help! son developing a fear of playing rugby

(77 Posts)
Labro Thu 10-Jan-13 15:27:59

Hope someone has a suggestion.
Son yr 6 of prep school, started there yr 5, no previous experience of contact rugby, games master assured me that they do gentle introduction and coaching, but in reality he coaches the A team in lessons and leaves the rest to a gap year student. The bullying got ridiculous, boys using the game as an excuse to kick, hit and punch. School dealt with it. This term, he hatwa the rugby season with a passion, yesterday the other little charmers spent the whole lesson making monkey noises as him and 2 friends who also don't really understand what they are supposed to be doing.
How do I raise this with the games master? Hes had new boys crying, being sent home as frozen to the bone and is not coaching at all, so these boys have no opportunity to learn how to play properly and enjoy the strategy, instead they and my son are simply becoming scared of the thinly veiled agression and violence.

creamteas Thu 10-Jan-13 15:31:03

And you are paying for this?

I would go to the Head and get them to fix it or move school.

motherstongue Thu 10-Jan-13 16:13:33

I'm with cream teas on this one. Speak to the school and get them to sort it out without delay. My DS also started prep at year 5, he hated rugby with a passion and it was making him very unhappy so we spoke to the school and they let him do something else instead. By the way he wasn't the only one who did something else so there was no stigma attached. My DS still deplores rugby, now aged 14 but will play but only if he is assured of being in the bottom team so everything is for fun and no one takes it seriously.

seeker Thu 10-Jan-13 16:15:23

Move school. If this happens in rugby it will happen innother, less obvious things too.

MyCatsRule Thu 10-Jan-13 16:15:35

Agree with everything creamteas said. Go to the head. The games 'master' is clearly a crap teacher.

seeker Thu 10-Jan-13 16:17:23

And what do you mean "how do you raise this with the games master?" By going bin and saying that this is completely unacceptable and what is he goingbto do about it?

Labro Thu 10-Jan-13 16:54:00

Thanks, have gone to the deputy head. They don't offer any alternative sport at this time of year so the only option is to sign him off games completely which for a whole term is a lot of sitting around.
The games master isn't very approachable, thinks my ds should get his backside into gear and is fond of the 'get on with it' philosophy of life and reminds me of an army sergent major!
Should say that the rest of school life is much enjoyed by ds so its literally the games master not scaling the game down enough for complete beginners, they've achieved this with football which they all love and would prefer to do instead!

YellowFlyingPineapple Thu 10-Jan-13 17:11:28

Could he get some extra coaching so he actually knows the rules/what he is suppose to be doing and can then throw himself into it before definitely deciding he doesn't like it?

Personally I wouldn't favour my DS missing out on a sport that has only been played for a season and a term at the most? Rugby is about so much more than just the game, very good for developing team mentality for example and if he goes to Independent school after Prep he has many matches to play I would suggest.

Games Master sounds a little lacking though from what you have said so I would approach it from that point of view of him needing to focus on all players not just the stars.

Labro Thu 10-Jan-13 17:38:42

Thanks, have asked if they are willing to do a 'back to basics' style coaching because I think if he can understand the game rather than being petrified of big lugs falling on him we might get somewhere. Hes not very tall for his age so a lot of his year group are much bigger and more confident than he is. Will see what they say and make a decision from there.

YellowFlyingPineapple Thu 10-Jan-13 17:42:44

How about a scrum cap, and some body padding/armour if he doesn't have it? It helped a few boys that play with my DS. Gives them a bit more confidence to throw themselves into the game I have found.

LIZS Thu 10-Jan-13 17:46:02

Opting out isn't really an option , he will be side-lined by his peers if he doesn't join in at all , good or bad. Don't underestimate the social side of being in a team at whatever level. If he wants to learn but isn't sure of the basics could eh join a local club or coaching session ? ds' prep did offer alternatives (hockey, sailing, outdoor pursuits) which suited him better as he is dyspraxic and can't follow ball or team sports well. At secondary he hasn't had to do rugby or hockey at all (joined Year9) but not all will allow this.

