out the compulsory in education, and only those interested in going to school went, OR if everyone were required to play football, or do gymnastics, then we might have a comparison.


ITA with master of none on all of this!

And re the gym example above - chances are the kids aren't separated by skill level simply because the coaches recognize every individual should be appropriately challenged. As the parent of a competitive gymnast, I could go on and on about how this is not the same thing as a school example at all, but I'll spare you the boring details lol!

Re other sports - both competitive and rec leagues like soccer etc around here all base participation on *age* - so no matter how much of a soccer prodigy you are at 9, you can't play on a team with 12 year olds.

polarbear
Posted by: puffin

Re: "we wouldn't want anyone to be held back" sports - 01/13/15 03:33 PM

Gymnastics and swimming are individual sports too. Having a 7 year old play in a 12 year old rugby team would be more of a problem.

To be fair gym coaches are passionate about gym whereas a primary teacher may be passionate about writing but hate maths and science.

A change in mindset and attitude would help though.
Posted by: aeh

Re: "we wouldn't want anyone to be held back" sports - 01/13/15 06:33 PM

Originally Posted By: polarbear
no matter how much of a soccer prodigy you are at 9, you can't play on a team with 12 year olds.

polarbear

Not universally true. Rec programs are usually lock-step for age, but in competitive soccer, I know quite a few children who "play up" in our region (not just our specific community, but surrounding ones as well). You can't be "held back" in team sports, because of very strict reverse age cutoffs that come down from the national youth sports organizations, but you can play with older kids, if you can make the team. Plus there are all the club soccer teams, who actively recruit (read, poach) the best community players into very intense training.

I think the primary factor in soccer inequity is actually socioeconomic, as nearly everything is pay-to-play these days, versus the school-based, subsidized teams that once predominated among all school-age athletic programs.
Posted by: polarbear

Re: "we wouldn't want anyone to be held back" sports - 01/14/15 12:02 AM

Originally Posted By: aeh
Originally Posted By: polarbear
no matter how much of a soccer prodigy you are at 9, you can't play on a team with 12 year olds.

polarbear


Not universally true. Rec programs are usually lock-step for age, but in competitive soccer, I know quite a few children who "play up" in our region (not just our specific community, but surrounding ones as well). You can't be "held back" in team sports, because of very strict reverse age cutoffs that come down from the national youth sports organizations, but you can play with older kids, if you can make the team. Plus there are all the club soccer teams, who actively recruit (read, poach) the best community players into very intense training.


That's interesting aeh! My kids have only played rec soccer, and I haven't had friends with kids who "played up", so I didn't realize you could on comp teams. I've definitely heard of poaching though lol smile

Quote:
I think the primary factor in soccer inequity is actually socioeconomic, as nearly everything is pay-to-play these days, versus the school-based, subsidized teams that once predominated among all school-age athletic programs.


Sadly this seems to be true for most kids' sports, at least in my little corner of the US. There are sports programs in our high schools still, but for a kid to participate in a team sport (and individual sports like gymnastics and swimming) before high school require families to be able to pay for their children to participate - and some of the sports are outrageously expensive. Even the sports that don't have a high cost require transportation and having a parent or other adult who wants to be sure you have the chance to participate - so a child from a lower SES family where both parents work or there's only one parent or the child is being raised by grandparents or the parents are checked out... has no opportunity to participate. Things like ice skating, skiing, etc cost nothing where we live - but you have to have a small amount of equipment and you have to be able to get to where you can participate.

polarbear
Posted by: Mana

Re: "we wouldn't want anyone to be held back" sports - 01/14/15 12:53 AM

A bit OT but DD has quit both soccer and ballet awhile ago. So I wanted her to pick up a new physical activity and I wanted it to be something easy, relaxing, fun, and non-competitive. I found her a yoga class and it's been really super.

No recitals.
No games.
No competitions.
No pressure.
No agism.

Best of all, it's been good for DD to be more aware of her mind and breathing. She is the only little one in the class and other kids are at least 8 years olds but they all seem to be great kids. smile
Posted by: Cookie

Re: "we wouldn't want anyone to be held back" sports - 01/14/15 04:27 AM

Right. Our club team takes every one who can swim a twenty five yard free style and twenty five back stroke. But we don't group training by age (well we have a minimum for the senior level is 13 or sometimes, rarely a soon to be 13 year old but that has to do with burning the kid out). So when you test out from one group to the next is totally based on your speed of progression through the various skills and ability to make interval.

