Monday, March 7, 2016

Using sports to teach COMMUNICATION

What I love so much about small groups is how different each one can be. All-girl groups, all boy groups, and co-ed groups- each one has its own unique personality that makes our time together memorable and always exciting!

I am working with a boys group right now that is very competitive and athletic to say the least! The main goal of our group is to work on healthy competition through communication skills and emotional maturity. 

Ever since the day they got the permission slip for the group, they have been asking me (nonstop) when are we going to get to play a sport. I waited until we third week to announce we would be playing basketball. Little did they know this would be a different form a basketball, that would test their communication skills and understanding of one another.

Each student was given a card with directions on how to play the basketball game. They were not allowed to discuss their rule with anyone. The rules included:

  • You can only talk to people in an unfriendly tone 
  • You can only whisper 
  • You can only speak to people on the other team 
  • Your arms will stay across the entire game
  •  you cannot walk only running as fast as possible
  •  you cannot speak or pass the ball to anyone on your team

It was amazing to see this social experiment unfold righ in front of my own eyes! We played 2 rounds of basketball. The first was with the rules, the second without. After we discussed how each person felt about each round. 

I stressed the importance of body language and tone. While speaking to one another is a (small) part of the communication, the way we use our body and the tone in which we speak matter almost more than what we are saying! 

It was such a wonderful lesson to them (and ME!), and I will definitely use it again in future groups. 

Running, jumping, and communicating, 

Your Floridian Chick!