Chocolate covered broccoli and why gaming means practicing!
For those who are a fan of broccoli, this blog may be a challenge.
Within this series we are looking for the secrets behind gamification. We are also looking for information that can help us turn a kid’s tennis program into an addictively fun program.
In the previous blog I stated that information about gamification can help us as long as we understand how to navigate the various elements available. But before we go into detail about the mechanics behind the best games two other things are important to understand…
This is how we describe activities that are made fun by throwing some coating over it. The activity is not really fun, but looks as if it is on first glance. From the outside it looks nice, but if you really bite in it’s still just broccoli. And many children dislike eating that.
So, this doesn’t seem like the right way to make youth tennis super fun. Children will understand that the underneath is not really edible and its just tasteless green stuff with a layer over it.
Gaming is practicing
Another thing to pay attention to is the amount of time children spend ‘practicing’ games. The strange thing is that children don’t see this as practice. Children call this gaming. And still stranger; they seem to really enjoy doing that. It is important to realize that for all kinds of sports; practicing will be needed. The same goes for someone who wants to be very good at playing an instrument. So the question is; how can we make exercise fun and create a situation that kids think they play a game but are basically practising.
Gaming mechanisms can certainly help
What mechanisms are we talking about? In the gaming industry, there are many different mechanisms, but we have chosen some that are applicable in tennis. So in our future blogs we will discuss:
- Reward schedules
- Free lunch
And all these will help you to develop concrete ideas for your kids program!
Ronald Pothuizen – Director evolve9, Netherlands
Ronald was the program manager for the U12 program in The Netherlands for 16 years. He is manager the Tenniskids Program with extensive coach education courses (over 1500 coaches), a competition program for 35,000 kids and the support program for Dutch clubs (1400). Along working for the Dutch Federation, Ronald was very active internationally as a member of the ITF Play and Stay Taskforce.
He has been to more than 15 countries to run workshops and/or to present for the ITF in U10. In 2011, Ronald started the evolve9 Serious Kids Stuff foundation. This foundation built the first Slum Red courts in the World. Prior to working for the Dutch Federation (KNLTB), Ronald was a Tennis director for 11 years in The Netherlands.
Ronald will be presenting many of the unique ways that Tennis Programs can use best practice from around the world at the evolution Junior Directors Conference at College Park, MD – July 22nd – 24th 2016