This week we have been challenging the children to throw a ball through a rolling hoop. Throughout my time coaching young children how to do an overarm or underarm throws it is always difficult to ensure that when they actually release the ball they do it either over their shoulder or past their knees. We regularly practise our tick tock arms or listen to the bean bag to find that at point of release the child will do the complete opposite.
However, I am accumulating many tricks to get around this. This week I have had to reassure parents that if they can roll a hoop slowing across the room their child will run after it and do an under arm throw through it. The first challenge is getting the hoop nicely rolling, so all parents and carers now have homework to practice this before we do it again. The next challenge is to encourage the children to run after the hoop and throw.
Clubs BOUNCE (2 1/2 years to 3 1/2 years) and CATCH (+3 1/2 years) have been amazing. They love running and throwing through the hoop, if they could roll the hoop as well then it would be the most perfect practice for them. They really get the challenge and relish achieving the goal, as do the parents watching, especially as many have been really sceptical as to whether it is achievable!
Club BOING (18 months to 2 1/2 years) have also demonstrated the most incredible skills. Largely they understand the challenge. Many of them do manage to run after the hoop and get the ball through it, however, there have been several techniques employed to achieve the goal. For instance, some children run after the hoop, clutching their ribbon ball, catch the hoop, stop, hold the hoop up then throw. Alternatively, they catch up with the hoop knock it over watch it tumble and roll to the floor, then throw their ball into the hoop. They have kinda achieved the goal so everyone is happy, it’s been just as much fun to see the inventive ways they use to reach that goal.
While many parents are delighted when their children achieve this challenge, but I did laugh as one parents was obviously one step ahead of the rest of us. She put back spin on the hoop, so as the child caught up with the hoop, just ready the throw when the hoop changed direction and rolled away, it was an ambitious move, but one that I have stored away for later in the term!