Kickster

Activity Overview

Participants learn about and practise striking a ball using their feet and working as group to field a ball.

  • Intermediate (Ages 13-15)
  • Senior (Ages 16-18)

Facility

  • Gymnasium
  • Outdoors

Materials and Equipment

  • 1 pylon per group
  • 1 soft-skinned ball per group

Safety

Inspect the activity area and eliminate potential hazards. Check that the activity surface provides safe footing and traction. Set boundaries for the activity a safe distance from walls, fences, and obstacles (e.g., trees, playground equipment).

Activity Information

Activity Set-up

  • Divide participants into two groups.
  • Each group sets up a pylon and stands single file beside the pylon and behind the first participant in each group. A ball is beside each pylon.
  • One member of each group is in the outfield.
  • For maximum participation, multiple smaller groups can be used if space permits.

Activity Instructions

  • The first participant from each group kicks the ball for the participant in the outfield from the other group. Both participants kick the ball at the same time.
  • The outfield participants run to receive the other group’s ball.
  • Once the fielders have retrieved the ball, they hold it above their heads. Each group's members then race to their fielder and line up behind them. Passing the ball over the first person’s head then between the second person’s legs, the groups moves the ball “over and under” from the front of the line to the back of the line as quickly as possible.
  • Once the ball is at the back of the line, the last participant from each group runs with the ball and places it beside the pylon.
  • Groups switch kickers and fielders and the game continues until each participant has the opportunity to kick the ball.
  • The leader asks open-ended questions to help participants refine their movement strategies and tactical solutions during the activity. Examples include: As a kicker, describe where the optimal location on the field would be to kick the ball so that it is more difficult for the other group to field it? As a fielder, how can you be more effective in fielding the ball? Describe how communication would play a role in this game.

Adaptations

To maximize the challenge and the fun, participants could identify their own ways to increase or decrease the challenge.

To decrease the challenge, participants could:

  • Have the participants choose how they want to send the ball (e.g., roll or throw the ball rather than kick).
  • Make the fielding space smaller so there is less space to cover and less running.
  • Use a bigger ball (e.g., beach ball).

To increase the challenge, participants could:

  • Kick with their non-dominant foot.
  • Increase the field size so there is more space to cover and more running.
  • When kicking, have the fielder from the same team roll the ball to the participant to kick instead of having the ball stationary.
  • Allow groups to choose the object to send (e.g., a group might choose a smaller ball to make it more challenging for the other group to field).

Pause for Learning

Throughout the activity, consider highlighting the following skills, concepts, and strategies for effectively kicking and fielding an object. Note that this list is not exhaustive, and further learning opportunities may arise during the task.

Movement Skills and Concepts

  • Manipulation and relationship: applying the appropriate amount of force when striking an object with your foot to make it challenging for the opposing team to retrieve (e.g., kicking the ball with a strong force into a distant and open space)
  • Spatial awareness: knowing when and where to move in relation to the ball and to other people (e.g., moving as a group to field the ball, and then positioning as a group to move the ball from the front of the line to the back of the line)

Movement Strategies

  • Activity appreciation: learning and understanding the structure of the game and being able to participate meaningfully by following the rules (e.g., working as a group to retrieve the ball quickly and to move it down the line of team members)
  • Tactical awareness: understanding the game structure and making connections to striking and fielding games (e.g., sending the ball into open space to make it challenging for the fielder to retrieve it)

Living Skills

Personal Skills

  • Adaptive and coping skills: being able to participate throughout the game while using adaptive skills such as problem solving, coping skills, and seeking help when needed (e.g., when the group is having trouble fielding the ball, taking a moment to analyze the reason why and applying appropriate problem-solving skills to attempt the challenge again)

Interpersonal Skills

  • Relationship and social skills: supporting all team members by moving as a team to form a line when retrieving the ball (e.g., first players to the ball move back toward other players to shorten the distance other players need to move)