By Craig Valency, MA, CSCS
As I spoke about in my last post, Airplanes – The Ticket to Agility and Coordination, speed in life and in sports is more than just being the first to sprint across the finish line. There are always obstacles to contend with.
Games like Airplanes are great for teaching spatial awareness and getting kids to move in more creative ways to quickly get around other people or objects. I’m sure you can see how this ultimately leads to kids that are faster when it counts!
Bi-planes is a game that adds another element – cooperation. Rather than just making their own body into an airplane and flying around and ducking and diving to avoid other “planes,” they now must join hands with a fellow “airplane” and make a giant B-52 and move around and avoid other B-52’s!
This introduces the element of cooperative movement that relies on some of the internal senses such as tactile and proprioceptive awareness so they can effectively stay connected to their partner and move the same way. Visual awareness becomes more important especially on the periphery.
The element of “team speed” is now at play. For instance, if a child is playing football he may have to move in coordination with his blockers so he doesn’t get tackled. In this case it is not enough to just be fast, or even agile, a child must now be able to have good spatial and body awareness in the context of the team, which means they may have to move even slower to stay in the right position and ultimately win!
Bi-planes is pretty tough, start kids out with Airplanes first then move into the big bi-planes. Make sure to cue kids to move a little slower and pay attention to their partner and other planes. They can communicate with their partner verbally and they also need to “listen” with their internal senses to make sure that they stay connected.
Let us know how it goes and if you have any bi-planes that successfully avoided collisions. Happy flying!
Total time: 2-3 minutes
Equipment: Cones or markers
Group size: 6 or more
Set up: Basic 15-20 yard cone grid to establish space
Fitness component: Awareness/coordination, general fitness (muscular, cardiovascular)
- Have children partner with another child or instructor.
- Instruct them to put their arms out to the side of their body like an “airplane” and join hands with their partner, forming a large airplane. On “go” they “fly” around the space keeping their arms straight out to the side of their body.
- They are instructed to avoid contact with any other “ bi-planes” by dodging, ducking, rolling, tilting, or any other movement strategy.
- They cannot drop or bend either arm and must move in a random pattern (they cannot just move around the outside of the space) while staying connected with their partner.