Teenagers

Inland paddling
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JohnO
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Teenagers

Post by JohnO » Thu Feb 21, 2008 11:35 pm

My son wants to take his 4*, he is just 15. He is a confident G3/4 paddler, but the new 4* is only open to 16+ and then with strings attached.

What does the new coaching system offer him and his mates.

Any Ideas?

Jules
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Post by Jules » Thu Feb 21, 2008 11:39 pm

Not a lot I'm afriad.
I brought this very point up with Mike Devlin a couple of years ago and his response was that young people who find themselves in this situation should be encouraged to just get out paddling until such a time as they are old enough to rejoin the award scheme. In my opinion its ludicrous.


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Jim
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Post by Jim » Thu Feb 21, 2008 11:53 pm

Ironic really, since the older you get the less you can be bothered with awards and the more you just get out and paddle instead.

Out of interest what benefit will he get from having a 4*? As I recall he can't coach until he's 16 anyway, and even then only in very restricted circumstances. Part of that is legal reasons I believe related to legal responsibilities, I'm sure Jules will point out that this in itself is a load of anachronistic rubbish, but unfortunately it's the laws we have...

Jules for PM!

On second thoughts, can we raise enough cash to get him a peerage? After all, the real legal power is in the Lords isn't it?

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mharrall
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Re: Teenagers

Post by mharrall » Fri Feb 22, 2008 8:05 am

JohnO wrote:My son wants to take his 4*, he is just 15. He is a confident G3/4 paddler, but the new 4* is only open to 16+ and then with strings attached.

What does the new coaching system offer him and his mates.

Any Ideas?
I think if you'll find that the 16+ bit is the same as the other prerequisites in that they only apply to the assessment. Therefore he could probably do the training which is one weekend, and also the WWS&R which is another weekend. By the time he's done those he'll most likely be pretty close to 16 anyway, so then it won't be long to wait.
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mharrall
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Post by mharrall » Fri Feb 22, 2008 8:08 am

Jim wrote: Out of interest what benefit will he get from having a 4*? As I recall he can't coach until he's 16 anyway, and even then only in very restricted circumstances. Part of that is legal reasons I believe related to legal responsibilities, I'm sure Jules will point out that this in itself is a load of anachronistic rubbish, but unfortunately it's the laws we have...
Some people will still see the star tests as goals, something to aim for, despite 4 & 5 now being leadership qualifications.
Martin

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Re: Teenagers

Post by Sam E » Fri Feb 22, 2008 8:27 am

mharrall wrote: Therefore he could probably do the training which is one weekend, and also the WWS&R which is another weekend.
Is there not an age limit on the WWS&R?

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Re: Teenagers

Post by Simon Westgarth » Fri Feb 22, 2008 8:58 am

JohnO wrote:What does the new coaching system offer him and his mates.
At this point in time, the qualification ladder offers your son, until he is 18. Still the coaching system offers him a whole bunch of development. I too was in the same situation at 14, so I went and learnt to paddle for myself, got a lot better and when I came back to coaching, it was a breeze to hop through the hoops. So like almost everyone I see on the river, keep getting out and paddle, get really good and if you like coach later.

So back to your question, have your son go and try all the parts of paddlesport that interest him, and compete to focus excellence. Leave the qualifications for when he is 18 or older and legally ready to contribute to coaching and leading then.

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Post by Andy B (of MCC) » Fri Feb 22, 2008 11:38 am

To put a slightly different slant on it - how do you know what you don't know and what your paddling buddies don't know?

I fully support the 'get out and paddle to develop yourself' route, but everyone needs some guidance to ensure they are developing good techniques / practise and not engraining bad habits even deeper.

Even if the 4* and /or WWSR cannot be accessed formally due to age restrictions, is there someone who could give your son some constructive feedback using those syllabi (and the 5* also?) as a basis.
I would hope that anyone offering 4* training or above would be prepared to do this.

Andy

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RichA
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Re: Teenagers

Post by RichA » Fri Feb 22, 2008 11:49 am

simon d westgarth wrote:At this point in time, the qualification ladder offers your son, until he is 18.
Awesome!

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Post by clarky999 » Fri Feb 22, 2008 12:06 pm

Andy B (of MCC) said:

I fully support the 'get out and paddle to develop yourself' route, but everyone needs some guidance to ensure they are developing good techniques / practise and not engraining bad habits even deeper.


Personally I found that watching and analysing good paddlers/videos with good paddlers has helped improve my technique a lot - even without consciously setting out to do so.

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Post by adrian j pullin » Fri Feb 22, 2008 12:31 pm

The problem is legal. Until you are 18 you can not be placed in positions of responsibility. It is not the BCU's fault (for once). It is the law of the land.

Which doesn't help you at all, so...

I would recommend diversification. If you want to chase paper, then 3* in other types of boat is a good way to go. If not after paper, then just paddle on as many different types of water as you can, in as many boats.

Also worth looking at competition. This also provides structure, targets etc.

The BCU do a cadet leader scheme which has proved very successful in Peninsula Canoe Club. Here the cadet leaders can help on trips and in the pool, so building up experience.

There are also plenty of courses etc. available that do not aim at star tests. Look at Plas Y Brennin ( www.pyb.co.uk ) to see their range, look at the products and services section of this forum or contact local coaches. Matty Cooke in for example http://www.mattcookekayak.com/ .

More generally, what about DofE?

But above all, get out and paddle!
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Re: Teenagers

Post by Simon Westgarth » Fri Feb 22, 2008 12:49 pm

RichA wrote:
simon d westgarth wrote:At this point in time, the qualification ladder offers your son, until he is 18.
Awesome!
Oh dear, let me complete the sentence....

