I then quickly put the teams in the chart and started the matches, not wasting any more time. I also allowed them some sense of ownership and creativity by challenging them to figure out team names for themselves. This proved to be much fun and an added motivational tool.
So all set we got the competition underway. As they fought hard for the ball and the edge, I would periodically stop the game to explain the different rules. They quickly adjusted. Of course, I only used the simple and easy to follow rules for children.
I was strengthening the respect in them toward the table, the game and each other at all times.
I explained how important it is to look after the table. To keep it clean, and treat it as their own. This way they would have much more fun and enjoyment as well as be able to improve more quickly.
During the days spent with them, I reacted on any disrespectful or unfair, unsportlike behaviour both on and about the table and the kids soon started to behave differently. They took my advice and began to focus and pay attention of my explanations of the rules and the mental game. I helped them realize that if they are focused on the game and switch off everything else they can play better, develop quicker and enjoy the game much more.
I encouraged them to respect and focus on their own skills, as well as others and I showered them with compliments. At the beginning they were rather discouraged but I changed this attitude through persistent encouragement. Always confirming and recognizing the nicely executed pass and or shot attempts and also the good blocks, good moves etc.. I did emphasise, that it was much more productive to ”rather encourage your team than discourage the opponents team”. To my amazement and great satisfaction they began to do this! First the children observing began using supportive words then the children competing followed. This attitude created an awesome, exciting and positive atmosphere. Everyone played their best effort and enjoyed playing whatever the outcome was. The highlight of this change in attitude and the biggest surprise for me came in the finals. The teams helped each other encouraging the one who was down. They remembered and used my words and said ”come on, don’t give up, you can still win and we can still lose, do your best, focus”. I was really proud and happy. This is how the new generations need to be taught to behave with each other. Not just in sport activities and games but where it really matters in real life. This attitude demonstrates the way the very journey to a better life. This attitude would provide for a strong, happy, creative and convergent new generation. Only we can show them ways how to live their lives better. How to deal with each other and how to enjoy the small things and accept problems as challenges to overcome and be better human beings.