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Elementary School Track & Field Super Meet
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Anonymous
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Costs said 5 days ago

What does your track club charge for kids 14-15?

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  • anonymous Anonymous
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    Anonymous said 4 days ago

    Thank you "MTA"
    PEE WEE GIRLS/Boys
    6 years old or younger as of Jan 1

    http://minortrack.org/home/

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  • bestcoach User since:
    Oct 20th, 2014
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    BestCoach said 4 days ago

    Is it coincidence the kids who train with the most expensive clubs in Toronto also run for the highest priced private schools in toronto?

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  • anonymous Anonymous
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    Anonymous said 4 days ago

    Quoting: Anonymous
    "I can define "Businessification of the Sport" Here in BC a certain sprint coach wants to be paid $250 per hour to coach at a track club. If you want him to show up at a meet there's a fee plus gas and food.

    That's the businessification of sport and it will make track like elite hockey and soccer academies/clubs."


    In my coaching experience in BC such sprint coaches have huge egos and can smooth talk like snake oil salesmen. But when you look deeper at results the volunteer coaches often get better results with their athletes with fewer injuries. I think this is because the volunteer coaches don't care about their egos as much; most of them were average athletes not ex Olympian or otherwise elite athletes. So they focus more on what the athletes need and tend to develop them with longer term goals in mind beyond just high school glory or 'getting that scholarship' mentality. Meanwhile the athletes coached by the 'gurus' always seem to be nursing an injury or teetering on the edge of one. It is just too bad that many parents are swayed by the thought that only an ex elite athlete can coach their kid. Gretzky and Jordan were arguably the best of their generation at their sports and two of the better known disasters as coaches. If any parent pays ridiculous fees for track and field club
    coaching ( not talking facility costs just the actual coaching fees) they are fools. And you know the saying about fools and their money.

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  • master2b User since:
    Jun 9th, 2011
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    Master2B said 3 days ago

    Quoting: BestCoach
    "Is it coincidence the kids who train with the most expensive clubs in Toronto also run for the highest priced private schools in toronto?"


    Nope. We are becoming a have/have not sport.

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  • b-west User since:
    Jan 1st, 2007
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    B-West said 3 days ago

    Any club that strives to offer all events needs to charge athletes a reasonable amount to cover all of the operating costs. A single pole vault pole alone starts at $400. Pits, cages, takeoff boards, standards, they all cost money. Giving back to your sport for what was given to you is important, but so is rewarding coaches for their time and commitment to the sport.

    If we want to talk about a have or have not sport, then we need to look how few clubs offer a throws or jumps program. Very soon we will be a sport that does not have field events.

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  • oldster User since:
    Sep 25th, 2013
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    Oldster said 3 days ago

    Quoting: B-West
    "Any club that strives to offer all events needs to charge athletes a reasonable amount to cover all of the operating costs. A single pole vault pole alone starts at $400. Pits, cages, takeoff boards, standards, they all cost money. Giving back to your sport for what was given to you is important, but so is rewarding coaches for their time and commitment to the sport.

    If we want to talk about a have or have not sport, then we need to look how few clubs offer a throws or jumps program. Very soon we will be a sport that does not have field events."


    Fair points re: the cost of different event groups in the sport. But, the principle for me is providing access at the minimum cost for participants-- again, because our sport will offer little or no financial pay-off for all but a handful of athletes. In the case of high cost event groups like pole vault, clubs should consider subsidies for lower income participants. But, they should always be looking to minimize costs, and that includes for coaching.

    Speaking of which, you talk about "rewarding coaches for their efforts". This is an interesting and, I think, telling choice of words. Athletes, of course, receive nothing for their efforts; they are rewarded for results, which are very easy to measure. Through their affiliation with clubs that have, in many cases, developed access to scarce facilities (economies of scale that create a market advantage, if you will), some coaches can find themselves in a structural position to get remuneration in access of merit (which is much trickier to measure than it is for athletes in any case). More kids may join a particular club because of the perceived advantage of working with a particular coach (which would support a case for his/her merit). Or, they may be joining because the club in question is the "only game in town", so to speak. My point is that when it is athletes who are paying for coaches, and when they often can often access coaching only through clubs, we have to be careful when we talk about what coaches deserve for their efforts. And, as coaches ourselves, we have to consider the structural advantage we can sometimes have over athletes when it comes to our remuneration. This is why I say we have to consider the fact that athletes will by and large be confined to doing what they do for love, not money. And, while everyone has to pay the bills, we need to think about how we balance the money/love equation. Should our sense of what we "deserve" for doing what we do come at the cost of greater accessibility for poor kids or talented young adults chasing their dreams? This is a discussion every coach must have with him/herself (and perhaps with his/her family).