The high school team accepts everyone. And due to lane scarcity it does bring down the level of workout. If you are a club swimmer chances are you are more advanced than 60 % of the team. My son's team says come to one practice a week with the team and then practice with your club so that you get harder workout.
Posted by: somewhereonearth

Re: "we wouldn't want anyone to be held back" sports - 01/14/15 11:13 AM

Interesting discussion here. I know that comparing my gymnastics situation to public school is not the same. But it is still shockingly refreshing to me to see any adult be concerned that a child is not being challenged. I've not seen this anywhere (with the exception of tutors, but that's a one-on-one situation, so you don't have a group to hold anyone back). Just seeing this attitude is enough to make me feel happy. I've really only met teachers who frankly, don't care a fig about gifted kids. And at my gym, they are worried that the mommy and me classes might be "held back" on a snow day. Who cares if toddlers are being "held back"? They care, apparently.
Posted by: NotherBen

Re: "we wouldn't want anyone to be held back" sports - 01/14/15 12:06 PM

Our karate dojo classes students:
partly by age (especially with really young kids, and sometimes the adults don't want to be in a class with middle schoolers, but sometimes we do)
but mainly by rank,
and within rank by ability (because even at the Black belt level some excel and some don't, so the talented are invited to join the competition team or invited to help teach classes )
and within abilities,by height for certain activities, so that someone 3'8" tall actually has a chance of delivering a blow to the stomach of an opponent, and so someone 5'10" can punch straight out and actually make contact.

While there is an awareness of who the really talented students are, there is no angst about being "ahead" or "behind", just "what is your goal" and "what are you working on" . It would be nice if school were managed this way.
Posted by: Old Dad

Re: "we wouldn't want anyone to be held back" sports - 01/14/15 07:52 PM

Having been married to a teacher of 31 years who teaches gifted children and teaches teachers differentiation, it's my opinion one of the largest issues in this problem is one that almost nobody ever discusses, the simple fact that teachers coming out of college have little or absolutely no training on the concept, let alone methodology, of differentiation. Even after a decade of teaching, one is lucky if they get half a dozen hours of in-service training. How good can we expect teachers to be at differentiation when it's not a topic the colleges and public schools think is worth training teachers in?
Posted by: ultramarina

Re: "we wouldn't want anyone to be held back" sports - 01/15/15 05:16 AM

Quote:
But it is still shockingly refreshing to me to see any adult be concerned that a child is not being challenged. I've not seen this anywhere (with the exception of tutors, but that's a one-on-one situation, so you don't have a group to hold anyone back).


Chess. My kids happen to attend a school that is pretty competitive on the national chess scene, so it might not be AS true elsewhere. But #1, you play at your ability level regardless of age (so, in K DS was regularly being matched with 4th and 5th graders by his coach), #2, there is virtually always room for growth, and #3, chess coaches, in my experience, are specifically looking to get your child to get to the next level and to see active growth. There is not much interest in treating everyone the same. Frankly, I find the atmosphere a little too intense, but if it's what you're looking for, chess is a good place to get it.
Posted by: indigo

Re: "we wouldn't want anyone to be held back" sports - 05/22/22 03:35 PM

Reviving this old thread, as it shares an EXCELLENT observation, and one which may be especially beneficial to raise awareness of in today's educational climate which has a goal of "equal outcomes" for all pupils in an age cohort, rather than focusing on providing appropriate challenge and support to maximize the growth of each pupil, based on their ability and readiness.
Posted by: Vansh

Re: "we wouldn't want anyone to be held back" sports - 05/27/22 07:32 AM

This really is an excellent observation and I just do not understand it. All 3 of my DS play sports, and in sports there is no leveling the playing field: all of the kids are allowed to play at their ability, such that they receive a true challenge.However, in academics there is such a sentiment to level the playing field, even at the cost of meeting children's educational needs. I suspect that this is more of a US specific thing.