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Travel Sports Coaches - rant

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Thinking out loud.... is scouting really that different?

 

We too require a certain level of commitment in order to do certain things. A scout who rarely, if ever, camps is not going to make patrol leader. They aren't going to progress through many of the awards. I personally insist that a scout has passed emergency aid stage 3 before they can do their expedition challenge. Again a scout who misses multiple thursday nights will probably end up missing out. 

 

The problem is that kids these days have an awful lot more choices than even when I was there age 25 years ago and compared to what one of my assistant leaders had, who is now 73, it's more or less a different world.

 

Well, we do require that committment, but we are more flexible about it.  Coaches (or band directors) don't like letting kids out of their sport/activity to do Scouts.  We allow the opposite (and as a band/sports parent, I am happy of that).  We allow scouts to take off of scouts for a couple of months and come back, or come to a meeting an hour late after another activity.  We do require a committment, but we don't have a rigid schedule, so to get that First Class Scout rank might take Joe the Athlete three years, but only takes John the Scout two years.  Sports doesn't allow that, for the most part. 

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And even if those kids are not elite talents, there's still much to be gained from sports participation.  I'll never begrudge a kid who wants to compete, strive to be his best, and make a commitment to something (the team) that is greater than himself.

I do agree with that.  Our troop is a welcoming one. We don't mind if a Scout only comes to one meeting a month, provided they want to keep coming. The other part to that is, of course, the one meeting a monther isn't going to advance or be in leadership. 

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After seeing sports and Scouts, I don't see anything really character-based or even teamwork based being  taught to kids in sports (and my sons played soccer their elementary years, both were in middle school sports, and the oldest in high school sports).  I don't see much being taught besides how to play the sport (and yes, that does involve teamwork, but it's not led by the kids, it's led by adults shouting at them). 

 

Then I feel for your sons.  Sounds like they've had some bad coaches.  I'll admit the lessons sports teach are not as pointed as those in scouting (there's almost never a sports law and oath for example***), but they do exist.  The bad apple coaches and organizations shouldn't be an excuse to discount the benefits of sports no more than bad apple leaders and/or packs should reflect all of scouting.

 

 

*** It's not required to be recited and probably is unknown to those who play and coach, but there is a Little League pledge.  Use of it is at the discretion of the local league.  Sure sounds familiar...

I trust in God

I love my country

And will respect its laws

I will play fair

And strive to win

But win or lose

I will always do my best

Edited by SlowDerbyRacer
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Someone mentioned band. In these parts, you miss a band fuction, you lose points on grade.

 

And a lot of this is a result of adult abuse of a child.  Demanding such commitment from kids has been around since dirt was invented.  My parents recognized this and told us kids to have fun and don't worry about it.  It will make no difference one way or the other in life.

 

When I was in high school I did many different activities and joined a lot of clubs.  I was involved in sports and band, I had fun and because I wasn't the "best" in any of these things, my grades suffered.  I got kicked completely off the golf team because I needed to make up a test after school for another teacher.  Seriously?  I graduated in the lower half of my class yet scored in the top 10% of the nation on the ACT college testing.  Carried a 4.0 GPA in tech school for 2 degrees and a 3.27 GPA at the university.  My masters program didn't have GPAs.

 

I worked all my life and have now retired with twice as much money as my financial advisor says I need.  So, now at age 65, I am retired, I play golf on occasion and I'm still active weekly in Scouting.  So out of all of life's experiences, which one paid off in the long run?  :)

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And a lot of this is a result of adult abuse of a child.  Demanding such commitment from kids has been around since dirt was invented.  My parents recognized this and told us kids to have fun and don't worry about it.  It will make no difference one way or the other in life.

 

When I was in high school I did many different activities and joined a lot of clubs.  I was involved in sports and band, I had fun and because I wasn't the "best" in any of these things, my grades suffered.  I got kicked completely off the golf team because I needed to make up a test after school for another teacher.  Seriously?  I graduated in the lower half of my class yet scored in the top 10% of the nation on the ACT college testing.  Carried a 4.0 GPA in tech school for 2 degrees and a 3.27 GPA at the university.  My masters program didn't have GPAs.