    In general, I think it's easy to become complacent in assuming that everyone who wants to do our sport is upper middle class-- an assumption that can become self-fulfilling when we don't make every effort to keep cost to an absolute minimum is our vastly, and increasingly, unequal political economy. I won't pass judgement on other clubs, but I have had friendly arguments with people about my no-fee policy in which I have been told that I should be charging kids because "they already pay to access other sports, and sometimes quite a lot". To which I reply: This is precisely why I DON'T charge kids to participate. Principle aside, how can I encourage kids to remain active in other sports (sports that may cost them $) if I am charging them to run in my group? There are very real financial limits for many kids. Few kids will tell you that they can't afford to play your sport, but they will walk away nonetheless if/when they can't.

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  • anonymous Anonymous
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    Anonymous said 3 days ago

    Quoting: Oldster
    "In general, I think it's easy to become complacent in assuming that everyone who wants to do our sport is upper middle class-- an assumption that can become self-fulfilling when we don't make every effort to keep cost to an absolute minimum is our vastly, and increasingly, unequal political economy. I won't pass judgement on other clubs, but I have had friendly arguments with people about my no-fee policy in which I have been told that I should be charging kids because "they already pay to access other sports, and sometimes quite a lot". To which I reply: This is precisely why I DON'T charge kids to participate. Principle aside, how can I encourage kids to remain active in other sports (sports that may cost them $) if I am charging them to run in my group? There are very real financial limits for many kids. Few kids will tell you that they can't afford to play your sport, but they will walk away nonetheless if/when they can't."


    This speaks to whether or not coaches are encouraging 14-15 year olds to specialize in their sport now or encouraging them to continue with multiple sports. Obviously it raises the question of whether 'rewarding coaches for their time and commitment' is more important to these $1000 and up clubs than the athletes long term development.

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  • obvious User since:
    Apr 1st, 2007
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    Obvious said 3 days ago

    Quoting: Oldster
    "Speaking of which, you talk about "rewarding coaches for their efforts". This is an interesting and, I think, telling choice of words. Athletes, of course, receive nothing for their efforts; they are rewarded for results, which are very easy to measure. Through their affiliation with clubs that have, in many cases, developed access to scarce facilities (economies of scale that create a market advantage, if you will), some coaches can find themselves in a structural position to get remuneration in access of merit (which is much trickier to measure than it is for athletes in any case). More kids may join a particular club because of the perceived advantage of working with a particular coach (which would support a case for his/her merit). Or, they may be joining because the club in question is the "only game in town", so to speak. My point is that when it is athletes who are paying for coaches, and when they often can often access coaching only through clubs, we have to be careful when we talk about what coaches deserve for their efforts. And, as coaches ourselves, we have to consider the structural advantage we can sometimes have over athletes when it comes to our remuneration. This is why I say we have to consider the fact that athletes will by and large be confined to doing what they do for love, not money. And, while everyone has to pay the bills, we need to think about how we balance the money/love equation. Should our sense of what we "deserve" for doing what we do come at the cost of greater accessibility for poor kids or talented young adults chasing their dreams? This is a discussion every coach must have with him/herself (and perhaps with his/her family).
    "


    Is T&F somehow different in this regard than most of the other sports the 12 - 18 year demographic participates in?

    Is there potential financial payoff for a larger percentage of soccer, swimming or gymnastic competitors?

    Are those (and other) sports accessible through non-club, minimal facility opportunities, provided by coaches/clubs who don't need any kind of remuneration?

    Given the simplicity of our sport compared to many others, it would seem like a free market should be able to provide desired benefits.

    Most kids are in a market in which there are more than one club/group option (Toronto, KW, London, GTA...), some with 'professional' coaches, either through a large club or through a varsity program affiliation. Others are run by essentially volunteer coaches doing it in their free time.

    If the coaches from any of those groups are any good, they will develop athletes and themselves (coaching certification, clinics, provincial or national teams).

    Athletes (and their parents) talk and most (all?) are smart enough to know there is more than just the size of a group to tell if the coach is any good.

    Those that don't measure up will lose out to those that do. No one is forcing a kid to continue being a member of a club they don't like.

    (And have you checked out what options some of the larger clubs have to assist those who are financially challenged? I'd be surprised if there were many that did NOT have something in place to ensure a talented and dedicated kid can continue, regardless of how well off their parents are.)

