“Tennis, football and the like do not have for their sole purpose the accurate moving of a ball but they challenge us to acquire a new skill – something lacking before – and this feeling of enhancing our abilities is the real source of delight in the game.” – Maria Montessori, The Absorbent Mind
Football is the most popular sport in the world, and there’s a good reason for this: ignoring the insane amount of money involved in today’s modern game, when football is stripped back to its simplest form – a ball and some people – even the poorest children and communities have the means to tap into something really special; a spirit of fun, laughter and comradery.
Sport enhances physical, psychological, social and academic development of children leading to stronger, healthier and more productive adults. However, when taken to the extreme football (any sport) can become something quite stressful for the little people playing the game. Kicking a ball with friends can quite easily degenerate into something entirely about winning. Applying Montessori learning principles to the game of football, even in a competitive context, can easily prevent the game from becoming purely one-dimensional.
The Montessori Football programme is an initiative that aims to reverse the traditional paradigm of youth sports development that focuses on the coach and the result, and instead put child development at the centre while incorporating Montessori teaching principles and practices. In a two day workshop, course participants will learn about the benefits of football to the Montessori child (focusing on children aged 3-12), including how to apply football in Montessori schools, develop ball skills, observe the child during a football training and identify individual progress of the child.
As a mum or dad, you might wonder what Montessori style football might look like? Quite simply, it’s a shift in focus.
Montessori learning nurtures a child’s natural love of play and a sense of creativity. When it comes to physical activity, children love to make up games and drills, for fun and to improve their skills athletically. Under the thoughtful guidance of a coach, children will establish a healthy, productive balance of freedom and discipline; teaching them to persevere, repeat movements until they master them, and apply their intelligence in physically challenging situations. Coaches teaching football Montessori style will function much like Montessori educators – gently nudging children along the paths their natural inclinations take them.
What’s so great about Montessori learning is that it is a philosophy that can be applied to all areas of life and learning, which is such a wonderful thing for parents hoping to create a consistent learning environment that transcends context.
If you have any questions regarding Montessori schooling and methodology, we’d love to chat more with you – please visit our contact page and we’ll be in touch.
Photo by Tevarak Phanduang on Unsplash.