Dd:Good at sports not being picked for teams.

(53 Posts)
teta Mon 25-Apr-16 10:31:48

Do I enquire why?
Or do I ignore it.Dh says I should write an e mail to the head of year,other family members that I should speak in person.
DD is in an Independent school .She is very driven,very bright,very competitive and good at virtually everything.This includes running.At the beginning of the year she was picked for the competitive races through the teacher doing the running club.She did pretty well in spite of battling with asthma.Several runners in her year went to an interschool competition where they had to stay overnight.She was the first one to reach the finish line out of her school.In spite of beating the others in that important race she hasn't been picked for the last two races in her school.The PE department ( several teachers) picked the team on these two occasions.
She also is a pretty good tennis player.The other classes are considered the sporty ones and have more or lessons.Hence the teams are virtually all full and her class was not even monitored for ability.
Dd2 is becoming highly frustrated and totally fed up.However she doesn't want me to say anything.
It's a shame that that she was picked for every team going in Juniors ( state) ,successfully competes in athletics competitions ( with club),successfully competes in her tennis club but is completely overlooked in school.
What would you do if you were me?

AuntieStella Mon 25-Apr-16 10:35:36

"she doesn't want me to say anything"

That's the key point, now she's at secondary.

you facilitate everything through the external clubs, and turn the school's team selection policy into a standing joke. (If she has a lot of club fixtures, adding school ones rapidly becomes a PITA anyhow).

CMOTDibbler Mon 25-Apr-16 10:37:36

Maybe its because she is competing out of school, so they are giving those who don't compete with a club priority?

teta Mon 25-Apr-16 10:57:22

No Cmot,that's not the case.
Yes,Auntie you do have a good point.
However we are paying.Surely in today's straitened times we have a right to say something.
Also dd2 is very frustrated and cross.Its like living with a Rottweiler!
I don't want her tremendous drive and competitive spirit stymied in year 7.

AuntieStella Mon 25-Apr-16 11:02:24

This isn't about your rights to talk to the school (yes you have them) but your DD's interests and right now she does not want you to do anything.

Also, bear in mind the rhythm of the sporting year, running fixtures are all cross country in the winter and there aren't that many of them. When you say the last two races, do you mean internal or external competitions?

Athletics and tennis are only just starting up. Does your DD know how the school selects? Are there clubs (early morning/lunchtime/after school) for them, and is your DD attending?

Moonatic Mon 25-Apr-16 11:05:31

There's a good chance that those who are being selected have the more "pushy" type of parent - certainly, this has been my experience.

In your position, I see no harm in asking the teachers something like: "We just wondered how you chose the team members? DD enjoys athletics/tennis and she would like to be on the team if possible, so is there anything she needs to be doing to give her the chance of achieving that?"

teta Mon 25-Apr-16 11:20:41

Apparently DD had spoken to the PE teachers about the Tennis selection.She was concerned that her class has less PE sessions so the teachers havn't been able to observe them playing tennis.The PE teachers said they would observe them in recreational tennis.Dd had to take a bottom court as all top ones were full.She said no teachers came down her end.
Apparently top team is full of the same girls on the Hockey/netball teams.( DD a football/tag Rugby/quick cricketer because of her primary school)
Many are not Tennis or club players.
Yes ,she attends 2 clubs every lunchtime.She does the most clubs of anyone in the year!

lljkk Mon 25-Apr-16 11:37:31

It doesn't make sense because the kids themselves will know that your DD is very good; ime, the kids themselves will campaign to get the best sports-person on the team, even if they don't much like that person, wanting their own school to win trumps everything else.

So I presume the school has another logic about how to choose, like random choices among the willing (so all get opportunity), or first come first served, etc. If you really think it's rank favouritism like preferring offspring of PTA mums or whatever then you should ask specifically about why your DD seems to be left out (I would ask that if I was sure it was ridiculous favouritism).

Expecting her to get sporting appetite fed via school probably isn't wise, though. Are there Clubs outside school she can take part in? Hugely more competitions offered via private clubs around here than in schools (we live in a low density rural area, btw).

lljkk Mon 25-Apr-16 11:43:08

Oh sorry, I see there was club stuff. Just ask what the school logic is about picking competitors so that you & your DD know what is fair to expect. This is reasonable.

DD's in a sporty-brainy crowd. Her lot come home out tantrums if the best & nearly best kids aren't chosen to compete. If there are lots of events & internal competition (athletics) then they understand letting a wide range of ability partake, but if it's an external competition, they get pretty fierce about choosing kids who will kill themselves to try to win.

teta Mon 25-Apr-16 11:52:56

Llijkk that sounds familiar.DD is exactly the same.
She doesn't understand why the best runners are not being picked.Apparently the PE teachers all have their favourites and they just pick those.I also think there is a serious lack of communication between the teachers.They also don't run the running club.The non-pe teacher who runs the lunchtime club was a bit puzzled as to why dd hasn't been picked.

agapanthii Mon 25-Apr-16 13:04:20

Your dd should enquire why. Not you. If she doesn't understand why she has not been selected she should just ask:

"Hi, I am really enjoying my running this year and would love to join the extra curricular sports competitions. Do I need to try out? Is there any extra training I can attend? What do I need to do to maximise my chances of making the team?" <Big smile.>

If she shows she is able, enthusiastic and available and asks what she needs to do to make the team; then the staff can be under no doubt that she's keen.

