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 Teaching Boys to be Good Men
Charles
 Posted: Mar 25 2018, 10:26 AM
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How junior sport can help teach boys to be good men

By Morag Ramsay

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Photo: A group of like-minded families came together to form a team with a focus on our kids enjoying their sport, not just winning. (Supplied: Michael Aungle)

Our summer sporting season is coming to a close.

It's time to pack away the swimmers, the cricket bats and helmets. And I find myself reflecting on what a powerful thing sport can be in teaching young boys what it means to be a good sportsman, and a good man.

It comes at a time when one of Australia's most powerful storytellers, Tim Winton, has been posing the question: how do boys become men?

This week he's been speaking about the troubling themes that drive his new novel — how does a male, living in a world of mindless, wordless rage, where he's valued for his toughness, find tenderness and decency?

What can men do in the face of what he calls this toxic masculinity?

Teaching a boy to love others

I'm the mother of a son. No longer a baby, but many years off being a teenager.

At times I have felt unqualified to guide this beautiful boy that I am lucky enough to call a son.

I remember one piece of wisdom, in the many books I have read, that in loving our boys we teach them how to love others.

But how do we prepare them for a world when talent, skill and disappointment are not something a mother can outwit?

Good fathers, good sons

I found out this summer on the dusty suburban cricket fields in the unrelenting Australian sun.

A group of us came together to form a team — like-minded families, who wanted our children to enjoy their sport, not just to win.

Up stepped a group of fathers. They all have big jobs. In their adult lives, they are managing major retail chains, running our IT systems, teaching our kids, and building our infrastructure.

They could be forgiven for guarding their spare time. Instead, they gave up afternoons to train our team and Saturdays to run our matches.

On the field, out there in the sun, while they were umpiring, they would stop play when an opposing team member got the wobbles.

If the bowling was wild, they'd give some quiet, encouraging coaching. If an opposing batsman shed some tears, an arm would go around them to encourage them on.

They insisted that our team clap every opposing batsman from the field and shake hands at the end of every match.

They took endless pains to help each of our team members have a crack at being their best. There was no screaming or recrimination.

The best moments were when they would call out "good cricket boys", when both teams gave it their all.

And at the end of every match, win or loss, the first question was "did you have fun boys?"

Our boys would march from the field and plonk themselves down on their dads, instantly transformed from mini versions of their cricketing icons to little boys who simply love their fathers.

And watching all this I realised: these dads weren't just teaching cricket, they were teaching the team how to be loving, giving men.


http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-24/how-junior-sport-can-help-teach-boys-to-be-good-men/9575144?section=politics

For every parent suffering the "ugly parent syndrome" with regard to their child's sport, there are dozens of good parents instilling positive values into their chidren through participation in junior sport. Teamwork, good sporting spirit and accepting the ups and downs are vital learning experiences - not to mention the benefits of exercise.

Sadly this story coincides with stories of our international cricket team indulging in sledging and ball tampering. These so-called "heroes" need to realise they have an important part to play as role models in young people's lives. They are guilty of undoing the good work of the volunteer parents mentioned in the story.


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scepo
 Posted: Mar 25 2018, 02:45 PM
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Yes somehow those valuable lessons, which I am sure the likes of Smith, Warner and other members of the "leadership group" would have learnt in their junior days, seem to have disappeared under the pressure of a tough battle on the field in South Africa.

Frankly I think Smith and Warner should be stripped of the captaincy and vice captaincy permanently, and those positions should never be given to anyone else in the team who was a part of putting the cheating in place. That is on top of fines and match bans http://fairdinkumnewschat.b1.jcink.com/uploads/fairdinkumnewschat/smiley_IMHO.png

It will be interesting to see how strong or weak CA is in the days to come.

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Flin
 Posted: Mar 25 2018, 03:56 PM
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Sport today isn't like it used to be.
Being a good sport doesn't count as long as you win.
Bad behaviour is openly rewarded.
They even immortalise drug cheats.

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scepo
 Posted: Mar 26 2018, 02:59 PM
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QUOTE (Flin @ Mar 25 2018, 03:56 PM)
Sport today isn't like it used to be.
Being a good sport doesn't count as long as you win.
Bad behaviour is openly rewarded.
They even immortalise drug cheats.



Yes well done NRL. Make a drug cheat an immortal of the game. http://fairdinkumnewschat.com/rolleyes.gif

And they still revere him like some kind of saint. http://fairdinkumnewschat.b1.jcink.com/uploads/fairdinkumnewschat/smiley_don_t_know.gif

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Some are willing to work, the rest are willing to let them!

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Alicia
 Posted: Mar 26 2018, 03:54 PM
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As the saying goes” Winning is not everything, it’s the ONLY thing”. I don’t see the satisfaction from winning by cheating, it simply is not a win. Of course when money changes hands, that IS the win. http://fairdinkumnewschat.com/mellow.gif http://fairdinkumnewschat.b1.jcink.com/uploads/fairdinkumnewschat/smiley_don_t_know.gif http://fairdinkumnewschat.com/mad.gif
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