More Questions

Football and Waldorf circus

Kicking a ball

 

From: winters_diana
Date: Sun Mar 14, 2004 7:36 pm
Subject: Kicking a ball

About kicking a ball, Daniel asks:

What is the mechanism by which this ban is communicated and enforced? Are there sanctions for breaking it?

How do teachers enforce a ban on anything? They tell the kids not to do it, and often try to get their parents not to let them do it either.

Diana

...................................................................................................................................

From: at
Date: Tue Mar 16, 2004 1:12 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Kicking a ball

I seem not to have been clear on this. How does Waldorf keep schools from allowing kids to kick a ball? What happens if one school decides to have a kickball game? Is there some written policy that this is grounds for termination of all involved? It the school decertified? Do local anthroposophists grab their pitchforks and storm the school grounds? What if I have seen kickball games at a German Waldorf school? Does that make Mr. Staudenmaier a liar?

Daniel Hindes

 

----- Original Message -----
From: diana.winters
Sent: Sunday, March 14, 2004 10:36 PM
Subject: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Kicking a ball

About kicking a ball, Daniel asks:

What is the mechanism by which this ban is communicated and enforced? Are there sanctions for breaking it?

How do teachers enforce a ban on anything? They tell the kids not to do it, and often try to get their parents not to let them do it either.

Diana

...................................................................................................................................

From: Frank Thomas Smith
Date: Tue Mar 16, 2004 1:56 pm
Subject: RE: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Kicking a ball

Daniel asked.

I seem not to have been clear on this. How does Waldorf keep schools from allowing kids to kick a ball? What happens if one school decides to have a kickball game? Is there some written policy that this is grounds for termination of all involved? It the school decertified? Do local anthroposophists grab their pitchforks and storm the school grounds? What if I have seen kickball games at a German Waldorf school? Does that make Mr. Staudenmaier a liar?

I can only speak from experience. Firstly, Steiner did prohibit soccer in the first Waldorf School in Germany. Reasons: it's the only human activity that uses the head as an instrument; constantly kicking around a head-shaped ball unconciously incites to violence. (btw, I know a guy here in Argentina who was blinded from heading a soccer ball, a freak accident, but brain injuries can result.) When I lived in Germany the kids played soccer in 2 W-schools, I don't know about others, nor about the US. In Argentina, where soccer is a national illness, there's no way to prohibit it in any school, W. or otherwise.

Frank

...................................................................................................................................

From: at
Date: Tue Mar 16, 2004 2:39 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Kicking a ball

Daniel asked.

I seem not to have been clear on this. How does Waldorf keep schools from allowing kids to kick a ball? What happens if one school decides to have a kickball game? Is there some written policy that this is grounds for termination of all involved? It the school decertified? Do local anthroposophists grab their pitchforks and storm the school grounds? What if I have seen kickball games at a German Waldorf school? Does that make Mr. Staudenmaier a liar?

Frank:

I can only speak from experience. Firstly, Steiner did prohibit soccer in the first Waldorf School in Germany. Reasons: it's the only human activity that uses the head as an instrument; constantly kicking around a head-shaped ball unconciously incites to violence. (btw, I know a guy here in Argentina who was blinded from heading a soccer ball, a freak accident, but brain injuries can result.) When I lived in Germany the kids played soccer in 2 W-schools, I don't know about others, nor about the US. In Argentina, where soccer is a national illness, there's no way to prohibit it in any school, W. or otherwise.

Daniel:

I've been looking for the source of this apocryphal soccer ban by Steiner for years. Any idea where it is printed? If his justification was that head damage might result, it is rather precient. The bit about an unconscious encouragement to violence is interesting, but I would like to hear his own words on the subject.

Daniel Hindes

...................................................................................................................................

From: Frank Thomas Smith
Date: Tue Mar 16, 2004 4:44 pm
Subject: RE: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Kicking a ball

Daniel, you wrote:

I've been looking for the source of this apocryphal soccer ban by Steiner for years. Any idea where it is printed? If his justification was that head damage might result, it is rather precient. The bit about an unconscious encouragement to violence is interesting, but I would like to hear his own words on the subject.

