Today, at the end of our football practice (I am the head coach of 5-8 year olds) we rewarded the boys for their hard work by playing a game and having some fun. So we split into two groups. The losing group had to do push-ups, but instead of just that team doing that, the winning team came over to do them, too. They didn’t have to, they were not prompted to do it, but they decided to do it on their own. Instead of just watching them, they came over and joined in… and they had fun doing it. They were lifting each other up, they were winning and losing as a team.
The same goes if a player is struggling on a field, holding his head down, breathing heavy, having a hard time… we are teaching these young men to pick him up, to encourage to say: “I need you… The team needs you!”
The same goes with family dynamics… if mom is sick, dad has to step in. If dad is sick, mom will take over practices, etc. The same goes if one parent has to work late, you work together as a team… not resenting each other. The kids also have to understand this, and they too should step in to help. Maybe they are helping by reading books to the younger ones (Our Oldest Jack loves to read to his brothers and sister). Maybe they help with laundry. What ever it is, they need to treat their family as a team. We need to teach them to ask or offer to help, rather than being told to help. We need to teach them that they are part of a life long team that will always need them… FAMILY!
3 Team-building activities for your home or team:
1). When we run, the first ones to finish have to turn around and clap for the rest of the team. By the last runner, the rest of the team is cheering for them and encouraging them. Sometimes the ones that finish first run back to run beside the kids in the back of the pack. If you are in a family, you could do this with school work. The first one done helps the others. If someone is frustrated, the other kids offer tips and ideas to help. Remember, as parents we are not their only teachers, they learn a lot from their siblings.
2). Dinner time – everyone helps out. One sets the table, one gets the drinks, one gets the napkins, one cooks, one serves, etc… We all work to get food on the table. The same goes for cleaning up after dinner.
Take this onto the field- everyone helps unload equipment and set it up. Everyone breaks it down at the end.
3). If the kids want to play a game, they have to “pay for it”.
For football- the kids do up-downs, jumping jacks, push-ups, or run sprints. They have to cheer on other kids (this is a must).
At home- a special chore for a special treats. They encourage each other (example: “Good job sweeping your room. Mom will say it looks great.”)
Parents most important tip: Encouragement. Remember to tell them they did a “good job today at…” Kids of all ages like to hear that, I know I still do!
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