Announcement

Announcement Module
Collapse
No announcement yet.

Pull-ups for Tenderfoot

Page Title Module
Move Remove Collapse
X
Conversation Detail Module
Collapse
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Pull-ups for Tenderfoot

    I have two boys who can't do a pullup to save their lives. Do I think they are practicing? Not really, and neither of them really claim they are trying really hard and just can't get it. We take the pullup bar every couple of weeks and they try again.

    Do I withhold Tenderfoot until they do ONE pullup, or do I award the rank and move forward?

  • #2
    Is a Scout "Physically Fit" if he can't do one bloody pull up? All the requirements says, "Do you best." I guess if zero push-ups is their best... that's really sad, but I think you can pass em if that's what you want. Really though... Zero Pushups...

    Comment


    • #3
      I have posted this before: In my former troop we had a boy who was large for his age. Because of this he couldn't do a pull up. We tried for quite some time until he was able to actuallyget a bend in his elbow, ever so slight. Well, it was improvement and he passed. He made Eagle without any other "problems". He went on to play defensive lineman for the University of Wisconsin, so it wasn't a total loss. I wonder if he ever did get his pull-up while in college....

      Comment


      • #4
        Your choice, eh?

        Here's da deal with pull-ups. If yeh look at the Presidential Fitness Award test for pull-ups, for 11 year old boys, doing 1 pull-up puts you in the top two-thirds of boys your age. In other words, not being able to do a single pull-up puts the lad in the bottom third of boys his age, or a third of our first year scouts won't be able to do a pull-up.

        Now, yeh can look at that and say that gee, it's goin' to be hard for those boys. If they're in the bottom 10th of boys their age, to go from zero to one pull-up is goin' to be a lot more work for them than it is for a more fit boy to go from 2 to 3 pull-ups. It's the difference between moving up 25 percentiles vs. moving up 10 percentiles. So if your program does First Class First Year, trying to keep boys together like Webelos, it's goin' to feel unfair and discouraging to those less fit boys. In that case, yeh might substitute a smaller improvement goal, like improving their flexed-arm hang time or giving credit for a partial pull-up. That will help 'em toward doin' a pull-up eventually.

        If your program is more traditional or a bit less advancement focused so that a boy can feel comfortable working at his own pace without gettin' discouraged, then I reckon giving him the gift of real fitness is a better choice. You and your youth leaders work with him until he can do a full, real pull-up. Then yeh celebrate that win and how much effort it took, and the boy learns the additional lesson that good things come with hard work, but he can do it.

        Either can be an OK choice. A lot depends on your unit's culture and approach to Scoutin', and what your goals are for the boys. Of the two, I prefer da second route myself.

        Yeh can also set loftier goals for your fit kids, eh? Perhaps they should go from 2 to 5 pull-ups to match da effort of the lad who is goin' from 0 to 1!

        Seems like we should expect the lads in a program with a goal of fitness and being physically strong to be at least in da top 50 percent for their age, eh? That'd be two pull-ups for an 11 year old, or 8 for a 17 year old goin' for Eagle. And probably 8 for all of us male adults as well, eh?

        Comment


        • #5
          Sentinel, my oldest son has Klinefelter's Syndrome. He is a 20 y.o. Eagle Scout and can't do one pullup, and very few pushups. Is he physically fit? Yes, he can run far and fast, plays a lot of ultimate, hikes with the Troop every month and competed in wrestling and baseball for years. He has endurance to spare and a resting HR of about 60. But he has very little strength for his size (6'3") because of his disorder. I can't imagine how he would have reacted had his Scoutmasters demanded a full pullup before advacing. Our Troop allows them to show improvement by going from 0 to 1/2 or 1/2 to full.

          Pullups are a test of raw strength related to body weight, not fitness.

          Comment


          • Sentinel947
            Sentinel947 commented
            Editing a comment
            Perhaps my comments were too harsh. There will always be exceptions to the rule huh? Obviously if a Scout has a disorder/disability that would prevent him from meeting a physical requirement, then you make an exception.

            You can also try an assisted pull up, or a "Chin up" Where someone either helps them with a boost for the "assisted pull up" and for the chin up, someone helps them up to the chin above the bar position, and then the Scout tries to hold himself up there. I'd think either of those would be alternatives.

            All the requirement says is do your best. I'd think Baseballfan, your Troop's policy fits that bill.

          • Scouter99
            Scouter99 commented
            Editing a comment
            Physical fitness is not one thing. It is not just strength, but it's not just endurance, either.
            Fitness has 4 components: Cardio, Strength/Endurance (some people split these, making 5), flexibility, and body composition. A man that can lift 500 pounds, but can't run 100 yds is not fit. A man that can do the splits but can't do 1 pullup is not fit. A man that can run 10 miles but not touch his toes is not fit.