It's not apocraphal, I remember reading it well, but don't remember were - probably in one of the talks with teachers books. If I find out though, I'll let you know. Btw., I don't think he said anything about brain damage, that was me, but I did read it somewhere recently, along with the news that Amereican football pro linemen are also subject to brain damage.

Frank

...................................................................................................................................

From: Patrick
Date: Tue Mar 16, 2004 6:19 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Kicking a ball

Dear Daniel,

I don't have all of my "Waldorf books" at home -- they are at my office -- but I do have one quote that I can give you from a series of lectures given in England, titled in English, "The Kingdom of Childhood." In a question and answer period following the lecture, the following question was asked: "How should instruction in gymnastics be carried out, and should sports be taught in an English school, hockey and cricket, for example, and if so in what way?" Steiner answered: "it is emphatically not the aim of the Waldorf school method to suppress these things. They have their place simply because they play a great part in English life, and the child should grow up into life. Only please do not fall prey to the illusion that there is any other meaning in it than this, namely, that we ought not to make the child a stranger to his world. To believe that sport is a tremendous value in development is an error. It is not a great value in development. It's only value is that it is a fashion dear to the English people, and we must not make the child a stranger to the world by excluding him from all popular usages. You like sport in England, so the child should be introduced to sport.... With regard to "how it should really be taught", there is very little indeed to be said. For in these things it is really more or less so that someone does it first, and then the child imitates him. And to devise special artificial methods here would be something scarcely appropriate to the subject." In addition to the concepts noted by Frank there is the idea that "the head is not a limb". I remember from my reading that a sport whose predominate activity is kicking a ball tends "to bind the feeling to the will". In the time in a child's life when she needs to fully develop her feeling, not being free to use one's arms -- which are fully expressive of feeling -- runs against the grain of development. I'll see if I can find the quotes for you.

By the way I wonder why Diana did not respond to my response to her statements regarding teaching writing and reading in the first grade? Maybe she didn't read them. Thanks again for your part in the discussion.

Patrick

...................................................................................................................................

From: at
Date: Tue Mar 16, 2004 6:23 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Kicking a ball

Thanks for the quote, Patrick. I'm quite familiar with it.

To Frank:

Earlier I searched through "Faculty Conferences with Rudolf Steiner" for the terms "Fußball" and "Ball" with no results. I'll check the English index tomorrow. I've been asking for years where this is printed, and so far nobody (including a number of Waldorf sports teachers who are themselves against Soccer) can tell me where it is printed. Hence my calling it "apocryphal". Perhaps it is in someone's memoirs.

Daniel Hindes

...................................................................................................................................

From: dottie zold
Date: Tue Mar 16, 2004 8:20 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Kicking a ball

Patrick:

I remember from my reading that a sport whose predominate activity is kicking a ball tends "to bind the feeling to the will". In the time in a child's life when she needs to fully develop her feeling, not being free to use one's arms -- which are fully expressive of feeling -- runs against the grain of development. I'll see if I can find the quotes for you.

Hi Patrick and All,

I have been thinking on this point these last few days. Well, actually I had been thinking on them before as I was a child who grew up to play every sport imaginable. I had no art instruction other than a school art class in my early years and I recall maybe two things I did that make me smile till this day.

I was offered scholarships to various colleges including George Washington University in Washington and UCLA/USC (can't remember exactly which one) for soccer. I played on the boys team in school and was highest scorer for most of my years. Kind of a phenomina back then. But something keeps nagging at me as I got older: I did not know how to express my self in the world other than through sports. And I remember a few times being so frustrated and embarrassed in school that I completely ignored are till I was in my early thirties. And now my expression is blossoming as it should with the message of Love that lives within me.

I speak to my sisters about sports and art for their children and how important it is to carefully consider what helps the children to express their emotions and thoughts inside. I mean teenagers go through such a hellacious time and to not have an avenue to express it in a healthy manner is a tragedy in my eyes.

So, I want to concur that I can exactly see in my self and in others the point Patrick made above so eloquently. And to thank him for giving me a moment to put it into words through his thoughts.

