“To educate (from the Latin educere) or rather to nourish and to bring out the potential of an individual and to help them to get to know themselves, make them who they are and allow them to develop”.
From this definition you can say that even the role of the sports educator is very important, a figure that because of their role plays a big part in the growth of children, but at the same time they mustn’t become so important to then prevent the child from trying, experimenting and getting to know themselves though their own movements and their own choices.
And yet so many times, lots of sports educators within their work impose a rule or the use of a piece of equipment in a certain way and this is often all at too early of an age. “Calling the shots” on the technical setup of movements, correcting the spontaneous gesture or the wrong one, when instead what is wrong is only the oldest error in the world that is to see the child already as a mini adult.
It is important to remember that the child should always feel that they are the true protagonist of the activity.
The educator from his side must try to support the activity while trying to include teaching and learning as two interlinked and interesting experiences for both parties.
Working every day in an attentive way towards the child and his group, so that then it is easy at the correct moment for the educator to introduce a simple rule and small technical gestures right up to complex and specialized movements (like the positions and fundamental progressions on the climbing wall or like the introduction to the safe and correct use of the equipment). In this way a training session, a lesson or a game will always be more interesting and at this time, the educators may start to “cast” a true passion that is capable of lasting a lifetime.
One thing is certain; the choice to make the child feel the protagonist at an important moment like in a games situation gets the ball rolling for positive dynamics for the relationship with the teacher, where the chosen and shared rule becomes an integral part of the game, that game where the two subjects are won as a team.
The adult who lives the experience of educating while playing is a true ambassador of good messages: their words, the movements of their body, the attention and every symbolic gesture are of fundamental importance for the child.
From them the children are invited to understand one of their personal messages. In fact, it is the children themselves who often make us understand how in their game the conquest of autonomy is important for a good experiential growth.
Inside a game, a simple motor activity or a sport, we can try to introduce spaces for self-management where children play and also they help and motivate each other.
This educational choice within a sporting experience can frighten many adults that are used to running the lesson or training session.
In reality, this choice allows the adults themselves to experiment and see how within peer education children come to live fundamental experiences independently that then stimulate many aspects: the personal motivation, the relationship, the problem solving, the critical and creative thinking, the personal or collective effectiveness and much more.
To try to change their ways of running the lesson, the training session and every moment of the game needs first of all courage and desire to get back into the game, every time that you invest time with children.
And so the question is who is a good sports educator? A good sports educator is simply someone who manages to give everything in every moment spent with children, empathizing about the relationship with those children, giving motivation within the proposed situations and always listening to one another.
In this way the games, the sport, the rules and the autonomy that each child and the group lives will enter into that set of positive experiences that will certainly remain or will maybe just return during the long journey of life.
And one day when you will find yourself on the rock or in some climbing competition, stop and look at their smiles, their tears, their movements, because maybe only there you will see again all those hours of games and climbing that you have lived together. In there is all the great passion for climbing, both yours and now also theirs.