            It's great that your son is a successful athlete despite his illness, but that doesn't change the definition of physically fit. In either case, the question in the OP isn't about kids with illness, it's about regular kids. BSA accommodates for people with honest issues, the boys in question just aren't trying.

        • #6
          The requirement says "show improvement," right? Well, 0 to 1/2 a pull-up IS an improvement, in my interpretation of the requirement.

          Comment


          • #7
            Especially with pull ups. Body type and muscle structure effect these things too. When I was sixteen I could do close to 20 parallel bar dips, 25+ pushups in a minute, and close to to 200 situps (not crunches) keeping my feet on the ground myself. I could do three pull ups. Did not matter if I went under or over hand either. The coach simply shrugged and said it was just my build. And I agree that ANY improvement should count, especially at that age.

            Comment


            • skeptic
              skeptic commented
              Editing a comment
              Well Beavah; Since the coach had a degree in physical development and a teaching credential and was also an ex marine that would ride you like a bronco if he thought you were not giving it your all, I guess he "was full of it". While it may be true that many kids simply are too lazy to do the work, it is also true that some are not physically capable of doing certain skills at the level one might expect of someone otherwise in good condition.

            • Beavah
              Beavah commented
              Editing a comment
              Yah, sure, some lads are incapable because of real handicaps, like baseballfan's kid. We all recognize that, and make exceptions for it. What's not true is that a healthy lad who can do 3 pull-ups is not able to improve to doing 4 pull-ups with a reasonable training routine and some effort. That is just nonsense, and we do kids a disservice when we make those claims and excuses.

            • Beavah
              Beavah commented
              Editing a comment
              Yah, sure, some lads are incapable because of real handicaps, like baseballfan's kid. We all recognize that, and make exceptions for it. What's not true is that a healthy lad who can do 3 pull-ups is not able to improve to doing 4 pull-ups with a reasonable training routine and some effort. That is just nonsense, and we do kids a disservice when we make those claims and excuses.

          • #8
            Write something here

            Comment


            • #9
              Many boys at beginning scouting age are not muscularly developed enough to do a complete ull-up. Have them practice by doing modified pullups, and judge their improvement on that.

              Comment


              • #10
                Many boys at beginning scouting age are not muscularly developed enough to do a complete ull-up. Have them practice by doing modified pullups, and judge their improvement on that.

                Comment


                • #11
                  Not sure why this is ... but even when I worked in the meatpacking plants (college days) I could lift 100+ lbs of sausage/tube steak over my head, but I've never ever been able to do a pullup.

                  Comment


                  • #12
                    Is the purpose to determine if they are fit or can they do a pull up? I am in the same boat with my new scout son. Zero body fat and strength. We are working on it with assisted pull-ups but is going slow. He also can't squeeze the knife to unlock the blade. To me that is the bigger problem. Half the NSP can't really pass the swim test but last Saturday he swam 25 laps just 11 short of the mile swim. So is he "not fit" ?

                    Comment


                    • #13
                      If the doctor says there is a physical disability, get a waiver for the requirement.
                      If not, I'd be satisfied if a scout makes an honest effort to improve. That means grabbing a pull-up bar every day for a month.

                      Try asking the boy ...
                      This pull-up thing, do you think you showed improvement?
                      Would you like to really try hard on this one and we'll see next month?
                      If this is the only thing keeping you from Tenderfoot, how about knocking off some second and first class requirements while you work on this one?

                      Comment


                      • #14
                        How about throwing a scale under his feet and seeing if he can pull harder?

                        Comment


                        • #15
                          This turned out to be a hot topic when I was commitee chair for a small start-up troop back in '02-03. We had a 13 yr old scout that had been working on this requirement for almost a year. The father (Eagle Scout) showed me proof and tracking of the scouts efforts, and he showed improvement in all other areas. The problem was we had an ASM (marine background) that thought it was his personal mission to improve the physical fitness of Americas youth. And......a SM that was signed on to his 'program'. This created a discouraged youth, and angry parent, a split comittee vote and was a major contributor to troops eventual collapse. (no kidding).

                          This is an extreme example, but I think it demonstrates how adult's interpretation of a requirement can really cause big problems with a unit.

                          The requirent say to show improvement on these activities. Not EACH, or ALL of these activities. Lighten up! Follow the spirit of the requirement. Where the requirements are specific, hold the scout accountable to the specifics. Where they are left general, use you descretion.

                          Here's another example.....

                          We had a scout that did his initial 'benchmark' tests towards the end of footbal season, when he was working out every day and was in a very good state of conditioning. I think he did 5+ pull ups. After the 30-day period, footbal season was over and he probably put on a couple pounds. At the re-test phase, he was only able to eek out ~3 pull ups.

                          So, a strict interpretation of the rules would have failed the kid, even though he did more 'actual' pull ups than most of the other kids. Does it really make sense to follow a super-strict interpretation of this rule?

                          I think not.

                          Comment

                          Working...
                          X