33 Five- and six-year old children (and 6 or 7 adults – coaches, teachers & teaching assistants), 16 balls, lots of throwing & catching, all in the space of two badminton courts.
I knew one of the other coaches saw danger in the chaos.
‘Could we get them to line up & take it in turns?’
’How about splitting them into two groups, and having only half of them working at the same time?’
But I saw lots of kids taking lots of catches (and dropping some), being aware of what was going on around them, having fun.
I like a (little) bit of chaos in practice. It encourages focus, on the task in front of the players.
Now, I hope it goes without saying that I am not advocating allowing an apparently chaotic situation to degenerate into a dangerous one. But in this case, with a responsible adult for every five children, I really didn’t want to have the kids lining up and taking turns — I wanted to get the whole group active and engaged. I wanted them to think that cricket was FUN!
And at the same time learning how to ‘play nicely’ with others around them.
Sometimes, a little chaos is a good thing!