As the new NBA season gets underway in the States we devoted our session to the sport of Basketball. Before we got on to the Basketball the kids went through a very varied warm up session led by Alan and Ollie. It started with some gentle jogging around the school hall. This was followed by moving side to side, hopping, some hopscotch and a game of What's the Time Mr Wolff. There was even a drill that sounds like it came from a Rugby practice ground called "1-2-3-scoop" - I am reliably informed this meant taking three steps to the right followed by a scooping motion (much like passing a rugby ball) then repeating it going to the left. Probably just the sort of drill the England team practice on their way to thrashing the All Blacks!
With the warm up done and dusted each kid grabbed a basketball and we got some skills practice underway.
As you can see in the photos above they started with dribbling the ball with each hand and then both hands. The coaches then got to them to focus on accuracy by dribbling the ball along the lines on the hall floor. Ollie then led a traffic light ball dribbling game and the last exercise was to throw the ball in the air, clap your hands as many times as you could before catching the ball again. It was then time for a well earned drink.
The basketball resumed with some bouncing of the ball both low and high. It is actually very hard to keep the ball under control when bouncing the ball close to the ground. Bouncing high is not much easier either and it is not unusual to lose control. From there the kids moved on to moving the ball around their waists and then around their legs, on the floor.
Alan then led a drill called "Puppy in the Park" where cones were laid out around the hall in a series of gates. The kids then had to dribble the ball around the course without straying on to the road and staying within the gates. They then had a similar routine performing a dribble around a figure of eight.
Before the main refreshment break the kids moved on to practice some shooting, both individually and in pairs. As a pair they would move down the hall passing to each other before shooting. If the initial shooter missed the basket then the partner got the rebound and the next shot. There were then some one on one games with the coaches pairing up players of similar abilities to take on each other with the first to score a basket being the winner.
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Epping Forest Sportability Club is a multi-sports club for young people with mild to moderate physical and learning difficulties.