Work as teams to complete activities which everyone can join in a mix with others.
Sport is an excellent way of mixing children from diverse backgrounds and personal circumstances. At the elite level there are dozens of international success stories of individuals for whom sport was the pathway out of abject poverty to international success, stardom and wealth. Australia’s history is rich with stars who became members of a team and climbed to fame through their sporting achievements; Donald Bradman, Ian Roberts, Yvonne Goolagong-Cawley and Shane Gould worked hard on their own skills and became world famous.
Why Confidence Improves
Development of confidence is directly linked to successful outcomes. Failing at a particular activity or being the slowest in a running race deflates our confidence. Where group members encourage us, help us and get excited when we are successful, we try hard not to let them down. In trying to not let others down, we focus and concentrate, make small adjustments to our performance and listen to the team members who want us to be successful.
Teaching and learning achieves lasting outcomes much faster when conducted within a group of our peers. Where one member ‘can’t’ rise to fulfil the requirements of their role, the group risks not achieving its goal. Rather than fail, group members are taught to rally around those struggling with their component until they are successful.
Success brings smiles, the joy of victory and achievement. Within a very short time, groups strive to excel, push their limits and energy is directed to ‘what can we achieve next’. This positive energy lifts group performance to the next level.
Gymnastics group challenges break the norm for 2 reasons.
Collaboration requires communication. Although we assume communication will occur, it often has to be taught. With a few key phrases and instructions, particularly with regard to safety, has children rising to the team challenge. Learning how to deliver feedback in a positive manner is vital in team activities. This vital skill transfers easily to many areas of life and…… you guessed it …. is often best learned in a gymnastics team day.
The Joy and Excitement of Success
It is almost like turning on a tap. Children complete a team activity with high “5s” laughter or even jumping with excitement. At the start of a team day, it is difficult to imagine the impact of completing a team-based gymnastics skill has on mood and feelings of well-being throughout the rest of the day.
Whenever the Gymnastrix Team start a Team Activity Day at a Holiday Care Centre or at an Out of School Hours Care program, we enter the venue with the feeling of excitement and built up energy. Putting the excitement and energy into team activities creates a heightened excitement within each team. The children don’t know why they feel what they do, but having done it many, many times before the Team knows why it is there and just how much children will get out of the program.
Ryan Williamson is a gymnastics and movement expert.