Why are the English men so bad at solo sports?

(and football)

61 to 72 of 72 messages
04/07/2003 at 15:27
Yeah, I think more events would definitely improve things. As far as I remember, sports days usually meant coming last in the egg and spoon race for me - not exactly the cutting edge of athletic competition. By the time I got to secondary school, only the top athletes (usually sprinters) got to take part at all, everyone else just watched. I would have liked to take part in something, however badly, but I wasn't fast enough to be a sprinter, so just had to sit and watch.

Maybe I race now to shake off the egg and spoon race shame...
04/07/2003 at 15:30
aadvark its funny you should mention that. i was an average runner at school, but just good enough to take part on behalf of my team in sports day and school.....which meant coming near the back (if not last) quite a lot.
But now I'm finding I'm competing with the best.

You think we are making up for being shite at school, college?

Wonder if most people are like that?
04/07/2003 at 15:40
You don't often see a skinny kid throw a good shot or discus or sprint as fast as some of the heavy kids. There's room for all kids in school sports.

IMO it's not all down to the attitude of the school, parents can be the worse for stopping their children experience sport.

Schools need a good attitude, ehthos and inclusion policy where all kids are encouraged to believe in themselves. A healthy delivery by staff of what success in sport means (health, fitness, to make it to the top...) might stop some of the less able being targeted and bring to light a few stars in the making!

If they believe that all kids should be given the opportunity to take part in sport experiencing both winning and failure, but with a pick yourself attitude and try again then there would be less 'failure' in the eyes of kids.

Parents should also stop and think each time they write a letter saying little Jack has a sore toe today so he can't do PE. Very often little Jack is not the obese kid either! Too much adult intervention these days prevents kids from just experiencing sport.

Kids need to experience and take risks, we certainly did!!

Rant over!!:o)
04/07/2003 at 15:45
I'm sure I am! I always loved sport in school but was never much good at it. Now that I've found something I'm fairly good at, I think I've laid a lot of the old ghosts to rest!
04/07/2003 at 15:52
Hilly, couldn't agree more. We need to develop an ethos where kids are encouraged to set goals that will stretch them, however "bad" at sport they might be. Experiencing 'failure' (ie not being the best) is part of life, and we shouldn't try to hide that from kids - we need to show them that you can still work hard, achieve a lot and enjoy yourself without necessarily being the world's greatest.
04/07/2003 at 16:43
Read the above with interest.

My view, for what its worth, is that school sport is not helped by the majority of PE teachers being born again sadists. I'm sure that there are good ones, but I haven't met one yet, either in my own school days or those of my kids. Certainly when I was at school it always seemed to be the PE teachers who started the bullying of the weaker kids because they couldn't run/swim/tackle/hit the ball. Maybe things have changed, or are changing, but the damage is done. I always did OK at sport, no matter what it was, and I've always encouraged my kids. But what about that wheezy asthmatic kid who sat next to me in maths, who the PE teacher ridiculed and humiliated until he cried. I wonder what he told his kids......

04/07/2003 at 17:16
My thread has prompted a lot of discussion and I have read each one with interest and quite a lot of laughter. Apologies for not including Redgraves colleagues, Pinsent especially as he was the partner for 3 golds I think. Perhaps I am wrong but this countries attitude is wrong. We have a government that will not give any encouragement to sportsmen unless there is a photocall in for them. Playing fields are being sold because the school can buy books with the profit (poor government again). In Harrogate we are fortunate to have schools (primary and secondary) which have acres of sports fields and our local papers are full of the achievements of our youngsters. But looking at some of the champions and heroes who we all rave about, some of them have had nothing and have pulled themselves up from nothing to get to the top, Brazilian footballers, West Indian cricketers. Perhaps we should be looking at the very young and promoting them because of sporting prowess with scholarships as the americans do. As athletes we have had a great many winners and it's a shame that most of them are retired now and no one has taken their place.
04/07/2003 at 17:36
a few points - i was the fat kid in school - not much cop at things that required fitness or agility but i was a really keen hockey player (goalie cf fat kid) and eventually went on to play county hockey as a vet and still play at territorial leaugue level because of my own drive - i also broke the school discuss record thru continually practising when the other kids were jumping hurdles and high jump - the pe staff werent that encouraging cos i was the fat kid !!

there should be more emphasis on activity for enjoyment and health/fitness in pe lessons so that it becomes inclusive not exclusive

- there also need to be more links with local clubs where keen and talented kids can get into a sport with the coaches around - i played club hockey at 14 because somebody from the club invited me along - but never dared take my discuss to the athletics club because nobody invited me !!

i think sport development initiatives are now encouraging clubs to link in with schools to pick up the keen and talented - my hockey club certainly does - we need to to make sure we attract players for the future

my point about uk obesity increase is that it is a reflection on our increasingly inactive culture - how can we expect kids to want to be active and fitter when the message they are getting from their parents is so negative (not all parents obviously -forumites excepted !!)
- but parents have a bigger influence on kids then teachers

04/07/2003 at 17:38
and i think that the promotion of sport has to be for all and not just for the elite professionals/internationals/champions etc
05/07/2003 at 19:35
I think you're dead right about clubs. Schools are never going to be able to provide adequate training and expertise in a sufficiently wide range of sports, so that even at good sports schools, most of us are going to be packed off to shiver in a corner of the muddy field while the 1st 11 do their training.

Sports clubs in Germany when I was on school exchanges were the answer - you picked a sport, and you did it as much as you liked. I came across gymnastics champions, table tennis fiends, judo masters and so on at an age where we were just all mediocre and unenthusiastic footballers. There again, that was only possible because they finished school at 1pm.

05/07/2003 at 19:37
I'd also like to propose a sarcastic ripple of applause for the Cub Scouts, who twice failed me for even the first stage of the Athletics Badge.
Bet you can't run a 38 minute 10K now eh, Bagheera, you git?
05/07/2003 at 20:10
the only badge i got in the cubs was the sewing badge

and that fell off

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