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    Andrew Jones said 3 days ago

    I won't pass judgement on other clubs, but I have had friendly arguments with people about my no-fee policy in which I have been told that I should be charging kids because "they already pay to access other sports, and sometimes quite a lot". To which I reply: This is precisely why I DON'T charge kids to participate.

    This is a good point, and it flies in the face of what we're taught to believe in our capitalistic society: that anything that is worth something (that has "value") should cost something (and the higher the cost, the more valuable it is).

    The principle alluded to above is, of course, drummed to death by product and service producers (and their marketers) everyday. And quite often it is leveraged quite disingenuously.

    I think it's about time people start to redefine "value", and in a way that is not always tied to $$$. Bravo.

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  • b-west User since:
    Jan 1st, 2007
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    B-West said 3 days ago

    Quoting: Oldster
    "Fair points re: the cost of different event groups in the sport. But, the principle for me is providing access at the minimum cost for participants-- again, because our sport will offer little or no financial pay-off for all but a handful of athletes. In the case of high cost event groups like pole vault, clubs should consider subsidies for lower income participants. But, they should always be looking to minimize costs, and that includes for coaching.

    Speaking of which, you talk about "rewarding coaches for their efforts". This is an interesting and, I think, telling choice of words. Athletes, of course, receive nothing for their efforts; they are rewarded for results, which are very easy to measure. Through their affiliation with clubs that have, in many cases, developed access to scarce facilities (economies of scale that create a market advantage, if you will), some coaches can find themselves in a structural position to get remuneration in access of merit (which is much trickier to measure than it is for athletes in any case). More kids may join a particular club because of the perceived advantage of working with a particular coach (which would support a case for his/her merit). Or, they may be joining because the club in question is the "only game in town", so to speak. My point is that when it is athletes who are paying for coaches, and when they often can often access coaching only through clubs, we have to be careful when we talk about what coaches deserve for their efforts. And, as coaches ourselves, we have to consider the structural advantage we can sometimes have over athletes when it comes to our remuneration. This is why I say we have to consider the fact that athletes will by and large be confined to doing what they do for love, not money. And, while everyone has to pay the bills, we need to think about how we balance the money/love equation. Should our sense of what we "deserve" for doing what we do come at the cost of greater accessibility for poor kids or talented young adults chasing their dreams? This is a discussion every coach must have with him/herself (and perhaps with his/her family).

    In general, I think it's easy to become complacent in assuming that everyone who wants to do our sport is upper middle class-- an assumption that can become self-fulfilling when we don't make every effort to keep cost to an absolute minimum is our vastly, and increasingly, unequal political economy. I won't pass judgement on other clubs, but I have had friendly arguments with people about my no-fee policy in which I have been told that I should be charging kids because "they already pay to access other sports, and sometimes quite a lot". To which I reply: This is precisely why I DON'T charge kids to participate. Principle aside, how can I encourage kids to remain active in other sports (sports that may cost them $) if I am charging them to run in my group? There are very real financial limits for many kids. Few kids will tell you that they can't afford to play your sport, but they will walk away nonetheless if/when they can't."


    I'm a professional coach. It's not shameful that I'm paid for time. Just as it's not shameful that a kindergarten teacher is paid for his or her time. Not all coaches need to be professional, most of the best are not, but having more professional coaches in this sport only helps it in the long run.

    My experience is also that it's not black and white when it comes to club fee's. Those clubs that charge the most, are also the one's that have the ability to support athlete's that couldn't otherwise afford to be part of that club. That might a young javelin thrower from a low income family or an athlete trying to transition from the collegiate level to the "pro" level that can barely afford rent as it is.

    My point is, every club makes their own decisions on what model they want. You've stated what your club is, and that's admirable, but that does mean that other models block athletes from chasing their dreams.

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  • groaker User since:
    May 27th, 2014
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    Groaker said 3 days ago

    Difficult to find info on some groups. The top end of what I could find in Ontario is

    Phoenix
    $900 annual for kids 13 and up. Clearly covers AO membership and entry fees, so seems to be under $1k as no hidden costs

    Ottawa Lions
    $1,500 a year for 14-16 year olds. Lots of options for seasonal membership with the year divided into 6 sessions, but still easy to pay around $1k

    London Western
    $1,350 all inclusive for ages 14 and up. The cost for 11-13 year olds is $1,050; that means a grade 6 kid costs over $1k

    Physi-Kult
    No club membership, just AO fees. Probably not for kids, their online coaching is up to $90 a month so $1,080 a year

    Speed River
    Annual membership for 14 year old kid would cost $1200 + tax, which is $1,356

    UTTC
    Annual membership including tax for kids aged 12-18 is $1,356 or $1,582 if you get invited.

