We set out nice and early to make sure we arrived on time to set up the various drills and politely introduce ourselves to the supervising staff at the school. When we started, the kids seemed really excited because they had never ever tried American Football. One kid even referred to the sport as “Madden” after the title of the popular American Football video-game series, as he did not realise the sport had an actual name!
Throughout the course of the day we demonstrated and got the kids to participate in a number of important drills & games for developing as a player, drills that we alike execute in training to improve our fundamentals. I think the game they enjoyed the most was British Bulldog, a playground classic but which surprisingly teaches the importance of speed, pursuit (for defensive players) and elusiveness (for offensive players). I think they enjoyed it because they had played it before and I believe we set it up because of how fun we find it in training too (except we have full pads & a helmet which raise the excitement levels).
We did not face huge challenges during the day; the kids were very well behaved and very quick to respond to opportunities of participation. This made our job as teachers so much more fun & exciting because we had a group of children who were willing to put in the effort to learn something new. I now understand how hard my teachers must have found it in school when I was not co-operative; all those detentions were well served!
My advice to anyone who is considering volunteering is to just “go for it”. It is probably the most rewarding thing I have done throughout my years at university. Teamwork, teaching & leadership are only three out of an exhaustive list of things I have become better at thanks to just volunteering on this project. It was a long day, especially working with young kids with the highest energy levels but all in all, I’d happily do it again if it meant I made a difference in their lives.
Kingston University Student