A bit of a slow start to the session this week and we feared everyone had gone on holiday! However, it turned out a few members were getting in the mood for half term by having a lie in. We ended up with a reasonable number and the sun was shining and it made for a lovely session out on the playground.
To start with we made good use of the new equipment to warm up, as you can see in the photos below. Then it was out with the golf clubs for some putting practice. First up it was putting to get the ball inside the hoops.
After a quick break for some water is was back outside and this time it was a game aimed at collecting as many cones as possible. Alan and Ray distributed all the cones across an area of the playground then the kids took it in turns to try and hit as many as possible with their putts. They collected the cones as they hit them and at the end, when there were no cones left to hit, it was the player with the most cones that won.
After a couple of games of this the game switched slightly with a row of numbered larger cones. This time each player kept a tally of their score as they hit the numbered cones
After the main drink & snack break it was back outside for the final part of putting. This was where the kids had to put through a series of cones. This was in order to ensure they were able to putt straight and in the correct direction. We then mixed it up by replacing the cones with people - so three kids would line up to form a tunnel with their legs apart. The others would then that it in turns to try and putt through all the kids legs.
To celebrate the FA Cup Final being played we took the kids out on the playground to have a session based around football. The sun made the occasional appearance too which made for a lovely session.
Ollie and Ray led the warm up stretches and games before we started on the football. The session was all about different skills and using various drills to help improve ball skills. Much like last week when we did dribbling the ball in Basketball it was similar this week but crucially the ball was on the floor and being dribbled between feet, not hands.
The session began with some basic ball dribbling around the playground but then Alan and the team had them stopping starting, doing toe taps and moving the ball from side to side. These were then used in a traffic light game with Red being stop with the ball, amber being side to side and toe taps and green for go - dribbling around the playground.
As the session progressed the coaches laid out a number of cones to negotiate. To start with it was a slalom style course going between and around the cones. Then they moved on to a figure of eight circuit before working in pairs passing to each other.
The last drills before the break were around passing and shooting. The group formed a big circle using all the playground and passed to each other across the circle. Cones were then used as goal posts for some shooting practice - where was Callum the goal keeper when we needed him????
The session finished with a small match and we got to use our bibs - like all proper football teams do! The action in the football looks great and I was reliably informed that the game ended in an honourable draw.
Our main sport this week was Basketball - just as well as it was pouring with rain outside!
This is the favourite sport for many of our members and it turned out to be a great session.
Ray was back to lead the warm up, with Ollie, and before too long it was out with the basketballs and the start of the practice. The school rang out to the sound of loads of basketballs being dribbled around the hall so it was rather noisy in there
As you can see in the photos the session started with some basic ball dribbling before moving on to "moving the ball around the body". From there it was a slalom course around the cones to be negotiated. After that we played a Traffic Light game with Ray holding up the coloured cones in turn. Red being stand still with the ball, amber (yellow) being bounce the ball on the spot and green is full on dribbling around the hall.
Next up was a new drill, not even sure it has a name! The idea being to dribble the ball as before but with the head up looking at where you are going rather than at the ball.
The last drill before a drinks break was bouncing the ball high, followed by bouncing the ball low. This encourages good all round ball control meaning you should be able to control it no matter what the situation - almost second nature.
After the break we played some one versus one games. This is where members are picked in pairs, by the coaches, to face each other. On the whistle they have to run from under the basket to the far end of the hall where the basketball will be thrown in to play by a coach. It is then a matter of offence & defense as the two players compete to score a basket first back at the far end of the hall. If you can get the ball first and get the first shot away and score then it is a quick win but if you miss you are soon on the defense as your opponent may themselves get a chance to shoot.
The last thing we did was have some shooting practice before finishing off the session with a game (reds vs yellows) which put every practice before hand to good use.
As you can see in the photo below some of the smaller & younger members opted out of the game to go and play in the Ball pool instead.
After playing Tennis last week it was the turn of the 'other' summer sport this week - Cricket. Ray was busy elsewhere so it was down to Alan and Ollie to lead the session with the assistance of Teagan. After some tag games for warm up the kids started the cricket practice with some fielding work - throwing and catching.
First off, the kids worked in pairs throwing and catching to each other. They then played a game, the name of which we don't know, where if you don't catch the ball you drop to one knee, if you miss again then it is down on both knees. Another miss and one arm goes behind the back and one last dropped catch and you are out and your partner wins that game. It is a simple but fun game that has been around for ages - I even used to play it as a kid.
Next up was another throwing and catching game - Champions. In this game the kids line up in a row facing a coach who stands in the middle. The coach, Ollie in this case, throws the ball randomly to people in the line. If they catch it they throw it back and move one place up the row. Drop it though and they move one place down the row. The winner is the person at the top of the row at the end of the game. You have to stay alert in this game as you don't know who the ball will be thrown to next. Congrats to Pranav who was champion at the end of the game.
After a quick drinks break the kids tried their hand at bowling at the wickets. As you can see in the photos we had a few sets of stumps to bowl at and the kids took in turn to bowl and keep wicket.
Next was batting practice. For this they placed the tennis balls on tees and hit the ball off there aiming to get it between two coloured cones at the far end of the hall. Points were awarded for getting balls between the cones so the player with the most points at the end of the game was the winner.
We finished this week with some games of Three Tee Cricket. This put together everything they had been practising. Taking it in turns to bat they had to hit three tennis balls as hard as they could off three tees. Then, whilst the rest of the group had to get the balls and tees back in position as quickly as possible, the batter had to get as many runs as possible between the wickets. The fielders were therefore using all their catching and throwing practice to get the balls from the back of the hall back to the front where they started.
Epping Forest Sportability Club is a multi-sports club for young people with mild to moderate physical and learning difficulties.