 

I worked all my life and have now retired with twice as much money as my financial advisor says I need.  So, now at age 65, I am retired, I play golf on occasion and I'm still active weekly in Scouting.  So out of all of life's experiences, which one paid off in the long run?   :)

Then you are an outlier.  Studies have consistently shown athletes have better grades, on average, in season than they do out of season.  That's because of the increased emphasis need on time management.

 

Top 10% in ACT testing, but bottom half of school is not the fault of participating in sports.  There was something else at play there.

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Then you are an outlier.

 

Naw, i just marched to the beat of a different drummer than what everyone else told me I had to do.  

 

 Studies have consistently shown athletes have better grades, on average, in season than they do out of season.  That's because of the increased emphasis need on time management.

 

I don't buy that for one minute.  Common sense will tell you that the reason the grades are better in season is because they had to keep their grades up to remain on the team.  The concept of time management has nothing to do with it because as soon as the season was over the grades dropped and the pressure to stay on the team was over with.

 

Top 10% in ACT testing, but bottom half of school is not the fault of participating in sports.  

 

That's right because I didn't let participating in sports get in the way of living my life the way I wanted to.  I  was in sports from Little League all the way through to graduation, in band including concert, marching, pep and jazz bands), in academic clubs, I was on the rifle club, the photography club, chess club, American Field Service Club, Latin Club, French Club, Boy Scouts and Civil Air Patrol, and my senior year I was actually on the school's Honor Roll even though I consistently lost honor privileges by getting into trouble.  I also held a part time job all the way through high school.   In college, I was in concert, marching and jazz band for all four years.... besides working part time and carrying an overload of classes.

None of that included the church youth programs I was in, including campus ministry programs in college.

 

There was something else at play there.

 

Yep, I had a fantastic childhood and all the adult rules associated with school didn't get in the way.  Living life on one's own terms and enjoying it is something I learned as a Scout..  There is real adventure in taking the road less traveled.  

 

And as a post script to this all, I had parents that encouraged me to be the person I was destined to be and they supported me 100% in all that I did.  They made no demands and didn't hover.

Edited by Stosh

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Then you are an outlier.  Studies have consistently shown athletes have better grades, on average, in season than they do out of season.  That's because of the increased emphasis need on time management.

 

Top 10% in ACT testing, but bottom half of school is not the fault of participating in sports.  There was something else at play there.

 

While I concur with the statistics regarding student athletes and grades. As a professional educator, I would disagree with the assertion it is due to emphasis on time management. As a statistician, I would caution against any statement as to the reason without further analysis. There are many co-variables which would need to be isolated. To claim that time management is the root cause for the success of student athletes is inconclusive in the studies and in my experience not valid. If I were to suggest a further analysis  to determine as to why student athletes seem to get better grades, I would suggest one look at the extracurricular guidelines in the schools. Most have some sort of academic eligibility requirement. This suggests that it isn't athletics which helps with grades, but that those with poor grades are unable to participate fully in athletics. The same studies which show correlation between academic achievement and athletics also show a correlation between academic achievement and music. Sociologists have argued that since the phenomenon isn't isolated to specific extracurriicular activities, the increased academic achievement is due to the student's acceptance of school and its culture. Those who participate in extracurriculars identify with the school. Those who eschew school in general have lower academic performance and also do not participate in extra-curriculars. I suppose my point is to caution against claiming the reason for the correlation as fact.

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While I concur with the statistics regarding student athletes and grades. As a professional educator, I would disagree with the assertion it is due to emphasis on time management. As a statistician, I would caution against any statement as to the reason without further analysis. There are many co-variables which would need to be isolated. To claim that time management is the root cause for the success of student athletes is inconclusive in the studies and in my experience not valid. If I were to suggest a further analysis  to determine as to why student athletes seem to get better grades, I would suggest one look at the extracurricular guidelines in the schools. Most have some sort of academic eligibility requirement. This suggests that it isn't athletics which helps with grades, but that those with poor grades are unable to participate fully in athletics. The same studies which show correlation between academic achievement and athletics also show a correlation between academic achievement and music. Sociologists have argued that since the phenomenon isn't isolated to specific extracurriicular activities, the increased academic achievement is due to the student's acceptance of school and its culture. Those who participate in extracurriculars identify with the school. Those who eschew school in general have lower academic performance and also do not participate in extra-curriculars. I suppose my point is to caution against claiming the reason for the correlation as fact.