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  • anonymous Anonymous
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    Anonymous said 3 days ago

    Quoting: Anonymous
    "In my coaching experience in BC such sprint coaches have huge egos and can smooth talk like snake oil salesmen. But when you look deeper at results the volunteer coaches often get better results with their athletes with fewer injuries. I think this is because the volunteer coaches don't care about their egos as much; most of them were average athletes not ex Olympian or otherwise elite athletes. So they focus more on what the athletes need and tend to develop them with longer term goals in mind beyond just high school glory or 'getting that scholarship' mentality. Meanwhile the athletes coached by the 'gurus' always seem to be nursing an injury or teetering on the edge of one. It is just too bad that many parents are swayed by the thought that only an ex elite athlete can coach their kid. Gretzky and Jordan were arguably the best of their generation at their sports and two of the better known disasters as coaches. If any parent pays ridiculous fees for track and field club
    coaching ( not talking facility costs just the actual coaching fees) they are fools. And you know the saying about fools and their money."



    I think $250/hr is probably an outlier, and I doubt many track clubs would take him/her up on that. People are not fools. While I have great respect for ex-athletes or anyone who chooses to coach in track and field, I as a parent and consumer, will not pay what I pay my lawyer, accountant, or dentist for their services. Full stop.

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  • mattnorminton User since:
    Jan 13th, 2013
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    mattnorminton said 3 days ago

    Quoting: Anonymous
    "coaches that profess it's insanity to charge for coaching, and that it should be free for everyone, are the biggest problem in the coaching profession. Coaching should be professionalized, coaches should be paid."


    I coach college age and up (nothing U18 usually) and I do not charge my seniors or masters (I do get paid a small amount by the college I coach at). My seniors and masters usually all chip in to get me a nice Christmas present and some will give me other smaller gifts over the course of the year but I do it for the love of the sport and to give something back as I myself have benefited from very generous people in the sport over the years.

    The flip side of that is that I am not always at practice and for the most part, I do not individualize training plans for everyone within the group (usually a few smaller groups within the larger group that are looking to race the same event/season).

    The biggest problem in the coaching profession is not coaches that don't charge for their services, it's the ones that are trying to charge but aren't actually very good coaches. Those that are good coaches who charge for their services are doing just fine. There will always be a need for paid good coaches in our sport. Don't blame volunteer coaches for your shortfall, become a better coach.

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  • cummings User since:
    Apr 1st, 2006
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    Cummings said 3 days ago

    Quoting: mattnorminton
    "I coach college age and up (nothing U18 usually) and I do not charge my seniors or masters (I do get paid a small amount by the college I coach at). My seniors and masters usually all chip in to get me a nice Christmas present and some will give me other smaller gifts over the course of the year but I do it for the love of the sport and to give something back as I myself have benefited from very generous people in the sport over the years.

    The flip side of that is that I am not always at practice and for the most part, I do not individualize training plans for everyone within the group (usually a few smaller groups within the larger group that are looking to race the same event/season).

    The biggest problem in the coaching profession is not coaches that don't charge for their services, it's the ones that are trying to charge but aren't actually very good coaches. Those that are good coaches who charge for their services are doing just fine. There will always be a need for paid good coaches in our sport. Don't blame volunteer coaches for your shortfall, become a better coach."


    Beauty comment Matt. I think every coach makes their own reality, if you are a good coach you will get good results regardless and good athletes will find you. We need a mix of paid and non-paid coaches in the system.

    What I do think is lost in this conversation is the merits of strong, school based programs for age group athletes. You don't need a private club to produce great athletes, you just need a coach with passion for the sport who has a good foundation in the fundamentals of training. I run a club style program out of my school; and although the program sees a huge range of results because there is a huge range of levels of commitment; from bantam, to youth, to junior, the kids who put the time in get rewarded with good results. Obviously, I make no profit off of a school based program, nor would I want to profit from my coaching exploits in this environment, as it would compromise the morals behind what I was doing. If I were in a different situation, it would be reasonable to profit from it, but I don't and that helps keep it clear what the goals are for the long term development and health and wellness of the hard working kids in my program.

