Fear in children isn’t always expressed with wide-eyes and tears, particularly with older teens. In school, fear of failure at an activity or standing out in a bad way can manifest as refusals to participate.
When faced with a child or teenager’s refusal to participate, it can be tough, but these are children feeling fear. It’s up to you to role model bravery and provide safety.
Source of Fears
Not every child in a PE or After School Program is an expert in sports, so some may struggle to learn. For them, aiming at the net in basketball but throwing an air ball in front of everyone may feel humiliating.
From dribbling the ball right to remembering the rules, these children see nothing but opportunities to fail when playing basketball. So, they avoid it all together; they refuse to participate.
What Can You Do?
When someone is feeling fear, it’s like they are backed into a corner. Pushing them will only cause them to feel further penned in with no choice other than digging in deeper. It’s time to be creative and show them a way out of the corner.
1. Don’t Fight Them
They will seem angry and obstinate, but remember, they are scared. Don’t fuel the fires of their anger. Show them bravery by staying calm in the face of their adversity.
2. Acknowledge Their Choice
Give permission to skip the game. Tell them you understand they don’t want to play, so let’s do something else that’s less threatening and helps build self-esteem instead of tear it down.
3. Redirect the Energy
Introduce fun games and activities that focus on skill development, like Basketball Skillastics®. Pull from these to give them small challenges that they can win. Focus on the skill, not the game.
4. Making It Fun For All
When you push someone out of their comfort zone, it helps to provide a bridge. That’s where skill development come into the picture. Not everyone will be able to play a game of basketball, but skill development is accessible to everyone.
One of the reasons Basketball Skillastics® works well with a diverse group is because its inclusive and allows a whole class to practice their skills in a fun way all at the same time. Also, you can float the room once everyone is occupied. Now, you can assess everyone’s skill level, provide more support for reluctant students, and allow skilled students to showcase their abilities.
Bridging the Gulf
Develop resources to bridge the gulf to reach and draw out fearful students; you have a real chance to help change their attitudes. We can get you started with Basketball Skillastics®, a resource designed so that all children can have fun learning basketball instead of missing out. Throughout November when you use the code bb2019, you’ll receive 10% off so that you can begin to use this resource right away. Purchase online or via Purchase Order to FAX (951) 279-3957 or email to Suzanne Blair at email@example.com
About the Author
Sandy Slade is the CEO & Founder of Skillastics®, the #1 on-site and virtual physical activity resource for groups of children of all sizes. The on-site programs are designed around Skillatsics Activity Kits. These Activity kits include an innovative technique of play, executed on an oversize mat, where up to 100 children can play at one time.
The virtual programs provide students with an amazing variety of physical activity experiences that consist of 30 days of content lasting 30-40 minutes a day taught by national experts.
Skillastics® is enjoyed by over 10 million students in more than 25,000 Physical Education and After School settings nationwide.