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 Post subject: Educating a footballer!
PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2007 4:52 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2007 4:14 am
Posts: 138
Location: Middlesex
Hi

First of all congratulations on setting up an excellent forum.

My son is football mad! He is very intelligent and won a scholarship recently at the local prep school for half the tuition fees. Even half the fees is stretching us to the limit as we have four kids and my wife works only part-time. He had his exams for this term recently and he showed excellent results (84%) although at home he only does his daily homework and does not pay attention to anything extra that I ask him to do. He will sit his 11+ exams next year so I am worried big time now. To be honest we haven't started any preparation at home yet. He does his daily school homework dutifully but that is about it. I gave him a whole week to familiarise himself with some basic shapes for NVR but he failed when I tested him (45%). He is just not realizing that it matters. I know that we need a serious chat but I can feel communications under strain at the moment. He is football mad, absolutely mad. The school is also very keen on sports and there are regular fixtures and practice sessions. Mum also supports him in this and religiously takes him and his brother for Saturday football. I am bothered about these developments as studies and preparation have no room in this tight schedule which revolves around playing, discussing, reading about and watching football. (literally hours spent on the football section of the sports page of BBC online news, issues of Match and Shoot everywhere, arguments, predictions, jotting down match schedules and tables, whole weekends spent playing FIFA 07 on Nintendo DS). I am saddened by the sight of so much time spent on something so transitory, useless and fake. I am worried because we have someone else in the family who gave up education pursuing sports and destroyed his life and career.

What should I do? Getting really depressed now as I have to work more than 100 hours to earn enough to pay his fees every term and he is not willing to put in only 100 extra hours for me in a whole term (four months). I am scared of pressurising him and don't want to make him feel guilty but I was a teacher once and know that as far as studies are concerned, attitude is everything. I am desperately looking for this attitude in him which he once had. What should I do? My wife thinks that not getting into grammar school does not matter. I am sure he will not like going to a state comprehensive from his private prep school. He has so much potential and I want to support and help him so much but my enthusiasm and willingness are ignored. Stressful, very stressful.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2007 8:35 am 
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Joined: Fri Nov 17, 2006 8:54 pm
Posts: 1770
Location: caversham
Drastic Dad,

Wow you have raised a lot of questions. :shock: I would try to channel his football focus towards your desired aim, could you convince him that by passing the elevenplus he will go to a better school for football.

He seems bright and focused, just need to get that focus switched onto the elevenplus, easier said than done. :)

What area are you in and which schools are you trying for? Work out a series of football related rewards? As you are short of time is their anyone else who can help?

stevew61


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2007 8:58 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 30, 2007 6:28 pm
Posts: 197
Location: PENSBY
Hi,
My son is football mad ,but not to the extent you say,he plays in a local team and practices /plays once a week.Will the boys he plays with be doing the 11+ for the same school?we found that by pointing out they were wanting the same school and to stay with his friends he needs to pass the 11+ to go to the same school.

Try to take your son to the schools in question asap so he can see what is on offer and what to strive for,when he sees what you are aiming for hopefully it may help!

If he has a DS /Wii then try the brain traing games .have a go yourself and challeng him to beat you,they are good fun but do have an element of 11+ type questions.Although you feell the Fifa games etc are a waste of time he needs time to wind down but suggest a commprmise over different types of games.

I would try and talk realistically about the chances of a career in football ,all boys want to play for their team,mine included but explain he needs an educational back-up IF the footie fails!We even had the problem that they don't play footie at the grammar but do at the loacl comp!

I would'nt worry about prep yet,if he's a bright lad the Jan should be early enough!

well hope that may help ,good luck
:lol: Pensby


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 Post subject: Thanks a lot
PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2007 9:59 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2007 4:14 am
Posts: 138
Location: Middlesex
Thanks for the kind replies. I love this forum!

Stevew61:

We live in Middlesex, near Staines so schools got to be (in the oreder of preference)

    Langley
    Slough
    Herschel Grammar
    St Bernard’s
    Tiffin Boys
    Kingston


Is this list too long? We haven't started anything yet apart from what he does at school. I am sure I need to talk to him first and clarify the objectives. But I don't want to scare/ pressurise or worry him. He goes to a good Prep school and this should help. I am noticing that he does his work but without his heart in it (sure signs, untidy work, deteriorating handwriting) just gets it out of the way. But then his exam result is also confusing me because he has been to this school only 3 months and scored 2nd highest in French (I helped him) and Latin (his favorite subject). He scored good in Maths after a little bit of stumble in Maths A exam (did not attempt three questions, not knowing that in exams you attempt all questions). English was good but not as good as it could be (son of a former English teacher, he won the scholarship on the basis of his excellent score in English). Maybe I could promise him a Junior Gunners membership (he is an Arsenal supporter). I enticed him to this Prep school using the lure of football (for some reason they kept him out of the school team in his old school, he is a regular midfielder in his new school team). Maybe I should take him to Langley Grammar. Do they play football there? (God have mercy on my soul if they don't!)