    The private club system undervalues what the school systems can offer if the right personnel are in place. This debate gets tricky because a lot of club coaches are actually teachers as well; however I think if our schools were setup better to support high level coaches wanting to build top notch sports programs we would get more school based programs excelling. Not sure if paying coaches in the public school system is the way to go though; the last thing we need is an Americanization of our public education system. However, I think if high school teachers were offered prep time to focus on coaching or had a reduced workload to build high performance programs we would see less need for a private club system; and thus the debate about what we charge kids for track club fees would be a moot point.

    I also see a problem with the elitist attitudes of track club kids (this is a broad generalization so does not apply to all athletes). However, I see lots of athletes who think just because they are in a club, they are entitled to elite performances; this gives them fragile egos, and ultimately undercuts their long term development and sets the groundwork for an early exit from the sport. As clubs are generally based on performance first, and not the fundamentals of what it means to be a lifelong runner, the added perceived pressure to perform from having a paid coach destroys the joy of running and training that needs to be fostered in order to perform AND have longevity. Of which, ultimately, I would think longevity and commitment to running as a lifestyle is a more important element than performance just for the sake of achieving extrinsic goals. The performances take care of themselves if kids are intrinsically motivated to self improvement through running.

    Again, a lot of these potential issues can be remedied if the coach, regardless of the situation they are in, have the right attitude and teach the right things. I see good coaches and bad coaches in all walks of life so there really is no set ideal situation.

    I would also add, to forward this argument in a previous post:

    "I won't pass judgement on other clubs, but I have had friendly arguments with people about my no-fee policy in which I have been told that I should be charging kids because "they already pay to access other sports, and sometimes quite a lot". To which I reply: This is precisely why I DON'T charge kids to participate."

    I've been asked to be a paid coach in clubs before, however, part of the reason why I want to do it the hard way and build a school program is exactly this point above. Cost is restrictive to sport for many kids, I never want to force a family to have to make a choice about whether or not their kids can run because they don't know if they can afford the club fees. I want them to run, but I also want them to be able to try other sports while they are young; the reality is that many sports are only accessible to young people when they are still children! So let them do everything while they still can; it's tough to play on the volleyball team, the soccer team, do rep hockey, and run track/XC when you have a job to hold down, no time, and more responsibilities. Running will always be there for them, and time is not as big a constraint for a sport like running like it is for a sport like hockey or soccer when facility availability is a consideration.

    However, I do agree with the point of having to charge club fees for buying equipment for multiple event disciplines in track. THIS IS WHY I HAVE SUPPORT OF PARENT COUNCIL to buy me the implements I need, AT NO COST TO THE KID. Our public dollars pay for my shotputs, javelins, discus', and high jump mats, and anything else I need above my mandated budget I get parent council to subsidize. This is the advantage of the school based program, if we had more teachers who cared to put the time in to developing a flagship track & field program at our schools (it would be nice to see Athletics Canada and our provincial bodies support our public education systems more in this respect), there would be less need to debate the merits of whether or not families should be charged arms, legs, or kidneys for their track club fees.

    I am not the best coach, nor am I the worst coach, but I have built something that works with my own personal philosophies on coaching. I think any coach can be successful if they are true to their core values, seek out or create situations that reflect those values, have good fundamentals, and are always willing to keep evolving. The school based system is a place I think track & field coaches are quick to dismiss or overlook in this country in favor of private clubs; when really all the school system needs is a bit of an investment from passionate people who have expertise.

    This post was edited by Cummings 3 days ago . 
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  • groaker User since:
    May 27th, 2014
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    Groaker said 3 days ago

    Quoting: Cummings
    "I think if high school teachers were offered prep time to focus on coaching or had a reduced workload to build high performance programs we would see less need for a private club system; and thus the debate about what we charge kids for track club fees would be a moot point."


    Reducing the workload of several teachers so they can spend more time doing volunteer activities that are not part of their employment contract will require the hiring of additional teachers. This requires either an increase in taxes or cuts elsewhere in the education system.

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  • cummings User since:
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    Cummings said 3 days ago

    Quoting: Groaker
    "Reducing the workload of several teachers so they can spend more time doing volunteer activities that are not part of their employment contract will require the hiring of additional teachers. This requires either an increase in taxes or cuts elsewhere in the education system."


    You're exactly right. Extra-curricular should be part of our contractual obligations, particularly at the high school level in my opinion. I am not a PE teacher either by the way, and I still think this should be a requirement.

    I wasn't suggesting reducing workloads either, I was suggesting maybe rethinking what our actual work responsibilities are.

