Paeyball, which consists of a game table with an obstacle and a ball, is an innovative game for the development of sports skills for children and youth, young athletes, and is also suitable for disabled children and intellectually disabled children. By playing Paeyball, we influence the development of motor skills, especially coordination, speed of reactions and balance, and we develop basic motor skills.
2. IMPACTS AND EFFECTS
Exercise has a positive effect on children’s cognitive and mental development, as well as their ability to think and plan tactically.
The varied exercise provided by the Paeyball sports accessory encourages the generalization of knowledge and its use in unpredictable and unknown circumstances. Playing against an opponent and playing doubles encourages adjustment and cooperation.
It is necessary to encourage the most diverse use of the table, as this way wider effects can be achieved. One to four players can take part in the training at the same time. Paeyball uses methods of competition and play, which are the most effective in teaching children.
Playing with a partner allows for lots of fun and requires a lot of adjustment from the players, as the unpredictability of the game one-on-one or in pairs requires quick decision-making and precise movement responses. In Paeyball, the ball must be bounced with different parts of the body (arm, leg, head, torso), both left and right, which affects the anatomical and functional strengthening of the connections between the hemispheres, as well as those areas of the brain that receive information from the environment, from internal centers, emotion, and memory processing centers, centers responsible for providing sufficient action potential, attention, and decision-making.
We know that the largest part of the brain is active in facial expressions and speech, as well as in activities related to precise manual movements (fine motor skills) and visual adaptation of distance or the depth we have to constantly adjust to hit the ball. The game enables dynamic execution, but it also significantly affects the ability of kinesthetic differentiation (shock-absorbing) – adjusting the force to the needs of the game situation and the distance from the playing surface, which allows for greater play diversity.
Among movement abilities, the most developed is movement coordination. The coordination on the relation eye-hand or eye-leg is strengthened, as well as the feeling of placing the body in space, the speed of reactions, or the performance of rapid alternating movements, which also indicate the ability to quickly transmit impulses to the nervous system and its fatigue.
It affects the development of balance, especially in foot bounce when the player has to shift the center of gravity of the body and chase the balance position on one leg. It should be emphasized that even with such movements; precise control over the position of the whole body takes place through the brain, which enables the performance of football skills by activating the muscles of the torso, catching the balance position by extending the arms. The development of balance can also be influenced by bounces with the hands if during the game we stand on only one leg or a soft surface (cushion), or we can also sit on a Swedish ball.
If we want to make the game even more interesting and full of challenges, we can make a 360-degree turn, squat, or jump after each bounce, which increases the amount of information that the brain has to process and coordinate into a motor response and improves the sense of rhythm/timing. After each bounce with your hand, you can also touch a point drawn on the ground. We can add rules to the game, which requires the players to constantly think and adapt; the ball must be hit alternately once with the left hand, once with the right hand, once with the forehand, the second time with a backhand hit, which also affects the greater game dynamics.
3. BASIC MOVEMENT KNOWLEDGE
TABLE OF BASIC MOVEMENT SKILLS
|2||Jostling and fighting|
|3||Different modes of movement|
|4||Jumps and landings|
|6||Throwing/catching/bouncing and hitting with the hand|
|7||Kicking/shooting/hitting the ball|
|9||Swinging and rocking|
|10||Movement in rhythm|
|11||Support and transitions to supports|
|12||Lifting and handling loads|
4. DEVELOPMENT OF COORDINATION ABILITIES
- Flexibility – Is trained by adapting to the circumstances of the exercise – is based on a concentric approach (we perform movement tasks without a specific goal but with a desire to prepare the brain to be more teachable and adaptable). This can be achieved by changing the rules of the game, the size or the reflectivity of the ball, changing the playing surface, the lighting of the room, playing outdoors or in the gym, etc. If we want to develop thinking skills, we need to encourage them to think and play an active role and not just do dull repetitions (children should create their own rules and ways of bouncing the ball).
- The ability to maintain balance – Reaching its peak between the ages of 12 and 14 – is also linked to brain growth and development. We develop it by practicing different sports and on as many different surfaces as possible. Balance isn’t developed only in maintaining positions, but in the controlled “breaking” of it and re-establishing it.
- The ability to combine / movement synchronization – Coordination of different parts of the body and different movements as a whole. The principle of gradualness is important (from easy to difficult, from known to unknown, etc.). First only with the hand, then only with the foot, and then we can bounce with any part of the body.
- Kinesthetic differentiation – Develops between the ages of 6 to 7 and 10 to 11 years. It is important for adjusting the force to the circumstances, for shock absorption, ball reception, ball bouncing, etc.