Pensby, most of the boys he plays with will either go independent or to Tiffin Grammar. I have Brain Training for Nintendo DS but he never ever played it. He does not play any game except FIFA '07 which was his request for the birthday present last year. If that sounds football mad, hear about my No 2. He knows all the scores in all the major games in recent history. He would come up with the claim that some country lost by this many goals to some other country in 1984 World Cup in the USA. An argument would ensue, huge record books from their rooms would be brought downstairs and he would point at the specific yet insignificant entry at some page to prove his point. Come on, it is only human brain. How much junk can it contain? Talk about synaptic connections! They play FIFA '07 against each other all the time. Since this game has all the European clubs, they follow all the European clubs. I wish they rather knew all the European capital cities like they used to do before this football mania started 3 years ago.

Thanks for the replies. They gave me some smashing ideas. I will start another thread about the books that I have and books/ software I should buy. Please don't hesitate if you or anybody else has any more ideas about channeling this football focus into a push to perform better in academic field.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2007 10:07 am 
I've got four children and I know how hectic it can all be - sometimes it's just the quiet life we crave for eh? The three eldest are at Grammar, the fourth will go next year.. Do you want to know how??
I'M BOSS!! (firm and consistant - there are standards!!)
Also, (something society seems to struggle with these days)... It's perfectly ok for your kids to dislike you!! Putting your foot down and demanding your child pull his finger out and get on with his practice papers is all part and parcel of 'coaching' for the 11+. I'm sure there are many parents on this site who will testify to tantrums and slamming doors. It's NOT abuse to tell your child if he hasn't completed the practice paper he won't be going to football practice!!
My advice is take back control - Your children shouldn't tell you what they will or won't do - You tell them!
Decide what you think is a reasonable amount of practice - 2 papers each weekend (doing - then going over errors) and 10 minute practice papers each weekday (or whatever). If he doesn't comply - he doesn't play football. Simple.. It's not abuse for goodness sake! Too many parents don't like the idea of 'upsetting' their children. No wonder there is a generation running round the streets thinking they can do and say as they please!
Oh Yes, and I'm not implying your child is running around causing havoc.. It's just with four kids as well I know what it can be like - When your children know YOU are boss and that you won't accept their attitude or behaviour they can, and do, buck up.
It's about respect and accepting that it's okay for them to dislike you and slam a few doors - THAT doesn't bother me in the slightest... I love them and they love me!
Well it's another way of looking at it... and I hope it helps!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2007 10:18 am 
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Joined: Sun May 13, 2007 8:03 pm
Posts: 1827
Location: Gloucestershire
Have you thought about introducing him to Orienteering? OK, I know that it's yet another sport, but it is one that exercises the brain as well as muscles. I know that some NAGC groups include it in their programmes from time to time.

_________________
Capers


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2007 10:42 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2007 12:18 am
Posts: 4083
Oh the joy of living in a footba11 mad house!!

Don't despair, Drastic Dad, footba11 has its uses!!

Your boys have super memory ski11s as they remember things with very little effort, proven by the instant reca11 of insignificant and usele55 facts read 6 months ago in some great footie 'bible'.

If exams are to be taken in November 2008,/Jan 2009 you have plenty of time to steer him towards more academic goals but rest a55ured that your son's fantastic memory/reca11 skills plus his intuitive relexes(from FIFA games) wi11 help him pour his adrenaline into his exams techniques.

Does your lovely wife feel as worried as you? Both of you need to agree with a plan so that his footba11 interests could be balanced with the work that needs to be done for his exams.

Having said that, physical activities are very good for brain work as the brain gets more fired up, so he does need to keep active..also le55 chance of getting i11 during the critical winter exams month as he wi11 be super fit, body and soul.

your son wi11 remember sequences, facts, numbers,patterns, vocabulary very easily as he is already displaying such abilities but you need to channel his ski11s. You have a large household with so many needs and demands on your time and resources.

Take a little time with your wife to organise yourselves so that you can introduce the work and build it up. A11ow him to get used to the work ( so as not to cause any resentment or negativity) and get the other children involved so he is not distracted by others having 'fun'.
You need to be in charge but the change cannot be too drastic (now) as you might all end up frustrated. You can up the tempo when he has got more used to extra work and it has become a normal routine.


My younger son had a question in his paper in one of his exams last year about a footba11 league table and teams and was asked to find out how many teams need to play etc. I lost it but he worked it just fine and I don't know how many girls would have got that question right!!