    There are many ways to reapportion funding without necessarily increasing taxes to improve the quality of the education system. There are lots of instances where teachers are misplaced or refurbished into positions they are not necessarily passionate about and don't serve the public as best they could; there are also ways to spend more efficiently that doesn't require a massive overhaul in staffing. There are lots of teachers who don't pull their weight from an extra-curricular standpoint and schools suffer as result. Staff morale also suffers because you get a minority doing the majority of the work. I also see teachers who have to coach things or lead an extra-curricular activity that they have no idea about or have any sort of passion for it. They just got placed there because other activities were already spoken for and admin needed a warm body in a certain area. This is a huge waste of resources and talent, particularly when a certain teacher may have a specific skill set that they cannot use. Those types of things shouldn't happen.

    I would argue there are creative solutions to reward high performing coaches for their coaching exploits within a publicly funded education system; it just requires creative thought (I am not talking about getting paid on top of an already reasonably healthy salary either, wages don't need to change, but how we earn that money can always be rethought)! However, it would ultimately have to be something the public wanted, of which I fear the public is going in the entirely opposite direction when we discuss valuing the merits of healthy competition.

    We value the work of our chemistry, biology, physics (I am a science teacher by the way), and ELA teachers and pay them for it. Yet we always talk about the how the "hidden curriculum" is more important (life lessons, task completion, work ethic, appreciation of hard work etc). With that logic, then aren't the lessons students learn doing a vigorous extra-curricular activity more valuable then any sort of equation or theory I teach them in class? We talk like we believe that, but then don't really follow that up with action. As much as I value public education, I think that it falls victim to hypocrisy at times. If a coach is going to offer those types of lessons, then it would be worth at least discussing including that as part of their salaried responsibilities (allowing more flexibility during the day); it might allow teachers to speak more to their passions and be a more effective instructor.

    This wouldn't look all that much unlike what college coaches would do if they were also faculty at the school they coach at. They get paid for both their academic qualifications and for their contributions to making the school's extra-curricular programs more vibrant. Technically I only get paid for my academic exploits, when really I think my contributions to the extra-curricular programs have a more meaningful impact on students. Other countries have figured this out with public education systems that perform to standards as high as ours and higher (I'm thinking Scandinavia). It's not an impossible stretch to reimagine this a little bit.

    I'm just saying, if we actually recognized that extra-curricular was a part of the reality of a teacher's responsibility, and not just an inconvenient aside, as it always seems to be when we discuss money and union loyalties. It could easily be included in our contractual obligations, the acknowledgement for the scope of practice of what it means to be a teacher would be respected, our salaries wouldn't have to change, and in an ideal world, the workload would just look different, but be about the same. I simply view coaching as just part of my job, it's an extension of my teaching; however contractually that is not how it is viewed at all.

    I would even go as far as to say maybe we should look at giving kids PE credits for qualifying for Provincial Championships or something of that nature, you could have teachers coaching them at practice and there is your class! The parameters of a coaching and a teaching situation aren't really that different.


    This post was edited by Cummings 3 days ago . 
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  • anonymous Anonymous
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    CrazyRunningKid said 3 days ago

    Quoting: Oldster
    "In general, I think it's easy to become complacent in assuming that everyone who wants to do our sport is upper middle class-- an assumption that can become self-fulfilling when we don't make every effort to keep cost to an absolute minimum is our vastly, and increasingly, unequal political economy. I won't pass judgement on other clubs, but I have had friendly arguments with people about my no-fee policy in which I have been told that I should be charging kids because "they already pay to access other sports, and sometimes quite a lot".


    "U guys rock"

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  • bi User since:
    Jan 9th, 2013
    Posts: 26
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    Report    REPLY #43 

    Bi$$ said 3 days ago

    Quoting: mattnorminton
    "I coach college age and up (nothing U18 usually) and I do not charge my seniors or masters (I do get paid a small amount by the college I coach at). My seniors and masters usually all chip in to get me a nice Christmas present and some will give me other smaller gifts over the course of the year but I do it for the love of the sport and to give something back as I myself have benefited from very generous people in the sport over the years.

    The flip side of that is that I am not always at practice and for the most part, I do not individualize training plans for everyone within the group (usually a few smaller groups within the larger group that are looking to race the same event/season).

    The biggest problem in the coaching profession is not coaches that don't charge for their services, it's the ones that are trying to charge but aren't actually very good coaches. Those that are good coaches who charge for their services are doing just fine. There will always be a need for paid good coaches in our sport. Don't blame volunteer coaches for your shortfall, become a better coach."


