Chapter 4

2. Collective sports

(a) Strong points

Team spirit: collective sports ensure exactly this. It is all about engaging with the team members, encourage and being encouraged by your teammates, coexist in balance, commit in team work and socialize.

Therefore, speaking of FFS, this is the easy part! Players are already used to group conditions and adding a few more members will not be a hard task.

Tip! Always keep in mind that the new “family additions” in your group do not share exactly the same characteristics with your old members. Make sure you make the necessary efforts to maintain some level of cohesion within your team and always listen to the needs of all team members.

Inclusion and tolerance: players of collective sports tend to be more tolerant and accepting to others and show selflessness and understanding in their team. Your existing players have different backgrounds and personalities and they have already managed to coexist and find their balance. In the same prism, your FFS additions are once again new and different personalities, though your team is already used to inclusion and tolerance.

Tip! For sure this is the rule, but exceptions always exist! Keep your eyes open and make sure that no one is excluded and left out of the team and everyone enjoys a sense of belonging and mutual support.

Flexibility: the variety in the teammates’ personalities and the need to maintain the group’s cohesion inevitably makes the members be more flexible and adaptive to changes. This flexible approach to changes is very important for FFS as for sure the newcomers will somehow rock the boat.

Tip! Flexibility is one thing, and tuning things totally around is another! Make sure that the changes happening in the team are manageable and smooth, or else your effort will sink!

(b) Weak points

Dependence: being supported by the team can sometimes lead to becoming dependent. Especially when we talk about FFS, where we are merging young children with adults (and also authoritative figures within the family), it is likely that the weaker players (children) may be misled and carries by the experienced ones (guardians).

Tip! Define the roles of each member right from the beginning and make sure that everyone knows and understands their limits. Develop a training structure that allows everyone to equally participate according to their capacities, age and skills.

Competitiveness: it is a characteristic of all collective sports and it is addressed not only towards other teams, but also among teammates. Especially when family members are involved and mingle, competitiveness and tension might bring things upside down and ruin completely the team cohesion.

Tip! Focus in the educational aspect of your FFS activities and keep reminding your team that the goal of this process is to learn, bond and entertain themselves.

Crowdie environment: a regular team of any collective sport is already quite crowdie and it is sometimes challenging to handle this group of people. So what happens when the members double or triple in number, as for sure happens in FFS? It is a fact that sports leaders will have less time to focus on individual training, while individuals who require special attention or different learning methods may not receive them.

Tip! Prepare your training structure in advance and take into consideration the number of people you will involve, their existing capacities and their needs.

Remember to explore your participants’ profile and prepare yourself for the expected. Also, create a safe environment where everyone will feel free to approach and ask for your support, even if you don’t realize the issue on your own.