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Discussion: Norway's Youth Sports Model

in: Orienteering; General

May 2, 2019 10:51 PM # 
NYT article
May 4, 2019 9:26 PM # 
I think that article pretty much summed up the difference Norway vs the USA. We will never be like Norway.
May 5, 2019 1:03 AM # 
coach I don't think anyone could seriously suggest that the USA could ever adopt the Norwegian sports model anymore than the USA could adopt any other countries' gun laws or health care system.
There is just too much money invested in the gun industry, health care and even in youth sports to let that happen.
However bit by bit sports one by one could de-emphasize the importance of winning in their pre-teen sports and build up the fun and social aspects of the games.
I'm not an expert on ARK, Kids Running Wild and similar programs but that is what I see them doing. The NYT article is important validation for the way they are taking young peoples' orienteering.
And the thing is that these fun ahead of competition programs seem to be making a fair bit of money for the clubs that run them.
May 5, 2019 1:38 AM # 
Might be a model that could work in a private or magnet school. Most American public schools offer a modified sports program up through 8th grade that emphasizes participation over competition. The problem is all the community programs that start competition at a much younger age.
May 5, 2019 12:51 PM # 
In Ottawa competitive hockey, soccer, football, softball/ baseball for those from 6 and up has pretty well driven pick up and sandlot sports off the fields. The only times we see kids playing for the sake of playing on their own is ball hockey on the streets and even then we'll often get neighbours demanding the kids pick up their goals and go home.
Oh, the number of hours my friends and I played softball just for fun and if we didn't have enough for two teams we played scrub and not enough for scrub we played 500 up. Shiny hockey, touch football it was all the same. We kids just played and played and we didn't need adults to organize us. Now parents won't even let their kids go to the park. Good to see at least the Norwegians are letting play be play.
May 5, 2019 1:18 PM # 
I love that article. Thanks, Hammer. There is a new energy in the USA to move closer to the Norway model. The American Development Model, based on the same ideas and work as the Canadian long-term athlete development model, emphasizes multi-sport play and de-emphasizes competition at the younger ages. The ADM is being used by national governing bodies of sport under the USOC. No national championships under age 13. Emphasis on age-appropriate and free play, having fun and socializing. People involved in coaching development with the NGBs are talking about the problems with our current system - the inequities with the huge industry of for-profit sport facilities, early specialization and burnout, and so on. I love the principles of the ADM:

  1. Universal access to create opportunity for all
  2. Developmentally appropriate activities that emphasize motor and foundational skills
  3. Multi-sport participation
  4. Fun, engaging and progressively challenging atmosphere
  5. Quality coaching at all levels
May 5, 2019 9:59 PM # 
I think that most of my organizational and teaching skills came from organizing games of all sorts in our neighborhood without any help from my parents or other adults.

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