Published on August 15th, 2019 | by Daniel Boyle


How to Teach Footbag – Signal to Begin

This is part of a series about giving instruction in footbag.

Giving workshops will vary on the situation. Sometimes you will be in a classroom scenario where a teacher has a lot of the control, other times you will be all on your own. You need to be prepared for any situation.

A very important part of getting a class started in any subject is a “signal to begin”. Often students will be chatting and not focused on the task, so something needs to be done to bring them on to attention.

Different teachers have different methods. Some like a whistle, though you must take student needs into consideration, some don’t like a loud whistle. The whistle can also be overdone and lose the power.

Here is some further information about the Signal to Begin. You need to give a signal to the class and have them respond.

Some signals that are quite common including various handclapping patterns that the students repeat back to you. I personally like a countdown – usually from five. This gives the students a limited time to pack up their previous thing and move on to the new activity. Some teachers will also use different rhyming patterns.

Once you have the attention, then you can give the instruction. When starting a footbag lesson it can be good to give the students some free time just to have a go and see what they can do, before showing them and teaching certain skills.

You can also notice which type of signals the class respond to best. If your lesson is on a court with line markings (like a tennis or basketball court), you can choose a certain line to get everyone to sit at. This can also move the focus if you are moving to a new activity.

One thing to watch out for is when the students already have an established pattern. Sometimes they will start a hand clap pattern or will tell you “when the class is not listening you do this and that”. It is best to tell them that today we will do things in this certain way.

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About the Author

Founder of @sportslashlife. Australian living in Chile. Freestyle footbag player and passionate sports fan.

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