Monday, January 14, 2013

The Hoops Hypothesis

Coaches coach, they don't take to
the court to themselves.
Image courtesy of Naypong,
I wrote a response to a recent post on Adventures and Accidents in which I had an epiphany of sorts. I think I have realized why basketball is such an integral part of the LDS Young Men's experience; why it is so popular among the boys - it's often the one thing that the grown-ups will allow them to do that also offers them minimal interference from those same grown-ups.

I don't say this as a justification to default to basketball as the activity du jour, but as a reminder to "Train 'em, Trust 'em, and Let 'em Lead." In a real Troop (not one that exists on paper "because SLC said we have to charter a Troop"), boys have ample opportunity to act independent of the adults in the room and exercise new knowledge, skills and abilities.  They need that kind of freedom in order to learn what the limits really are.

ADDITIONAL, 1/15:  I discussed this with my wife last night, and she offered that basketball is OK with adults, because (1) the boys enjoy it, and (2) the adults are familiar with and understand it.  Because we know that basketball (or soccer, et. al.) is a game for boys, we let them play unimpeded.  Everyone knows the rules, and that the boys will, to a large part, self-regulate ("HEY!, You fouled me!" "Yeah, you fouled him, I saw it."), so we don't feel that we have to take to the court ourselves; we're comfortable watching from the sidelines.  Now, taking a page from that playbook and applying it to the boys' actual activity program, what's the difference?  I think it is a general lack of familiarity with Scouting and an unwillingness to let the boys play the Game unimpeded - we don't understand the rules, so we don't trust that it works without our direct intervention.  A willingness to learn the rules of the Game, and follow them, will result in a better experience for all involved.

Prepared. | For Life.™


Tory said...

I think you're right. Basketball is an activity they know how to do, they like it, and the adults either stay out of the way, or participate as equals.

If only our boys could look at a weekend camping trip the same way.

Fishgutts said...

I think you slammed the hammer on the head of the nail with this.