Column | Demanding is caring – Even in hobby activities, the bar must be raised high.

Raising the bar high is proof to young people entering the hobby that we would like to help you see where your own limits lie, and to aim for what you are capable of at your best, writes HS Vision columnist Henrik Dettmann.

The experts by in well-being-Finland, people who are already interested in exercise are doing itwhile a significant majority is lounging on sofas and fiddling with their phones.

This attention is a continuation of the numerous meetings where I have sat over the years listening to people who have considered ways to prevent problems caused by immobility for collective well-being. Despite enthusiastic theorizing, the movement has stalled.

The most common solution offered to the problem is to lower the threshold. For children and young people, the idea has been simple: let’s bring the hobby conditions as close as possible to young people and welcome everyone who can nail. All you have to do is put on your slippers, put the ball on the field and start the game – nothing else is needed.

So does low-threshold activity eventually teach the child and young person that this activity is not so important?

Low organizing the operation of the threshold is basically a foolproof solution. It’s putting the exercise hobby on the same line as mobile games, streaming services or hanging out at the mall. Quick stimuli for the people who get bored quickly. If an adolescent sweats even for half an hour, we’re already on the winning side – at least if compared to not sweating at all.

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If we analyze the concept of “low threshold” more deeply, we find that it contains a demeaning hidden meaning: come and play sports for a while when you can’t do anything else, and it doesn’t matter if you commit or not – if you don’t like it, you can go back to your cell phone tomorrow.

Here lies a deep danger. The most important basis for learning is commitment and effort. The operation of the low threshold follows the principle of open doors: the enthusiast is always welcome but also free to leave at any time. Does low-threshold activity eventually teach children and young people that this activity is not so important and that you can always give up?

Nobel laureate in economics Bengt Holmström recently noted that demanding is ultimately more than caring – it’s valuing. Raising the bar high is an indication to a young person entering the hobby that we would like to help you see where your own limits lie, and aim for what you are capable of at your best.

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Low-threshold hobby activities can be a more modern form of traditional yard games, but it’s even better if it includes a trick: giving an enthusiastic young person the opportunity to test their limits and develop. In addition, we “trick” him into moving. It’s real coaching, and someone who does it is worth their weight in gold.

During its few years of existence, OBA has done wonders for a whole bunch of young athletes.

I am has been following the activities of Helsinki’s Omnia Basketball Academy (OBA) with growing interest for three years.

The guiding principle of OBA is to offer young people from challenging individual backgrounds a motivating and safe environment where they can combine playing basketball with studying.

OBA therefore combines two ideals – it not only offers dozens of young people low-threshold activities, but also approaches young people as individuals. OBA offers them the opportunity to commit to purposeful training and schooling according to their individual situation. Basketball is at the center of a young person’s life and activities, but playing is tied to secondary school studies completed in the target time and goal-oriented sports training.

During its few years of existence, OBA has done wonders for a whole bunch of young athletes. OBA has made young people realize both the importance of training in an athlete’s career and the benefits of studying in their lives and the importance of participating citizenship.

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Adapting Nobelist Holmström’s theses: OBA has shown that demanding is caring. The young people are committed to the activity on the principle of a low threshold, but the professional leaders have made the young people aware of their dormant potential.

The competition for children’s and young people’s free time is getting more and more fierce. The challenge factor is increased by ever-increasing health problems: only a third of all young people – including those participating in social activities – exercise enough. This will cost society at least 3.2 billion, when the loss of income taxes, increased institutional care, sick leave and disability are included. Increasingly steep class differences and recordable cultural backgrounds accelerate development.

There is hardly a silver bullet that solves the problem, but OBA’s activities show that a resourceful, professional and modern leader knows how to channel a challenge into an opportunity.

Even if the threshold is low, the bar placed behind the threshold can still be raised high.

Clarification at 9:41: Removed the term club, because OBA does not have one.

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