Academic performance and Soccer.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by easoccer, Apr 4, 2016.

  1. easoccer

    easoccer Established Member

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    I have come across this issue on my u15 team.

    A player gets a poor report card at school. The parent removes the player without any prior notice.

    1. Do you agree with this approach? Punishing poor academic performance by taking away physical activity? My stance is that both are equally important and I dont believe any child will fill that time with more study. So it is not an approach I would take. Screen time is a more aporopriate priveledge to take away.

    2. As a coach how would you feel if the player was counted on and was removed during cup play? You are already short players and there arent any available to take that players place. Would you understand? And if they worked it out and wanted to rejoin the team in the following season would you take them back?
     
  2. TKBC

    TKBC Established Member

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    Very difficult. As a coach you want to have black-white rules with regard to this, but at the same time there are circumstances to consider.

    Would I as a parent remove my kid from sports because their grades are poor? Well, it depends on why their grades are poor. You are right, kids are not (likely) getting poor grades from being on a sports team - but depends on the kid, number of training sessions, what kind of academics is the kid taking, what are the kids educational/sporting priorities. But generally speaking if they are getting poor grades it's because they aren't prioritizing their time well (staying up too late at night, not eating well, too much time with friends, too many video games). Or, maybe it was an excuse for the player to quit at this juncture (for any of a million reasons) and school as an excuse is an "easy out."

    Would I take the player back the next season? Not if I had an alternative pick. Probably the other kids wouldn't want them back anyway.
     
  3. hervb

    hervb Member

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    I too have come across this but for behavioral issues not grades. It was our team goalie, and it was during cup play. As frustrating as it was, as a coach I didnt feel it was my place to question there decision making. I did make it clear to them he was a huge part of our team, and his teammates were counting on him.

    I personally do not understand the logic of taking away a healthy outlet, around positive influences.
     
  4. easoccer

    easoccer Established Member

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    I understand a parent taking away something the kid is passionate about to emphasize a point but to take them out of physical activity is something I dont get. Especially when they are part of a team and people are counting on them. There are so many important aspects to being in a sport.

    The dad said he wants to come back in May. Ill have to think long and hard about it.
     
  5. TKBC

    TKBC Established Member

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    The season is over in May unless you guys go on a deep Coastal Cup run....or have a spring program. But school won't be done in May so how will this kids life be any different then compared to now? Again, if I had another option I wouldn't take the kid back. For example, depending on what level your team plays maybe your clubs TD would approve you moving a kid up from u14 (for next season), or call-up the best player from the team below (again, for next season). Of course both those options are dependent on the kid and his parents accepting a call-up.
     
  6. 4_the_kids

    4_the_kids Active Member

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    I think this parent is making the point that doing well in school is more important than any sport or any other activity for that matter, and that is hard to argue with. It probably has more to do with the time commitment than anything.
    If my child was consistently not completing homework because of soccer , I would make the same point.
    Physical activity with poor grades isn't going to get you far. I have come across coaches that expect the kids to maintain good grades as well.. Now if the discipline is a result of the child getting a B or C+ instead of an A that is too much, if the child is in danger of failing then the priority has to be put on school.
    The idea of not taking the kids back on the team after , that I don't understand are you not now part of the problem?
    Many colleges expect their athletes to maintain a certain GPA... it is a reasonable expectation.
     
  7. TKBC

    TKBC Established Member

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    If my kid was not completing their work I'd first look at how much time they were spending playing games, watching TV, or simply doing any other activity (staying up late, too many hours with friends) before taking away soccer - healthy body = healthy mind. But if the kid was managing their time well and it was soccer putting them over the top for their time management and as a result the grades became poor then yes it would be soccer that's sacrificed. The kid can play on the school teams.

    For me, as a coach, missing practice due to school is not reasonable. Kids need to learn to balance life with commitments. Doing so on a sports team is the perfect avenue to do that. My team rules are simple - miss (or are late) 1 practice lose X playing time, miss (or are late) 2 practices that week lose X playing time (if kid misses many practices - ie, 1/week for extended period) then it's a meeting with player/parents to discuss a satisfactory resolution/consequence. Late for game warm-up, lose playing time and don't start. The kids learn to balance their schedules very very quickly - especially if it's the captain or star player who is getting benched and the team struggles as a result! The only reasons for not losing playing time (ie, car breaks down, or something like that, on the way to/day of practice) would be unforeseen circumstances or death/serious illness in the family. The benefit to this system is if you come to the practices you get 50% playing time (or more).
     
  8. 4_the_kids

    4_the_kids Active Member

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    i agree there are other factors, I also agree that physical activity usually leads to better grades. Bottom line we are not the parent of this child and do not have full understanding of the circumstances. If he misses a practice or too yes hi splaying time will reflect that. If the parent advises the child is being pulled until marks improve I would welcome him back with open arms afterwards.
     
  9. Admin

    Admin Administrator

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    TBH, I was thinking the same thing. Doesn't really seem to fit under the whole 'player development' model?
     