    Mr Norminton, you are wise like Yoda ... but better looking .. but not by a lot ;-)
    .
    You make many good points. Our small club here in Northern AB charges nothing for coaching. Athletes need to pay their Athletics Alberta fees, the City provides free access to the outdoor track for training, and the athletes are on the hook for travel expenses - which are not inconsequential when the closest place for a major competition is Edmonton (a 5 hour drive.) If we manage to raise a bit of money doing local meets, we can pay for entry fees sometimes, and the better athletes may get a bit of travel money for things like Nationals.

    One of the great things about not charging for coaching is that you are not beholden to parents who've put out hundreds of dollars and expect a "return on their investment". If it's free, they get what they get - I get to do things my way. Coaching is something I do for the love of the sport and to give back to the community - I don't need parents second guessing my every move.

    I don't begrudge the people who are trying to make a living by private coaching, there are some good ones, but as Matt has said, there are many really bad coaches and personal trainers out there charging people for really bad coaching. Buyer beware.

    The anon poster who wrote that volunteer coaches are the biggest problem in the coaching profession is dead wrong. The paid model might work well for middle and upper class kids in the GTA, but there are many other training situations across this country. Training athletes in a remote northern area with 13 months of winter every year and without a strong tradition and culture of track and field is not the same as running a group in the GTA.

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  • cummings User since:
    Apr 1st, 2006
    Posts: 75
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    Cummings said 3 days ago

    Quoting: Bi$$
    "Mr Norminton, you are wise like Yoda ... but better looking .. but not by a lot ;-)
    .
    You make many good points. Our small club here in Northern AB charges nothing for coaching. Athletes need to pay their Athletics Alberta fees, the City provides free access to the outdoor track for training, and the athletes are on the hook for travel expenses - which are not inconsequential when the closest place for a major competition is Edmonton (a 5 hour drive.) If we manage to raise a bit of money doing local meets, we can pay for entry fees sometimes, and the better athletes may get a bit of travel money for things like Nationals.

    One of the great things about not charging for coaching is that you are not beholden to parents who've put out hundreds of dollars and expect a "return on their investment". If it's free, they get what they get - I get to do things my way. Coaching is something I do for the love of the sport and to give back to the community - I don't need parents second guessing my every move.

    I don't begrudge the people who are trying to make a living by private coaching, there are some good ones, but as Matt has said, there are many really bad coaches and personal trainers out there charging people for really bad coaching. Buyer beware.

    The anon poster who wrote that volunteer coaches are the biggest problem in the coaching profession is dead wrong. The paid model might work well for middle and upper class kids in the GTA, but there are many other training situations across this country. Training athletes in a remote northern area with 13 months of winter every year and without a strong tradition and culture of track and field is not the same as running a group in the GTA."


    I second that, particularly the Yoda comment.

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  • groaker User since:
    May 27th, 2014
    Posts: 153
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    Groaker said 3 days ago

    So in summary Cummings you take issue with what some club coaches charge, point out that you run a club style program at school, and you want to be paid for it as part of your contract instead of doing it as a volunteer. You want to be rewarded for your time and commitment to the sport, as B-West said earlier when defending the costs of the same club coaches you were taking issue with, but in their case the kids and parents have an option of whether or not to join and contribute to the coaches salary.

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  • cummings User since:
    Apr 1st, 2006
    Posts: 75
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    Cummings said 3 days ago

    Quoting: Groaker
    "So in summary Cummings you take issue with what some club coaches charge, point out that you run a club style program at school, and you want to be paid for it as part of your contract instead of doing it as a volunteer. You want to be rewarded for your time and commitment to the sport, as B-West said earlier when defending the costs of the same club coaches you were taking issue with, but in their case the kids and parents have an option of whether or not to join and contribute to the coaches salary."


    No. Not what I said. It's something I do regardless of getting paid, we would have higher quality coaches in the school systems if our contracts recognized the work volunteer coaches do. It would be great if we extended the definition of what it means to be a teacher (by the way, this would do a lot to alleviate things like strikes and lockouts); and rewarded coaches with more time to oversee successful programs. If contracts spoke more to the talents teachers brought to the table we would have a more impactful education system. I don't want money, I want to be able to use my time more effectively at school to contribute to a more enriched school environment. There are menial tasks in the day and throughout the school year that are simply unnecessary; time could be used more efficiently in a lot of ways.