Sincerely,
Dottie

...................................................................................................................................

From: VALENTINA BRUNETTI
Date: Wed Mar 17, 2004 2:48 am
Subject: R: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Kicking a ball

----- Original Message -----

Daniel asked.

I seem not to have been clear on this. How does Waldorf keep schools from allowing kids to kick a ball? What happens if one school decides to have a kickball game? Is there some written policy that this is grounds for termination of all involved? It the school decertified? Do local anthroposophists grab their pitchforks and storm the school grounds? What if I have seen kickball games at a German Waldorf school? Does that make Mr. Staudenmaier a liar?

Frank:

I can only speak from experience. Firstly, Steiner did prohibit soccer in the first Waldorf School in Germany. Reasons: it's the only human activity that uses the head as an instrument; constantly kicking around a head-shaped ball unconciously incites to violence. (btw, I know a guy here in Argentina who was blinded from heading a soccer ball, a freak accident, but brain injuries can result.) When I lived in Germany the kids played soccer in 2 W-schools, I don't know about others, nor about the US. In Argentina, where soccer is a national illness,

Illness soccer ????

AARGHH!

I pretend your APOLOGIES!!!!

I played soccer , as every good Italian boy, 20 years along and I'm also a goooodd , mild and kindly hearted anthropop, as anyone can see, and my head is still PERFECTLY ready for every spiritual enterprise!!!!!!

About soccer : RS was wrong!!!

Up with the soccer!!!

ROMAA!!!!! Cassano, Totti, Mancini !!!

A. (the most powerful left midfielder of Soccer's history)

...................................................................................................................................

From: golden3000997
Date: Wed Mar 17, 2004 4:37 am
Subject: Re: R: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Kicking a ball

Yes, and look what it did for Andrea Boccelli!

In making him blind it deprived Italy of a great lawyer and gave the world a great tenor!

Go Karma!!
Christine

...................................................................................................................................

From: golden3000997@cs.com
Date: Wed Mar 17, 2004 4:47 am
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Kicking a ball

Repeating myself -

Subj: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Football and Waldorf circus
Date: 2/9/2004 7:55:22 PM Eastern Standard Time
From: golden3000997

Hello Frank and Everyone!

OK - here's my two cent contribution to the theme. The explanation that I heard at the Sacrmento Waldorf School while interning is, as has been usual in my experience, a more elaborate and complex one. And, as usual in Waldorf Education, very little applies to "the child" en masse. There is so much distinction between children every year, sometimes every month!!

What I was given to understand, is that it is the activity of Kicking that is undesirable in children younger than 14 - until the releasing of the astral body, because it concentrates too much life force energy from the etheric down into the feet (the metabolic system) and, since the etheric forces (freed at the change of teeth) are now being used in the rhythmic system, with "heart-thinking" as we strive to nurture it in Waldorf Education from First to Eighth grade, a lot of concentration of energy in an activity such as soccer or other kicking based sports "drags down" the emerging thought energies of the child into the lower limbic system. Baseball and basketball are preferable, because the energy stays more in the middle zone of the body. The phenomenon that was pointed out to me and that I constantly observe whenever I see pictures of professional athletes (more so in American Football than European/ South American soccer) is to see the size of many of the players' necks and shoulders. It's like something has "sunk down" from their heads. I have seen the change in adolescent boys who play football. It can be quite startling.

And, as happens so often with "Waldorf theory" things get snatched out of context and applied willy-nilly to all ages and circumstances and this makes it usually just sound nuts. As I understand it, it is fine for the high school, and probably not that harmful for 7th & 8th graders in today's world to play either of these sports. But there are probably a number of good reasons to hold off with younger children. There is so much in today's world that seeks to "drag them down" into their lower limbic anyway, that it is harder and harder to help them keep heads raised toward the stars. Also, the whole question of "organized sports" as they exist in the United States has its share of "horror stories" of over zealous parents and all kinds of bad adult examples.

