Since beginning my adventure at Girls in the Game back in August, I have experienced many different group dynamics. Some of my after-school groups are filled with loud, vivacious girls who are ready to play, while other groups of girls prefer the peace and quiet of snack time and group discussions. One thing I have taken away from each group, is that teamwork comes in many different forms.
Utilizing the Team
This is very apparent in the programs I lead at my various sites, when girls are put into different situations. These situations can include anything from discussing the meaning of “sportswomanship,” to teaching each other the correct form for bumping a volleyball. We try to give all of our girls the space to use teamwork in the best way that they know how.
Girls in the Game programming gives girls the opportunity to find each other’s strengths and utilize them as much as possible. No matter what the goal is, I feel that Girls in the Game works hard to exhibit teamwork on many different levels. Our girls are constantly working together to accomplish tasks, whether that means finishing the relay or correctly answering questions about teamwork as quickly as possible.
The girls also see my co-coach and I utilize teamwork at every session. We work hard to make sure the work load is balanced, and this shows the girls how important it is to cooperate with one another. It is incredible to see how the groups continue to develop from week to week, especially since many of them struggled to work together in the beginning.
Share Your Space
Recently I was coaching at one of my sites, Randolph Elementary School, located in Englewood. Our topic was healthy relationships. We played a game called “Share Your Space.” The goal of this game is to show the girls how they can be good friends and teammates by supporting one another in helping them find a place to put their foot. In the beginning, there are enough Polly spots spread out throughout the room that only two or three girls need to share one. (Polly spots are similar rubber circles that are meant as placeholders in activities, similar to cones.) As this game goes on the leader takes away Polly spots so that more and more girls are required to share their space with one another. I had the opportunity to participate in this activity with my girls, while my co-coach led, and I found it such a rewarding experience. It resulted in everyone running around the room holding hands, and trying to fit as many girls as possible onto one Polly spot.
We have struggled to keep this specific group focused with one another because of a little drama, but in this activity they left all of that behind to keep each other involved. I hope that in the coming weeks I see more instances like this one, where our teaching has a significant impact on how the girls take on new challenges and discover teamwork.
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Go to our Facebook Page to see Coach Iris share how her girls turned into leaders by teaching a dance.