This past week we continued with our baseball unit at all of the schools. We found that the girls at Pacca and Los Nogales were most familiar with the rules of the game. The pitching position was highly prized, with the girls often vying for a turn to throw. Baseball also turned out to be especially fun to coach. We fed off the students’ enthusiasm for scoring runs and found ourselves jumping up and down yelling “Corre, corre” and giving huge high fives to each girl as they crossed home plate.
Apart from simply teaching sports, we try to incorporate team building initiatives and life skills lessons into each class. Additionally, we often incorporate a fun game unrelated to our current sport, usually to make sure the girls get the exercise they need during our class. Last week at Los Nogales, we decided to play Roba Cola. In this game, each girl gets a penny to use as a tail. The object of the game is to steal as many tails as possible from other students without losing your own. Very quickly, one student Madalín emerged as the winner; always collecting around 6 tails whiles others usually had 0-3.
During our circle-time at the end of class we played “Rose and Thorn” in order to give the girls a chance to share something they liked and did not like about their day. Many students voiced that they did not like how much they were fighting and tattling on each other, so we used this opportunity to talk about this issue. Los Nogales is a very small school and these girls spend a lot of time together, we expect that this group will benefit from more team building and conflict-resolution exercises in the future!
Overall, our baseball unit ended on a high note with each of the schools building up to full games this last week. We were impressed, especially at Los Nogales, by how much cooperation the girls showed while playing. During the week, the girls would often ask if they could play volleyball or soccer, both of which are popular sports here. However, once we started playing baseball the requests would end and they seemed to have fun with the new game.