PoshPenny Mon 25-Apr-16 13:11:22

Id say something, there's a very good chance the pushy parent brigade are behind this, and that's the real reason she's not being selected. You could always get her to ask about team selection too. You could always start with an informal word, and if not satisfactory then put something in writing to the head. (Which is the sort of the the pushy parents do all the time lol).

BombadierFritz Mon 25-Apr-16 13:17:58

As its fee paying, i would ask. My kids are at state school and we wouldnt have time for much school representation because of extra curric sports stuff. But i gather one of the selling points of indies is the sports so i'd be pushy

mouldycheesefan Mon 25-Apr-16 13:30:04

Yes I would definitely ask!
Could it be related to the asthma?

teta Mon 25-Apr-16 13:42:49

Well ,it might be mouldy cheese,that's the problem.
When she did the big interschool competition and had to stay overnight i was extremely worried about the asthma .Consequently I wrote a detailed note to the teacher asking them to keep a careful eye on her.Ironically this was the first competition she was absolutely fine.She is now on 3 Inhalers and appears to be very well controlled.One race a few months when Dh took her she ended up in the medical tent half way through ( non school race) and Dh was panic stricken.
Even with the Asthma though she is always towards the front and just drops back a bit towards the end as she becomes wheezy.Normally is in the top ten.

SignedUpAgain Mon 25-Apr-16 13:52:34

At my DDs school the teams are picked not entirely on merit either. Its very frustrating for my DD too. Priority is given to girls who attended the school's prep department.
So teacher says things like " who was on the Prep netball team last year" then they automatically are on the A-team, everyone else makes up the Bs -
Doesn't help that the PE teachers also probably helped out at the prep school so likely know all the girls.

My DD spoke to the teachers and has indicated she is very kean and wants to be considered for teams. She attends all the practices to enable this, but she is still really upset that she is not automatically picked, its still the prep girls getting priority.

teta Mon 25-Apr-16 14:22:10

Same thing here Signedup.
But this doesn't apply to the running team.Most of the runners have come from other schools

AuntieStella Mon 25-Apr-16 14:24:35

Is there a parents' evening coming up?

Witchend Mon 25-Apr-16 14:41:48

It's worth asking how she can try for the team.

But it is possible that the others are better. You said she was the best in the running club and got picked when they were picking from that. So presumably the children now being picked didn't go, but that doesn't mean that they are not as good. Simply they didn't choose to go to the club.

At the (state) juniors mine went to they, for competitions, do choose entirely from those who choose to do the extra curricular (lunchtime) club run by the teacher. So dd1, who isn't particularly sporty, often got to do the competitions whereas the girl in her form who was actually seriously good, didn't. in some ways kudos to the school for being prepared to give those who put the effort in, knowing they wouldn't get as good result. However I can also see the argument the other way. No way would dd1 have won the races, and she knew that.

As a tennis player, if she was knocking up against someone who can hardly hit the ball they may have glanced over, and thought no one over there can play. It's hard to show you're okay if your opponent doesn't hit the ball over the next 95% of the time.
At the other side of the scale one with flashy shots may look better, but not actually do as well in a game. A good teacher may well pick the one who gets everything back without any style. A teacher who just looks at the individual shots may pick the flashy style which only goes in and over 25% of the time.

teta Mon 25-Apr-16 15:31:06

No,the others aren't better with the exception of one.The ones being picked come behind her in practice and races.She attends all the practices.
Witchend she's already been in the team.She's not been picked for the two most recent races in spite of coming first out of her school runners in a very large inter-school competition.
Sadly we've only recently had a parents evening.I don't think there is one due this term.
I can ask DD to speak to them but she's already done that re. Tennis,without making any difference.
The problem is there are several PE teachers and they all take turns doing the classes.Without DD talking to them all they won't all be singing from the same hymn book!

teta Mon 25-Apr-16 15:33:12

* Not been *

sendsummer Mon 25-Apr-16 15:52:21

I would email the most relevant PE teacher cced to head of PE saying that you wanted to update them that your DD's (who as they know is a keen runner) asthma is now very well controlled and therefore there is no medical reason for her not to race.
That should be tactful and places her back on their radar.

mrdashwood Mon 25-Apr-16 15:56:11

Have a word with your local authority about borough team selection - teams are drawn from the state and private sector - for the London mini-marathon, for example. Join an athletics club for cross county comps/relays. Nowadays, schools are in charge of little of importance in terms of junior competition, in any case, with the possible exception of the English Schools` annual champs, which is watched closely by coaches and selectors. Get her to join a website called, The Power of 10. Every single athlete of note is featured on the latter, from Mo Farah to 11-year-old novices. Every single officially timed performance is recorded and the site carries ranks for each athletics` event for all the age groups and also personal bests. If your daughter`s personal bests are better than the competition at her school, the website is a useful tool as corroboration of the fact!
When children of merit are passed over in favour of others in competitive sport, it is incredibly demoralising for those affected. It is not unheard of for sports`selectors to be influenced by external pressure- pushy parents, governors` children, etc. Don`t put up with it! Get your evidence and have a polite convo with the teacher.

Farahilda Mon 25-Apr-16 16:00:45

You could also try an email along the lines of: "I do not know if any of your tennis fixtures are registered with LTA, but in case any are, my DD's number is XXX and her current rating is Y.Z"

Copy to anyone listed as a tennis coach, the head of games and the head of girls games.

teta Mon 25-Apr-16 16:21:33

Ooh!
Those suggestions are brilliant.
Send summer ,that's a fantastic idea.
I think she is on the Power of 10 already.I will go and check.
Yes,Lta rankings are well worth looking at.
Thank you all.

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