Every now and then, we will devote an entire training session to playing various games. While the casual observer may construe this as unproductive, a waste of time and a waste of money, we beg to differ. If you would like to read our rationale, this post by Brian Macdonald is for you…
You, the parent, walk into Adrenaline a little earlier than you usually do to check and see how your kid is doing with their training. You walk in, and all you see is a game being played. You look at your watch and see there is still 30 minutes left; 30 minutes that should be devoted to hard work and training. Instead, it seems to just be play time. You think to yourself, “This is not what I am paying for. I expect to see sweat, yelling, and hard work.”
The parent in this scenario happened to walk in to one of our “game days”. I get it, you are paying money to see your kid work hard and achieve results from this training. Playing games for an hour just doesn’t seem to be an effective use of time in getting your kid better. This is just “horse play” for lack of a better word. There is, however, a lot more going on under the surface of what you see. Part of the experience at ASF is being rewarded for hard work. When a group comes in and busts their butts day in and day out, they should be rewarded, beyond just me saying “great job”. That is where a game day comes in. Every couple of months, this happens with those groups who constantly exhibit a strong work ethic, positive attitude, and encouragement towards others. It truly allows them to let loose and just have fun for an hour.
Some may say there is no benefit from playing games. They could not be further from the truth. Use Ultimate Frisbee as an example. I encourage you, the parent, to truly watch and think about everything that their kid is doing in a game of frisbee, then compare it to what they are doing in their given sport. I can guarantee you there are countless similarities. At any given time during ultimate frisbee, there is acceleration, deceleration, change of direction, lateral and linear movements, not to mention hand-eye coordination, reaction time and anticipation. All of which we work on everyday, just in a structured drill setting. This allows them to practice everything we preach on a daily basis with speed and agility, but in a chaotic and reactive environment. So before you jump on the “all work, no play” wagon, consider the WHY. Remember, everything we do at ASF has purpose.
The concept behind game day is simple: Positive reinforcement tells the athletes what they are doing is a good thing, making them more likely to exhibit that behavior in the future. If I work hard, I will be rewarded. STAY ACTIVE[icon name=”smile-o” class=””]