Game for building communications skills

A few weeks ago the team I’m helping coach now played a practice game. I wasn’t able to attend the game due to a prior commitment, but I did get a report from one of the other coaches. He said one thing the girls had trouble with was communication on the field. Hard to believe, but our girls just weren’t talking.

I told him I have an idea how to take care of it, and asked him to tell the girls to bring a long scarf with them to the next practice. It was a game I improvised that would force them to communicate — a lot. We were going to be in a gym that day so it would be perfect.

When the time came I told them all to get their scarves out. Well, all but two players. I had them wrap the scarves around their eyes so they couldn’t see, and we proceeded to have a little soccer game with a beach ball. To score a goal, a player had to kick the ball over the baseline and betwen the lines of the lane.

In reality, it was really more like foosball. The two girls who didn’t have blindfolds — one on each side — had to direct all the other girls what to do. I told them to be sure they called the player’s name, and be specific.

It was something to see. There was a lot of talking and running around. Yes, there were some bumps and falls along the way but nothing serious.We had a couple of different “captains” on each team at different times, so a good 1/3 of our team had the chance to work on their communication skills. The girls had a lot of fun, and they learned a good lesson on the importance of communication — as well as some specifics on how to communicate. 

Today I found out that a couple of the girls had told their middle school coaches about the game, and they’re apparently going to do it in their practices. Gotta love when something off the top of your head becomes a big hit!

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About Ken Krause

Ken Krause has been coaching girls fastpitch softball for nearly 20 years. Some may know him as a contributing columnist to Softball Magazine, where he writes Krause's Korner -- a regular column sponsored by Louisville Slugger. Ken is also the Administrator of the Discuss Fastpitch Forum, the most popular fastpitch discussion forum on the Internet. He is currently a Three Star Master Coach with the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA), and is certified by both the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) and American Sports Education Program (ASEP). Ken is a private instructor specializing in pitchers, hitters, and catchers. He teaches at North Shore Baseball Academy in Libertyville, IL and Pro-Player Consultants in McHenry, IL.

Posted on May 3, 2010, in General Thoughts. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Rick Cartwright

    That is really a good and fun idea.There could even be a number of ways to expand on that. Think I am going to give it a go also. It would be a fun way to finish a practice. BTW – fun one to make the parents do – you’ll really see who listens.

    Like

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