Personally, I wouldn't seek to prevent children playing soccer on their own volition on the playground at recess. And I wouldn't advise a parent whose child had a real emotional attachment to a sport like soccer because of role models he or she admired either in professional sports or in his or her family, to prohibit their joining a team. But I would recommend sometimes a "balancing" act - such as making sure that the child also was encouraged to study a musical instrument or join a chorus or some other such "heart" activity that he or she enjoyed. Also, for some individual children, especially those little "airy-fairy" ones, a little soccer might be a very good thing, as long as it wasn't in a setting that was too harshly competetive. Might be really good for some of the phlegmatics, too, but again, one would have to watch out that the atmosphere was positive and supportive, not harsh and critical. Of course, plenty of cholerics would probably love soccer, etc. If they were really set on it, as I said I would say it's fine, as long as lots of other areas of their lives were being attended to (especially reading and "homework"). The melancholics who like sport are probably mostly melancholic - choleric, so the same idea would apply as to the cholerics proper. "Super-melancholics" probably just watch from the sidelines and fantasize about playing. (Please take these all as generalizations).

A little bit of lots of sports can and should be introduced to the children over the eight year class, at whatever time feels right to the teacher with his or her own set of kids and the curriculum. Sports, like all other aspects of the curriculum have wonderful tie-ins to the history of mankind and to the development of mankind as a whole. It is just a matter of not getting "stuck" in time or bringing things in too early or avoiding things that the children are growing into.

As far as early childhood education is concerned, I have watched children play and kick on the playground (I always had balls available) and I don't remember ever saying "don't do that." But I do think I would have and probably did get out there and encourage some throwing games. Actually, the throwing/catching ball games are even more challenging to younger children and they love it when you set up "baskets" or other "targets" or get some together to try to "keep it up in the air". I have also observed that the children who naturally gravitated toward kicking tended to be a bit more aggressive and less willing to play more cooperative games. This is not meant to be a judgment, just a suggestion that teachers and parents really try to observe their children on the playground or in the yard with friends and try to be objective and say, "What do I really see in front of me? What is my child expressing here? What is my child receiving from this activity? Is is mostly beneficial for his or her particular personality? Or do I see a trend that may need something to balance it over time?"

Also, for young children (before 7 definitely) sports should only be games and the emphasis should be on everyone playing together, not winners and losers.

I think the best of modern educational psychology would back me up on that and I am willing to do some reseach if anyone feels that this is an unfounded statement. Even the early "second seven" finds children still awfully fragile emotionally and competitive sport can be too much for most of them. Observation and knowing the individual child is always the key as well as good DISCERNMENT!!!

I lost my love of football (American) when the 49ers lost the third Superbowl back in the ? late seventies??? O MY GOD - how OLD am I??? There will never be another Montana/ Rice/ Craig/ Taylor combo - never!! : (

How about CRICKET?? Anyone else on this planet watch LAGAAN????

Love,
Christine

...................................................................................................................................

From: Frank Thomas Smith
Date: Wed Mar 17, 2004 5:25 pm
Subject: RE: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Kicking a ball

Hey, Andrea, I suspect that Peter S. has a different opinion about your head. You didn't mention Maradona, not Italian, but has some Italian offspring, it is more than rumored. One of the greatest Argentine heroes of all time, despite being a brainless buffoon. When I was a kid in Brooklyn, soccer was considered a game for maricones. Not that I have anything against them. In fact, some of my best friends are maricones, but........

Francesco

P.S. I'm still waiting for the Italians to discover baseball, a noble, spiritual game: http://southerncrossreview.org/12/diamond.htm

Illness soccer ????

AARGHH!

I pretend your APOLOGIES!!!!

I played soccer , as every good Italian boy, 20 years along and I'm also a goooodd , mild and kindly hearted anthropop, as anyone can see, and my head is still PERFECTLY ready for every spiritual enterprise!!!!!!

About soccer : RS was wrong!!!

Up with the soccer!!!

ROMAA!!!!! Cassano, Totti, Mancini !!!

A. (the most powerful left midfielder of Soccer's history)

...................................................................................................................................