At this point in time, the qualification ladder offers your son very little, until he is 18.

Thank you

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sandy m
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Post by sandy m » Fri Feb 22, 2008 4:24 pm

I am in the same boat as him but I am just a year ahead. My advise is just find people boat with and boat dont bother with coaching or been coached cause there is no point untill your 18 you dont hav any legal rights so you cant coach without a coach been there. This seem complete pointless to me so boat push yourself and progess yourself untill you turn 18 and then jump though the hops then it will be alot easyer in the long run. Alteritivly you can do your level one when your 16 and start going up the bcu rubbish schemes.

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Post by Digimeister » Fri Feb 22, 2008 4:30 pm

So has all this changed now that 4* includes leadership stuff? Cos I'm sure I was under 16 when I did my 4*...
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sandy m
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Post by sandy m » Fri Feb 22, 2008 4:34 pm

Well I think you can do it when your under 16 but I dont think you can take anyone down a river. That seems a bit weird. well thats what i can make of it anyways is that correct?

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Anubis
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Post by Anubis » Sat Feb 23, 2008 8:06 pm

Both I and my brother got our 4*'s before we were 16 (he's only just 16, I was 14 he was 12 I think... )

At the time our assessor said he should really be looking at 5* training there and then. He'd now a competent grade 4/5 paddler and leader, more than capable of passing a 5* (at least the old sylibus, he'd need coaching experience for the new one but other than that... ). In the end though he couldn't be bothered doing the training, as officially he'd have to wait until 16, and then take the assessment at 18, ( but we'd met coaches said they'd bend the rules on the training for him).

In my opinion, limiting a 4* to age is ludicrous. The 5* I can justify, its an out-and-out experts qualification, same as coaching, and carries responsibilities above and beyond mere capabilities. The 4* is (as far as I know) now meant to be a WW technique and river leader qualification.

I don't think WWSR's don't carry and age-limit, though I haven't read the BCU syllabus for one yet... but they're definitely great training for any WW paddler.

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Post by TheKrikkitWars » Sat Feb 23, 2008 8:35 pm

I actually agree with the age limit on leadership quals however trivial, after all if it goes tits up, grade 1 and grade 5 are just as lethal!*

Leadership is something you grow into, I admit, I'm an Ok leader, but I have much to learn, from this I'm not convinced a 12 (or 15) year old could pass a five star, in fact it would take a very experienced or exceptional 18 year old to pass a five star.

The question to me is why make the 4 and 5 star leadership awards? why not create a separate strand of Leading awards ranked similarly to the IRF qualifications?


Edit: *Before you point out the fact that Gr 5 increases the risk of things going tits up somewhat and would be harder to rescue from: I'm referring to the emotional burden a serious injury or death in a group has on a leader, or anyone else who has reason to feel responsible for that group, and the cool headedness that is necessary to effect a rescue before a bad accident gets any worse.
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adrian j pullin
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Post by adrian j pullin » Sun Feb 24, 2008 8:18 pm

I think the people saying "I did my 4* at 14" etc are referring to the old 4* which was being part of a group that was being lead. The new 4* is leading a (small) group. You can not lead - as in be responsible for - until you are an adult =18. As I said above, it is the law of the land, not the BCU.
Cheers

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Anubis
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Post by Anubis » Sun Feb 24, 2008 8:24 pm

adrian j pullin wrote:I think the people saying "I did my 4* at 14" etc are referring to the old 4* which was being part of a group that was being lead. The new 4* is leading a (small) group. You can not lead - as in be responsible for - until you are an adult =18. As I said above, it is the law of the land, not the BCU.
when I did my old 4* we covered river leadership. Not organising groups per-se, but being a lead paddler. To me, that's what a 4* is more about than being a group "captain".

And now the recommendation usually is that the "group leader" designate a lead paddler to scout lines / lead drops, so that they are free to attend to the needs of the group without having to also worry too much about looking ahead...

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JohnO
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Post by JohnO » Wed Feb 27, 2008 10:23 pm

Thanks to everyone for your ideas.

He has already done his WWSR and is not really interested in competition paddling. So I have now set him a challenge of getting his 3* open award.
Out of interest what benefit will he get from having a 4*?
At his age a lot revolves around passing exams etc so I think it is in his mindset, but its a confidence boost to have someone tell you that your are doing well and you have reached a certain PERSONAL standard in your sport - isn't that what the star tests were introduced for?

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Post by sarajames » Wed Feb 27, 2008 11:54 pm

JohnO wrote:its a confidence boost to have someone tell you that your are doing well and you have reached a certain PERSONAL standard in your sport - isn't that what the star tests were introduced for?
People of all ages can benefit from such confidence boosts but I think you are right in pointing out that the education system ( and maybe the mindset of many children) means that they are more inclined to crave this sort of support.

Outside the BCU awards there are a number of coaching courses offered by our countries toap coaches * which focus on improving peoples paddling skills. Rather than focusing on a set of BCU standards ( which are not always relevant to the individual), these guys can help you set PERSONAL targets which have meaning to the individual. From such a course your son could easily identify targets which he could work on for a few weeks / months before coming going on another course to recap/ test and identify further areas of development.

The BCU star awards provide a good framework for such continued development but it is not the be all and end all of assessment for learning.

* I know Mr Parker and Westgarth do a far bit of the whole identifying what you want to learn stuff in their coaching sessions. I would hope that any respectable coach does this.

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