Labro Thu 10-Jan-13 17:49:37

Hes got the body padding, the caps apparently are not 'cool'(!) There aren't any local clubs that I can actually get him to, so really need the school to help out with this.

timidviper Thu 10-Jan-13 17:53:19

We had this sort of problems with male PE teachers at DSs independant senior school. I think the private school competitive, team-playing all-round ethos attracts some teachers with very neanderthal attitudes. At DSs school it was very much an "all boys together" attitude which drove me up the wall.

You are doing the right thing in tackling it, leaving it will just allow the situation to worsen.

iseenodust Thu 10-Jan-13 17:54:05

is judo out of school an option to build his confidence ?

scurryfunge Thu 10-Jan-13 17:56:26

Timidviper, I agree -some private schools attract unqualified or poorly qualified P.E. teachers as the schools will often recruit based on the teachers own expertise or high level representation and not on their teaching ability.

Amerryscot Thu 10-Jan-13 17:57:23

My DS didn't enjoy rugby at his prep school. We didn't intervene as we think it is good to persevere through difficulties and to just get on with things that aren't enjoyable (a life skill).

When he went to his senior school, he started to enjoy rugby.

The difference was that he was a forward (flanker) in prep school, and a back (14) in senior school, where there was a lot less contact.

Perhaps you could suggest a different position?

Labro Thu 10-Jan-13 18:12:12

Having just spoken to ds, he knows how to tackle, that a ruck is basically a fight (!!!!) and a scrum is slightly less of a fight than a ruck (!!) He has not been taught anything about rules, positions or anything else. No wonder hes struggling! Ganes master has been at the school for over 10 years, think because their match results are so good the coaching when kids come into the school late/lower level are being neglected.

seeker Thu 10-Jan-13 18:30:46

My ds played tag rugby in year 5 and 6- that really helped him to play contact once he got to secondary school. Is it possible to suggest that to the games teacher? Just a few games might help the shakier ones catch up?

But ti's not the rugby so much as the behaviour of the other boys I would want to be tackled.(see what I did there?). What happened about the monkey noises and stuff?

LIZS Thu 10-Jan-13 18:36:35

How keen is he to participate ? Do they do coincide age groups games sessions (dd's was for Year3/4 or Year5/6), could he (and maybe a few others ) work with the year below who may still be playing touch rugby rather than contact. If he really wants to learn to join in I think you might have to find something out of school, preferably where others go - it will raise his profile and generate alternative friendships - or do school run extra training sessions or half term courses. Maybe someone could liftshare if logistics are tricky.

Labro Thu 10-Jan-13 18:36:35

I'm asking the deputy head about the noises as they were being taught by a student who only comes in 1 afternoon a week, so looks like the supervision needs sorting when the games master is busy. They stop tag rugby at the end of yr 4 at this school, would have much preferred tag rugby, I know a lot of the year 5 parents were shocked as no one told them this!

Labro Thu 10-Jan-13 18:43:44

The games lessons are year 5/6 together or year 5-8 all together. Theres some very tall/bulky year 5's and 6's!!! He doesn't want to play at all, would much prefer to be in the garden but hes got to get on with it to a certain extent.

seeker Thu 10-Jan-13 18:45:36

I honestly think the behaviour is more important than the rugby. He is being bullied. The school should be addressing that as a matter of urgency.

ithaka Thu 10-Jan-13 18:47:58

I would get him out of there. Rugby can be an extremely dangerous sport and the gamesmaster does not sound suited to supervising sufficiently to ensure the safety of the participants.

LIZS Thu 10-Jan-13 18:56:02

I'd agree the sessions sound poorly supervised and would suggest that there is a h and s issue . Do bear in mind you weren't there and to a bystander it may seem more aggressive than it is. However you need to separate that from your ds' reluctance , which I think you've also mentioned in the context of his next school. One certainly won't help the other but he, at some point, will need to make the best of things.

seeker Thu 10-Jan-13 19:00:52

He has been persistently bullied for two sessions. Why does he "have to make the best of things"?

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