- Spatial perception – Keeping the body in balance with objects from the environment, is the ability to perceive the body in space concerning the characteristics of the environment, teammates, opponents, and equipment. “Reading” the game and the opponent’s moves is an important feature of spatial perception. During the game, certain soft objects can also be placed that players are not allowed to touch (they must bypass them when hitting).
- Responsiveness – A complex ability that is reflected through the process of judging and choosing when encountering new situations. It is most important in martial arts, racket games, ball games, by goalkeepers.
- Ability to perform a movement in rhythm – Perception, and ability to adapt to the sense of rhythm/timing (basketball, martial arts, rowing, kayaking, dancing, tennis).
5. TRANSFER OF KNOWLEDGE TO OTHER SPORTS
It is about the transfer of learning within the same group of basic motor skills, between different sports, within the sport. Therefore, the following was introduced:
- The concept multi-sporting – training several different sports at the same time, primarily for pleasure – expanding the motor base, greater motivation, less local congestion, and fewer injuries;
- The concept of donor sport (supportive sport) – sports activities (including various sports) that are selected to contribute to better development within the selected sport and to increase greater flexibility.
The transmission of sensory awareness, pattern recognition, spatial awareness, decision making is based on visual information. It is also about transferring tactical ideas from other pitches or sports and gaming positions.
This takes place between sports that have similar rules, guidelines, or technical elements (gymnastics and diving). Playing the same sport in different circumstances can also mean transferring the concept of the game, but the rules may remain the same, only the environment changes (playing tennis in a hall, balloon, on grass, sand, hard surface), five-a-side football and big football, kayaking on calm and wild waters …
TRANSMISSION OF PHYSIOLOGICAL OR PHYSICAL FACTORS
In principle, it is not tied to an individual sport, but to the motor abilities that we transfer (agility, balance, stabilization, mobility, strength and speed, endurance), e.g. cyclists – runners.
TRANSFER OF COMPETENCES
Discipline, work habits, self-control, the ability to react to stressful situations, the feeling for others, accepting victories and defeats, respecting teammates, opponents, and the referee, reacting to mistakes, etc.
6. TECHNICAL CHARACTERISTICS
The Paeyball sports accessory is foldable and light, which allows it to be portable and perform activities outdoors, as the table is relatively light and extremely sturdy.
The accessory is well thought out and also safe as it has no sharp edges. A slightly higher net and a smaller ball also allow for the game of pushing the ball under the net.
Compared to competing products, the Paeyball table is smaller, which allows for smooth play on 6 m2 (for comparison, it is necessary to provide between 30 m2 and 35 m2 for playing with competing products).
7. GAME VARIATIONS
A child can also compete with himself or herself – how many rebounds from the other half can he or she make in 1 min (1 min with one hand, 1 min with the other hand, alternately 1x left hand, 1x right hand, he or she can try to bounce the ball as many times as possible without it bouncing from the playground). He or she can do the same with his or her foot on a table lying on the floor. He or she can adjust the task by bouncing the ball over the net.
During the game, we can also add the rule that player 2 must always bounce with the same body part as player 1 did before him. It is also possible to place the table next to the wall (on the side) and thus use the wall as a reflective surface and spice during the game.
The Paeyball sports accessory has a multifaceted effect on children’s development, so its use is welcome in sports lessons in schools. It brings play, fun, and a concentric approach to the learning process, so I highly recommend it.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. Samo Masleša is a doctor of kinesiology sciences, professor of physical education, coach, researcher, writer of professional articles, and a great advocate of sports for all, with more than 20 years of coaching experience. He was a multiple national champion and a member of the Slovenian national judo team.
After graduating, he worked as an assistant at the Faculty of Sports in Ljubljana, was head of programs at the Center for University Sports of the University of Ljubljana, and head of the sports program at the Public Institute for Sports in Ljubljana. He lectured at the School of Pediatrics, cooperated with the Institute of the Republic of Slovenia for Education, lectured at home and abroad on the importance of multidisciplinarity, inclusion, the development of sports talents, and physical training in top athletes. As an expert, he also collaborated with the Basketball Association of Slovenia, the Handball Association of Slovenia, the Football Association of Slovenia, and many clubs and individuals who have achieved resounding international success.
In 2006, as the only student in the history of the Faculty of Sports in Ljubljana, he received the Ulaga Award for his professional contribution to sports.
Samo Masleša is the creator and executor of the GSMP (Genius safe motor program) – An innovative and effective complementary sports program for comprehensive motor and cognitive development of children and youth, and it is a uniquely designed and clinically effective program for physical training of top athletes.