  10. easoccer

    easoccer Established Member

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    I was not trying to single a player or family out but rather talk in general terms.

    Many studies have shown that more hours of studying do not necessarily help. No child should spend more than an extra hour or two studying each day. After that it becomes counter productive.

    Of course we do not know what is going on in anyone elses lives so there could be other factors.

    If you want to remove soccer as a punishment then it should be done at the conclusion of the current season if possible.

    Yanking someone out mid cup play also affects the whole team as that player can not reasonably replaced.

    And unless you are at the highest level you may have 1-2 practices per week and a game. All of the remaining time cant really be filled with study could it?

    As for taking a player back after this I am torn.

    Sure the parent may have done what was right for them but not for the team. No one has a "right" to a spot. Through hard work, dedication, and results can a player keep their place on the team. If they cant do that, then maybe div4/rec where these things dont matter as much.

    And now it is a precedent. What if it were to happen again?


    Anyway. Food for thought.
     
  11. TKBC

    TKBC Established Member

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    Good discussion. (note: I also don't punish kids playing time if they have a religious activity that requires them to miss soccer).

    It is difficult re: accepting the kid back or not. What if the kid has an exceptional attitude, never missed anything, but then had to take time off to help get their school sorted and then want to return. It is case-by-case, as much as us as coaches want it to be black and white!

    I agree, if they can't commit to 2 practices and a game (standard for everyone below MSL) and balance grades then maybe they need to play a rec level, or have a serious lesson in how to balance their commitments.
     
  12. 4_the_kids

    4_the_kids Active Member

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    Its good discussion, and a topic that sits right on the edge. I don't think the child should be punished by the team for the chosen actions of the parent. In a case like this the parent would have made a serious decision knowing full well what was at stake which speaks volumes. Does it suck for the team , for sure so does a player getting hurt. Team can survive and move on for the time being.
    Here is a related but slightly different question : if a player wants to play on school sport teams, whether it be basketball, volleyball, football, rugby , track or whatever and doing so means conflicts with a soccer schedule do you punish that player for not being there or encourage him to play the other sports.? For most high school is the only opportunity to be exposed to these other sports, and should any level below BCSPL ( and even that I am torn) get in the way of it?And if so why, for what? Its not like there is money on the line for the team, only the parent of the kid who misses the time already paid for. I had several kids miss practices for basketball this past year. I chose to encourage it as i believe in multiple sport exposure and these high school years are important for kids and there self esteem ... Does it suck, sure but there is life outside of soccer that 99% of the kids playing soccer need to be getting ready for.
     
  13. easoccer

    easoccer Established Member

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    I actively encourage players to take part in other sports if they so wish, but as the coach of the soccer team it is my priority to manage this team. So if the players new commitments take him away from this one, ie practices or games, then his playing time may be reduced in favor of a player who has better comittment.

    Oh, and in my case this family also dissapeared for a months vacation end of nov/mid dec. So for me the are also extenuating circumstances.
     
  14. TKBC

    TKBC Established Member

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    Exactly. Kids are free to play other sports (I encourage it too). But, my rule is simple - miss practice, lose X-playing time. The kid that comes to every practice gets the benefit of increased game time and more attention at training. The problem with school sports is the pure volume of games/practices. Often 4-5 days a week over a few month period. But, because school sports is such a short season you might come to a team agreement that adjustment is needed. One year I coached a team that had something like 13 of the 15 kids playing school soccer. As a result we moved our practice times, and adjusted the content of practices because I heard the school coaches were basically running them ragged for fitness (the kids were already fit because they were on my team). So we had to keep our own training sessions pretty low key for about 2 months. If kids had to miss because of a school game, that was OK. As a team we agreed it was OK (most of the kids were in grade 12). The result was when the school season was over, everyone on the team was happy because accommodations were made to help them commit to two programs at once. We also agreed school work was a reasonable reason to miss practice for that time. But, not every team can be given this lee-way and not every team can adjust training times accordingly. The reason we were able to have this team discussion and adjust was because the parents were amazing, and the players were very committed over a period of a few years. Everyone cared about each other. But, if you have a team with issues, making team-wide adjustments isn't so easy!
     
  15. TKBC

    TKBC Established Member

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    I have found if you outline what missing practice/lateness for games/missing games = with regard to playing time in writing at the beginning of the season, no one complains when their kid misses/is late and then has reduced playing time. Everyone knows the expectations. But, be careful because if you give any kid special treatment you'll get a revolt!
     
  16. easoccer

    easoccer Established Member

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    To further the point. I once had a girl on my u16 who played club volleyball. Her mom told me in advance that her 1st priority was volleyball. So if I was ok with this she would register.

    I have no issues with this at all if I am aware and can plan for it in advance.

    I also had players parents let me know in advance they would be away on vacation or whatever at certain points in the season. Again I have no issues with this if I am notified in a timely manner. What I have a hard time with is when they let me know a day in advance, etc.
     

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