From: VALENTINA BRUNETTI
Date: Thu Mar 18, 2004 4:57 am
Subject: R: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Kicking a ball

----- Original Message -----

You didn't mention Maradona, not Italian, but has some Italian offspring, it is more than rumored. One of the greatest Argentine heroes of all time, despite being a brainless buffoon. When I was a kid in Brooklyn, soccer was considered a game for maricones. Not that I have anything against them. In fact, some of my best friends are maricones, but........

Francesco

P.S. I'm still waiting for the Italians to discover baseball, a noble, spiritual game:

Quote From R.Steiner:
(Modern sports and their link with Spiritual Evolution.34 lectures held in Pescorocchiano Summer 1909 GA 374):

"It's impossible to find in the whole of Mankind's Evolution something bothering like a Baseball match"

A.

...................................................................................................................................

From: dottie zold
Date: Thu Mar 18, 2004 7:58 am
Subject: RE: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Kicking a ball

Frank:

You didn't mention Maradona, not Italian, but has some Italian offspring, it is more than rumored.

Hey Guys,

If he was an offspring of an Italian it must have been from Naples. I was in Italy during the time Maradona was playing for Naples and they had a song for him we used to sing at the beach or just riding the vespas down the street. It was so beautiful to be around this kind of emotional exhuberance towards their hero.

So, I am sure his parents must have been from there:)

Dottie

...................................................................................................................................

From: Patrick
Date: Thu Mar 18, 2004 4:31 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Kicking a ball

Dear Daniel et al,

It appears from my search that Frank is remembering a quote from Rudolf Kicshnick's "Games, Gymnastics, Sport in Child Development". The pertinent matter is under the heading The Skull Game. In performing a google search for the author I found the following link http://www.effenberg.de/waldorf_fussball.htm it is quite humorous and revealing though quite possibly incomplete and its understanding. It does say that Steiner spoke about soccer in G. A. 350, on May 30th and June 6th in Dornach. I have an e-mail into Jaimen McMillen at Spacial [sic] Dynamics for more information. If anybody wants, I can scan the Kischnik chapter and attach it. I suspect that the other concepts floating around have come from other students of Franz Von Bothmer or perhaps from Bothmer himself. Maybe anthroposophists have done some thinking on their own...?

Patrick

----- Original Message -----
From: at
Sent: Tuesday, March 16, 2004 6:23 PM
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Kicking a ball

Thanks for the quote, Patrick. I'm quite familiar with it.

To Frank:

Earlier I searched through "Faculty Conferences with Rudolf Steiner" for the terms "Fußball" and "Ball" with no results. I'll check the English index tomorrow. I've been asking for years where this is printed, and so far nobody (including a number of Waldorf sports teachers who are themselves against Soccer) can tell me where it is printed. Hence my calling it "apocryphal". Perhaps it is in someone's memoirs.

Daniel Hindes

...................................................................................................................................

From: franksmith
Date: Sun Mar 21, 2004 5:10 am
Subject: Re: Kicking a ball

--- In anthroposophy_tomorrow@yahoogroups.com, Patrick wrote:

Dear Daniel et al,

It appears from my search that Frank is remembering a quote from Rudolf Kicshnick's "Games, Gymnastics, Sport in Child Development". The pertinent matter is under the heading The Skull Game. In performing a google search for the author I found the following link http://www.effenberg.de/waldorf_fussball.htm it is quite humorous and revealing though quite possibly incomplete and its understanding. It does say that Steiner spoke about soccer in G. A. 350, on May 30th and June 6th in Dornach. I have an e-mail into Jaimen McMillen at Spacial [sic] Dynamics for more information. If anybody wants, I can scan the Kischnik chapter and attach it. I suspect that the other concepts floating around have come from other students of Franz Von Bothmer or perhaps from Bothmer himself. Maybe anthroposophists have done some thinking on their own...?

Ok, play soccer if you want - no skin off my head. At least the guy likes baseball, which indicates that he is progessing spiritually.

Frank

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Click to subscribe to anthroposophy_tomorrow
 

March/April 2004

The Uncle Taz "Anthroposophy Tomorrow" Files

Anthroposophy & Anarchism

Anthroposophy & Scientology

Anthroposophical Morsels

Anthroposophy, Critics, and Controversy

Search this site powered by FreeFind