|How it Works || |
Stage 1: Use very large, soft, balls such as beachballs, and throw them gently so that the child can catch the ball with both arms (arms in front of the body, elbows into the chest, and palms upward). Increase the distance the ball is thrown to the child, and as the child improves, reduce the size of the ball.
Stage 2: Use a ball that is slightly bigger than the child’s hands and is not too “bouncy.” Soft, lightweight bean bags work well. Toss the ball/bean bag so that the child has to reach forward slightly to make the catch — this encourages the child to extend the arms out to meet the ball. Have the child catch the ball and move the hands into the body along with the ball.
Stage 3: Start tossing the ball or bean bag so that it is slightly to one side of the catcher, and encourage the catcher to move the feet to keep the body behind the ball. Toss the ball from farther and farther away, decrease the size of the ball, and gradually increase the speed of the throw. As confidence increases, use more solid, slightly heavier balls. When the catcher is able to catch a small ball with two hands, encourage catching with only one hand, using each hand in turn. As before, increase the distance from which the ball is thrown and the speed of the throw. Eventually throw the ball to one side of the catcher or the other, or in front or behind, so that he or she must move the feet to make the catch. Eventually add in the use of sport specific balls, and sport-specific movement patterns.
|Applications || |
Teaches catching. Great for warm-up, keeping athlete’s head and eyes up, agility, quickness, decision-making.
|Modifications || |
Can be used in all environments: field, court, pool, snow, ice, gym.