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Invasion Games - are they as scary as they sound?

One mention of ‘Invasion Games’ tends to have parents shaking at the knees and wrapping their children up in cotton wool - and with good reason as the very term ‘invasion’ conjures up images of aggression and hostility.

However, people play these games daily. Your child will most likely play one during break times at school and most people have played a few in their lifetime. Invasion game is simply a term used to describe any game that will include goal/point scoring against an equal, opposing team. Our most common sporting games are invasion games like: football, hockey, netball, rugby (tag rugby or non-contact for children), basketball, benchball and handball to mention a few.

We focus a lot on these games during our sessions as the basic skills needed to play are the skills all sportspeople should know and have, such as: using specific body parts well; attacking and defending; and considering teamwork or sportsmanship. Without these as foundations, people will struggle to play sport successfully (either as professionals or as a hobby). At Future Stars, we want to help children develop physically - obviously as a sports coaching company. Therefore, we aim to introduce children to a variety of sports and games so that children are aware of how to move and use different body parts effectively to improve their coordination and physical prowess. We are conscious that invasion games present an incredible opportunity to apply a huge range of physical skills and therefore ensure that children play these games. Usually, before the game is played, we will focus on a specific skill set, be it: balancing, passing, shooting, blocking, throwing or catching, kicking or using equipment safely in order to ensure the correct technique is used (to avoid injury) for maximum success. Usually, the skills needed for one Invasion Game can be applied to others - making these lessons more valuable. However, Invasion Games do far more than target physical control. Perhaps more essential, is the social and mental development which will allow a player to be fair, strong and decisive. These games provide a wonderful opportunity for children to access parts of their personality they may not regularly use in the classroom or at home. For example, an Invasion Game will encourage children to make on-the-spot decisions while communicating to other players and working as a team member. They will also have to anticipate, not only the ball, but other players’ moves and maintain an appropriate level of competition. We hope to ensure that children consider sportsmanship while playing these games, as the idea of ‘fair play’ and communication is important within these settings. This all sounds rather heavy. But these aspects of sports and games are essential to successful sportsmanship development and personal development to help become a more rounded person. Despite this, our sessions that focus on Invasion Games are fun and light hearted, and although children are taught about the importance of these skills, they can see that they can have fun while practicing them. Phew. We can all breathe a sigh of relief now in the understanding that we know these games and we know they’re not as nearly as scary as the term sounds.

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