Dialogue 6

A: Continuing on from where we left off,.

F: The details of the games?

A: Yes! I have added a list of games to the website. This is not a definitive list but will be a good place to start. More games will be added in the passing of time.

F: Thank you!

Going back to our previous dialogue I find it slightly curious that most of the ground that you have covered seems to be mainly concerning the beginnings and the early development phase of these physical literate concepts? Does that mean that once the basics are introduced using games there is no further need to concentrate on them?

A: On the contrary! It is vital that games play a continuous role in the ongoing development of any skill base. Think about – be it Manipulation, Aerial, Equilibre or Acrobatic, every skill has a rhythm and that rhythm is the foundation upon the skill relies in order to create complex variations of the original simple skill. That never changes! So often if one is watching a performer it becomes very obvious if he or she has seemingly not paid and is still not paying attention to the basics. Remember, Learning is for Life! Not just when one is young, so it is well worth repeating that,…….

“The easiest and quickest way for Children, Young People and Adults to develop and continue to develop physical coordination (rhythm), social skills and cognitive understanding of their environment is through play and doing this through the medium of an intelligent physical activity - which games can provide - is a fantastic and effective form of lifelong learning, encouraging self-esteem, confidence, achievement and the celebration of all that achievement. Games help to create well rounded individuals who can achieve and continue to grow throughout life” Albert & Friends Instant Circus. 2002

Using play as an instructional tool:

• Activates vitality and stimulates players physically, emotionally, socially, and


• Provides hands-on learning by doing, feeling, and experiencing.

• Reduces stress and provides a healthy outlet for expression of emotions.

• Brings fun, laughter, and bonding into the learning environment.

• Increases motivation for learning and participating.

• Stimulates imagination and spontaneity in the moment.

  • Promotes Physical Literacy.

F: I think I’ve got the message! Games can be an incredible tool to use in the development of Physical Literate beings! So, you talked about games, their rhythms, their effect upon everything etc., etc., etc. But you have only mentioned Manipulation, what about say, Acrobatics?

A: Excellent question. Thank you for asking! Acrobatics in its purest form is fundamentally an extension of dance. i.e. movement based on and dictated by rhythms! Even Gymnastics – a competitive form of acrobatics - has rhythms that underpin all the variations found in the various disciplines. Example! Think of the flick-flack. When executed at the highest level it becomes a thing of beauty that flows across the floor. But underpinning that ‘flow’ is a simple rhythm and if the rhythm is absent then the flick-flack becomes like a car driving with a loose wheel! Which oddly enough may have its own rhythm but it’s not the one that the discipline requires? And so, it goes on and on. But, leaving gymnastics for the moment, let us go back to acrobatics. If you think of the various acrobatic moves that are part of any intelligent physical art for i.e. circus acrobatics, which ever-one springs to mind, it is always driven and shaped by a rhythm. So, to me it is logical and necessary to identify that rhythm and use that as the base foundation of developing that particular move. That in turn influences what follows and thus one begins to build a somewhat complex matrix as both the participants and their moves develop. It is also important to remember that in acrobatics, developing a physical rhythm goes hand in hand with physical conditioning. i.e. you will never be able to execute any complex physical move if you are not physically together and have the strength and co-ordination to sustain the rhythm. This brings me back to games!

F: I’m beginning to think that you might have a slight obsession?

A: I do! But it is an obsession that is born of experience. An experience that has been developed over a rather long period of time and one that has been shown to achieve quite starting results. Not just within the professional ranks but right across the whole spectrum of life and ability, embracing hundreds of young people who over the years attained a level of physical literacy that was understated, yet a level that underpinned and influenced their whole approach to living in general and most importantly equipped them for life in such a manner that allowed them to believe that anything was possible - and in most instances it was!

F: And this was entirely due to games?

A: Pretty much! But that is how it works. Think about it logically. You are given a group of young people to work with? If you stand in front of them and tell them they are about to embark upon the road to Physical Literacy etc, etc, etc, they will – and quite rightly in my opinion – tell you to get lost! If you introduce a series of games that are designed to achieve the same results without the pain of a lengthy and in most cases, boring explanation, you will inevitably achieve what you want. However, you do it without heaping upon them all the psychological jargon and good intentions that they really do not wish to know about! Give them a challenge – bribery and corruption also works a treat – and they will give you the results that you want, without any pain! Well, at least, not a lot of pain!

F: Sounds interesting!

A: It is very important to keep remembering that this is an educational process, but it must be an educational process in which the word 'education' is never ever mentioned; that is why the best way to achieve results is to disguise what you trying to achieve through games. Using games - In my experience - if the process is both enjoyable and challenging, achieves the most amazing results. Another thing to remember; never tell anyone that what they are trying to achieve is difficult! It’s amazing how effective that can be!

The dialogues continues,……………

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