    And I didn't take issue with coaches charging, I said there are many ways for coaches to be successful, they just need to find a situation that speaks most to their philosophies. A good coach that has the right moral pillars will be successful regardless of the environment they are in.

    "I think any coach can be successful if they are true to their core values, seek out or create situations that reflect those values, have good fundamentals, and are always willing to keep evolving." --> from my previous post.

    "Again, a lot of these potential issues can be remedied if the coach, regardless of the situation they are in, have the right attitude and teach the right things. I see good coaches and bad coaches in all walks of life so there really is no set ideal situation." - I also said this...

    Your summary is a bit over-simplified.

    This post was edited by Cummings 3 days ago . 
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  • racing-flat User since:
    Apr 25th, 2015
    Posts: 14
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    Report    REPLY #47 

    Racing Flat said 3 days ago

    Quoting: Groaker
    "Difficult to find info on some groups. The top end of what I could find in Ontario is

    Phoenix
    $900 annual for kids 13 and up. Clearly covers AO membership and entry fees, so seems to be under $1k as no hidden costs

    Ottawa Lions
    $1,500 a year for 14-16 year olds. Lots of options for seasonal membership with the year divided into 6 sessions, but still easy to pay around $1k

    London Western
    $1,350 all inclusive for ages 14 and up. The cost for 11-13 year olds is $1,050; that means a grade 6 kid costs over $1k

    Physi-Kult
    No club membership, just AO fees. Probably not for kids, their online coaching is up to $90 a month so $1,080 a year

    Speed River
    Annual membership for 14 year old kid would cost $1200 + tax, which is $1,356

    UTTC
    Annual membership including tax for kids aged 12-18 is $1,356 or $1,582 if you get invited."



    Just as a comparison - two of the more successful clubs in Ireland:

    Leevale AC (notable athletes: Donie Walsh, Marcus O'Sullivan, Mark Carroll, Ciaran O'Lionaird) - 85EURO per year for juvenile membership

    Clonliffe Harriers AC (Coaches John McDonnell, Mick 'The Prince' Byrne; Athletes Jerry Kiernan, Niall Bruton) - 130 EURO per year for juveniles

    This post was edited by Racing Flat 3 days ago . 
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  • new-post-last-visitoldster User since:
    Sep 25th, 2013
    Posts: 1722
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    Report    REPLY #48 

    Oldster said 2 days ago

    Quoting: B-West
    "I'm a professional coach. It's not shameful that I'm paid for time. Just as it's not shameful that a kindergarten teacher is paid for his or her time. Not all coaches need to be professional, most of the best are not, but having more professional coaches in this sport only helps it in the long run.

    My experience is also that it's not black and white when it comes to club fee's. Those clubs that charge the most, are also the one's that have the ability to support athlete's that couldn't otherwise afford to be part of that club. That might a young javelin thrower from a low income family or an athlete trying to transition from the collegiate level to the "pro" level that can barely afford rent as it is.

    My point is, every club makes their own decisions on what model they want. You've stated what your club is, and that's admirable, but that does mean that other models block athletes from chasing their dreams."


    My intent wasn't to shame anyone for getting paid to coach. The "lowest possible cost" may not be zero cost in some instances-- indeed CAN'T be zero if/when there is expensive equipment involved or scare/expensive to acquire technical expertise. It just so happens that the "lowest possible cost" for us at PK is zero, at least at the key points I mentioned (I charge people--mostly adults but a few kids in remote areas-- to receive coaching online, albeit according to a sliding scale according to ability to pay).

    What concerns me is the possibility that clubs might become complacent when it comes to what they charge kids, simply because they have found a few dozen, or 100, who can/will pay whatever amount they (the clubs) are asking. For me, it is a question of maximizing accessibility by reducing costs to a minimum, and that includes for adequate coaching (and I happen to believe that "adequate" is fine in athletics, because so much success is determined by the very basic drive and athleticism of athletes themselves). And if a club is not thinking in terms of maximizing accessibility as a matter of principle, then they are very unlikely to be maximizing accessibility, particularly if they are operating in upper middle class milieu.

    Note: I am not referring to any club in particular, nor am I suggesting that the most expensive clubs are necessarily the ones failing to think about accessibility (it could well be that they are, but that offering the sport in their locale is simply uniquely costly). In fact, every club in Canada may already be doing its utmost to maximize accessibility, and every paid club coach may be receiving exactly what he/she is worth (i.e. maximizing value, such that no one could possibly do what they do as well for less money)! In which case: as you were, everyone.

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