I'll buy most of what you're saying.  However to accept your caution to not infer improved time management as the cause, I'll return the same caution to not assume maintaining eligibility is a main driver.  I did a cursory search of the literature on this question and came across a non-scientific article with athlete commentary.  In it different athletes pointed to different reasons for their in season academic success.  There were comments both crediting improved time management and pressure to maintain grades for eligibility.  So perhaps there are a number of causal factors here which depend on the individual athlete (band member, etc) meaning all of our perspectives are right. 

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Sports have demanded more and more time over the decades.

 

There is something wrong when a child spends more time in the mini-van, in transit, than she/he spends on the playing field, or with friends, or just relaxing.

 

Long commutes, eating fast food, watching movies...then play the game...then more fast food, do some homework in the van before it gets dark, get home, go to sleep, get up, go to school, repeat.    Practice after school, on the weekends.   And now, we have games Sunday morning.

 

To what end?

 

I love sports, but they can turn into a type of servitude.   For 99 percent of the adults and kids that play sports, they should be recreation.  Fun.  Not work.

 

Stosh's high school experience matches mine.   Except for his test scores :)   Mine indicated that I would probably end up working in a lumber yard, to borrow a line.

 

"What's wrong with lumber?  I own two lumber yards."

"I notice you don't spend much time there."

"Not sure where they are at."

Edited by desertrat77

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Whoever it was that said scouting helps boys to become 'well-rounded' must have been thinking about the leaders, lol. That takes years and the well-rounded part starts around age 30 or so.

 

The local college arranges academic schedules for athletes so that they have the 'heavy' courses out of season. In season the courses are more, let us say, 'flexible'.

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3.8% of high school sports participants go on to play in college.  3.1% of the college sports participants go on to play professionally.  More money is spent in our public schools on athletics than on math and thus American students rank 31st in the world on math skills which would not come as any big surprise.

 

If one wishes to know more about these statistics, just Google it and decide for yourself.

 

Then just for fun Google BSA Eagles and look at their contributions to society rather than lining their pockets with professional athletic salaries for self gain.

 

One's gonna have a problem convincing the world that sports is better than scouting when it comes to societal improvement.

 

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2013/10/the-case-against-high-school-sports/309447/

Edited by Stosh
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DavidCO is right. Sports is practically an alternative form of worship for a lot of people, and sports celebrities are like members of the priesthood. But I guess this has always been the trend in 'pop culture' in which someone with a good voice (for example from something 'Idol' or something 'got talent') but very little else will nevertheless be 'worshiped' by that culture. It's like a mutually supportive system of the validation of things less than mediocre: that if a tiny number of the group can be elevated to great adulation by the masses, it somehow makes the masses feel like they are also elevated.

 

Scouting, in comparison, has never been even in that picture, not even from day 1.

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My kids balanced sports, athletics, and academics, so I'm throwing neither under the bus.

 

Now, we had a scout who loved serving at our spaghetti dinners. Asked if we could hold more of them. Quit after two years because of Athletics. Still a nice kid. Tried college full time, did poorly. Is no part time at community college and bagging groceries and greeting customers in a big box store... Actually is really good at the latter.

 

I had a similar scout pass on the athletics and stick with the troop. Got in the habit of selling anything including water to fish and was decent at auto service. He finally landed a full time job at a dealership and can support a wife and kids.

 

I suspect the first scout will eventually find his level and surpass us all. But, there's something about the inward focus of high school athletics that can arrest development. We could probably say the same for any single obsession. Scouting may help pull a kid out of whatever hole he might try to hide in by forcing interaction with a variety of caring adults.

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