Using Potted Sports In School Leadership Camps

Potted Sports consists of a series of simple physical activities designed to help build team work and leadership skills in a competitive environment at school camps. The emphasis is on the word ‘simple’, i.e. activities that do not require any special skills.

These activities allow the students in each group the opportunity to work together to create the best outcomes. They also allow students with leadership skills to emerge and different students to shine in different ways than others expect of them.

In planning these activities, you need to consider the following suggestions.

  • You will need an oval or hall for the activities.
  • You will need to create a map or diagram setting out where each activity will take place.
  • The activities need to be close together to allow ease of movement and little loss of time between activities.
  • Each activity must have a teacher to oversee, explain it to the students and keep the points awarded to each team.
  • Teachers in charge of each activity must stick strictly to the time allocation for each activity to keep it fair for all groups and to keep all the activities on time, i.e. all activities will start and finish at the same time. If a group is slow to start or late, they are given only the time left after the start whistle to complete the activity.
  • If the group breaks the rules of the activity in an effort to obtain a better result, the activity teacher will penalise the offending team. The penalties must be consistent and follow a warning.
  • All group members must participate equally in all activities.
  • All activities are simple so all students have a chance to participate.
  • A timetable of activities for each team must be created.

Running The Competition:

Here are some ideas to consider:

  • This is a team activity for which there will be points awarded, e.g. 100 points for first, 80 for second and so on.
  • For the team to do well, the team must plan how to best go about doing it to get best results. They could spend some time deciding how best to do it before the starting whistle.
  • Activity teachers must offer NO HELP except to indicate danger etc.
  • All activities will start and finish with the blow of a whistle from the camp leader.
  • Groups are encouraged to move rapidly between activities so that they have the maximum time available to score points on each activity and plan how best to do it.
  • Every student in the group must be involved in each activity and take his/her turn in the correct order.

Examples Of Activities:

Below are activities that I used on a camp I organised with the venues we used to give some examples of the types of activities that can be used successfully. The list contains a description and the rules for that activity.

A Obstacle Course Relays (10 mins)

  • The idea is to get as many people around the course as possible in 10 minutes. (NB some obstacles that may be dangerous in the ‘hurly-burly’ of a competitive situation may be banned.)
  • For every circuit by a member of the group you get one point.
  • If you fall off an obstacle you must do it again until you succeed.
  • NO ONE may pass you.
  • You may get assistance from your group.

B Target Practice(10 mins) Venue: near pool

  • Your group will be given seven tennis balls.
  • Target/s will be set up at ten paces.
  • The idea is to hit the target as many times as possible.
  • Any person caught over the throw lines loses five points for their team.

C Basketball Lay-ups(10 mins) Venue: b/ball court

  • Objective – to score as many goals as possible following a lay-up.
  • All members must do lay-ups before shooting for goal.

D Basketball Goal Shooting(10 mins) Venue: b/ball court

  • Objective – to score as many goals as possible from the free throw line.
  • Time – 10 minutes
  • All members must throw for goal, lining up one behind the other to do so. After their throw, the student must retrieve the ball, return it to the next thrower and return to the end of the line in order to throw again.

E Soccer Dribble Practice (10 mins) Venue: oval

  • Objective – to dribble the ball along a twenty metre stretch as many times as possible in the form of a relay.
  • Dribbles MUST NOT include kicking a ball more than a metre at a time. Penalty: Subtract 1 point
  • No hands must be used. Penalty: Subtract 1 point

F Ball Relay (10 mins) Venue: oval court

  • All members form a large circle five paces apart.
  • Objective – to relay by throwing a ball from member to member as many times as possible around the circle.
  • One circle = 1 point
  • A dropped ball must return to the thrower.
  • A ball missing out a player must return or a penalty of one point will be applied.

G Tennis Ball Relay (10mins) Venue: oval court

  • On a netball court, members of the team are to line up in two lines on the long sides of the court facing each other.
  • The object of the relay is to throw the ball across and back from one end of the court to the other as many times as possible.
  • One point is awarded every time your team goes from start to finish. The ball is then relayed by one throw back to the start to begin again.
  • If you drop the ball, you return to your position to throw again. Penalty = 1 point

H Medicine Ball Relay (10mins) Venue:oval court

  • All balls are relayed by running from one side of the court to the other. Then, these five members run back to the other side.
  • The next five members run across and retrieve the balls.
  • The third group of members take the balls back across again and so on.
  • One point is awarded for every time all balls are taken across the court.

Some final comments that I shall add that came out of experience in using Potted Sports at school camps.

  1. The above is an actual set of the Potted Sports activities used in a camp that I organised for a senior high school group.
  2. The number of activities needs to equal the number of student groups.
  3. 10 minutes is enough time to create a need to rush by the students.
  4. 10 minutes is not too arduous a time physically for the students.
  5. The time between activities should only be long enough to move easily between activities and leave a little time to rest and for the group to work out the best way to perform the next activity.
  6. It is important to ensure all groups are ready to begin the first activity together. This prevents complains from students that they didn’t get a ‘fair deal’. Organise a signal between you and the activity teachers to ensure a fair start.

It has been my experience that these sorts of activities create fun and excitement for the students and allow everyone, even some disabled students, to contribute to the team’s success. It is successful because no student needs any special expertise to be involved fully.

Source by Richard D Boyce

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