Could Focus Games/Mindfulness cut back on Injuries?
I noticed in training last night that more and more girls were injured in our group of 4 teams than ever before. I typically take the girls with injuries and work with them one on one, so they can still get in a solid workout and not have to sit through another practice or training session bored. My goal is to get these girls back on the court as fast as possible, but also make sure they are healthy before engaging in training.
My main worries as a yoga instructor from this are (1) Mindfulness is not being practiced throughout training and/or games (2) Overtraining is a real thing and their bodies are slowly failing them. It’s March, so the girls have been in club season for about 3 solid months of weekly practices and tournaments just about every other weekend. I wonder if it’s a mix of the two? Maybe being over trained is one thing, but being unmindful of the body while being pushed to your limits is where injury comes into play? I strongly believe in mindfulness, body awareness, listening to your body, and having a bigger understanding that your body is a temple.
For the past couple of weeks we have started to incorporate some focus games into our training regime with hopes to get the athletes more focused and aware. We played relay tic tac toe & Ah-So (Clap)! We even had some Moo-Offs in there, but that’s not so much a focus game but a really awesome funny way to do a tie breaker between two people. At this point in the season, when bodies are tired & fatigued and the mind is stressed from school or college recruiting or strict parents, it is crucial to be more focused, be mindful of what your body is telling you, and make deliberate movements in every drill, practice and game.
Relay Tic Tac Toe:
Equipment Needed: 6 Hula Hoops & 6 scarves or dish towels (3 of each color.)
How to Play: 2 teams of 6-10 people. The first two people race to the hoola hoops across the gym/room, place scarf in a hoola hoop, run back to team line and tag the next team member in, this continues until one team successfully gets 3 in a ROW.
Have your team sit in a circle. Someone starts the game by saying “AH” and placing either their right hand or left hand on top of their head facing one direction (left or right). The person they point to, then has to say “SO” with their hand at chest level either pointing left or right. The person they point to then CLAPS in a direction at a person across the circle. If you mess up the word or where you move your hand to, then you are out of the circle and become a “heckler” and try to distract the people still playing. Play until there are two people left and they are the Winners!