I think you are panicking because you can see what needs to be done but you have to upset a few apple carts. Stay calm. Good Luck.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2007 10:53 am 
Drastic Dad
Take heart! At least your sons are enthusiastic about SOMETHING. Personally I'm no fan of football, but I would prefer my children to be ardent footballers than belong to the "whatever" variety of aimless couch-potatoes.

As someone who took a fairly academic path (Oxbridge, professional career etc) I am now coming to realise that drive and ambition can be more important than passing exams. Forced, after a long break as a stay at home mother, to consider returning to work I realise that the opportunities to achieve a sensible work-life balance (and, incidentally, make money) depend more on drive and practical skills than academic qualifications. Perhaps your son is the next Richard Branson rather than a professor of English? Would this necessarily be bad?

On a more practical note; have you spoken to his current school about your concerns? Usually prep schools will be involved in the transition procedure at least to the extent of being aware of the options and giving advice. It may be that they will be able to give you some reassurance based on their knowledge of his ability in relation to others who have passed the 11+.

Check out also which papers are set for entrance to the various grammars. For example, some grammars have a NVR paper but others do not. Likewise, some require maths and/or English, others do not. Most, I think, set VR papers. In Bucks I think this might be ALL they set. You can probably play to your son's strengths with a bit of research. I'm not sure how many schools you can nominate (we only get to name 3 here) but if there is a sports college in your area could you put it down as a safety option just in case he doesn't get a grammar place? Might not be a great 11+ motivator if it's known for its brilliant football program, but at least it wouldn't seem the end of the world to your son if he didn't get to grammar!

Whatever happens, life won't end at 11 and nor will your son's chance of a successful, happy life.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2007 10:58 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2007 4:14 am
Posts: 138
Location: Middlesex
Anonymous wrote:
I've got four children and I know how hectic it can all be - sometimes it's just the quiet life we crave for eh? The three eldest are at Grammar, the fourth will go next year.. Do you want to know how??
I'M BOSS!! (firm and consistant - there are standards!!)
Also, (something society seems to struggle with these days)... It's perfectly ok for your kids to dislike you!! Putting your foot down and demanding your child pull his finger out and get on with his practice papers is all part and parcel of 'coaching' for the 11+. I'm sure there are many parents on this site who will testify to tantrums and slamming doors. It's NOT abuse to tell your child if he hasn't completed the practice paper he won't be going to football practice!!
My advice is take back control - Your children shouldn't tell you what they will or won't do - You tell them!
Decide what you think is a reasonable amount of practice - 2 papers each weekend (doing - then going over errors) and 10 minute practice papers each weekday (or whatever). If he doesn't comply - he doesn't play football. Simple.. It's not abuse for goodness sake! Too many parents don't like the idea of 'upsetting' their children. No wonder there is a generation running round the streets thinking they can do and say as they please!
Oh Yes, and I'm not implying your child is running around causing havoc.. It's just with four kids as well I know what it can be like - When your children know YOU are boss and that you won't accept their attitude or behaviour they can, and do, buck up.
It's about respect and accepting that it's okay for them to dislike you and slam a few doors - THAT doesn't bother me in the slightest... I love them and they love me!
Well it's another way of looking at it... and I hope it helps!


Excellent advise. My wife would not approve of it but this is what I would like to do. It all gets very political here. They keep the right to nag but 'authority' is coercive! I think I will have to put my cards on the table, limit the time spent on the DS (things can happen to these devices you know, if they are not used within limits!).

Caspers123, I checked out Orienteering. Good idea. Lost our way in the woods near Woking once (Horsell Common), although kids foot-slogged with me for two hours still I missed the navigation skills that I never had. I used to take them out every weekend till the 'beautiful game' took over our weekends.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2007 10:59 am 
Drastic Dad,
It's me - Guest from above again.
It sounds like you have a very bright child who has no self-discipline when it comes to doing something he doesn't want to do... and how many ten year olds do? Virtually none I should think.
I agree it is unhealthy for your sons to be playing on Fifa ALL weekend. Take my word for it - they won't see it your way if you try and discuss this with them. They are too young! They are children not little adults! Bite the bullet - take it off them and tell them they are only allowed on it for ? hours per day. I regularly turn off the tv (mine are addicted to those American sitcoms) and tell my children to find something else to do! I don't discuss it with them.
You will feel immensly relieved when you (for the first time) put your foot down and demand your child does something 'becasue you say so'. We, as parents, sometimes expect our children to reason like us... to see it from our point of view... Young children don't see it from our point of view - It's impossible for them to do this and unreasonable for us to expect them to. They live for the moment. It's down to you to KNOW BEST and act on it. Good Luck - I think your son will fly through his eleven plus - It's just that you need to be empowered to take control of their Nintendos... I give you that power... Take them!!!


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