Blog post by Bring It In - Israel Winter Fellow Meagan Newman
November 28th, Jaffa. Head spinning, nose running, and finger swelling, up out of bed I go, take some Tylenol, grab some tissue, and tape up my finger eager to rock some kid’s worlds for two hours of amazing Basketball fun! Riding solo as the only winter fellow at the Weitzman School in Jaffa on Sunday November 28 I used this opportunity to hone in on my Hebrew skills. I arrived at the school during recess and immediately took the opportunity to join in on the fun dancing with a group in the middle of the yard. Play and sport has always been the easiest way to relate to youth, and to start to build a
rapport with them; and it is fun!
The theme of the day was focusing on positive reinforcement and feedback in Hebrew. Being the only fellow there, I knew I would be given multiple opportunities to lead the session practicing my Hebrew skills. I was perched at the top of the court after giving an example so I was in a good position to cheer on the kids as they came around the cones half way through their relay races. This gave me the opportunity
to give them some positive feedback quickly as they went back into the final stretch before hand off, having the time to make any minor corrections. I feel as though the kids valued from my positive feedback as they knew they were starting to grow stronger as little players.
Overall, even with a head cold and jammed/bruised finger, spirits were high and positive attitudes of both myself and the class elevated the atmosphere. It was a great experience being solo as I was forced out of my comfort zone to use my Hebrew to connect with the class on a different level. Thank you Weitzman for agreat morning!! Click Here for more pictures.
Monday, November 29th, Bring It In - Israel Fellows conducted a basketball and team building clinic for Ethiopian immigrants from the Mevaseret Zion Absorption Center. Mevaseret is located about ten minutes out side of Jerusalem on the way to Tel Aviv, but it feels worlds away. The absorption center is a community onto itself.
The children living at the absorption center are tough. The in field training was a great test of the Fellows practice management, dicipline skills, and ability to command respect.
The Fellows focused on keeping the childrens attention though call and response techniques and high energy activities. They did an excellent job of clearly defining drills and expectations for the children. The "Madrichote" (counselors) currently doing their year of service for the country at the absoprtion center were great, and asked for the Bring It In - Israel Fellows to come again.
A big thank you to the Jewish Agency for helping us organize the day.
November 29th, Bring It In - Israel Fellows Judah Batist and Jacob Walker from Aardvark Israel showed why they were chosen as Bring It In - Israel Fellows Monday morning at Henesuee School in Jerusalem. Quiet and attentive at training sessions and previous in the field training sessions, Judah and Jacob stepped up and lead the event. The two Toronto Fellows acted as a tag team, taking turns demonstrating drills, giving instructions, teaching English phrases, and getting the children cheering. Both demonstrated excellent command of the Bring It In - Israel curriculum and Hebrew sports vocabulary.
Henesuee School, located in downtown Jerusalem, encourages children to choose what subjects they want to study. On Monday that was clearly basketball and team building games. Both the 3rd and 5th grade classes had an amazing time. Every child in the gym was cheering. After the event Judah and Jacob were full of ideas for Israel Sports Days back in North America. Jacob said that it was his best day so far in Israel.
After the spirited sports activities Henesuee gym teacher Ruti said, "Bring It In - Israel is always welcome at Henesuee school." Click here for pictures from the event.
This blog post is by Bring It In - Israel Winter Fellow Meagan Newman
Training Day 2: Wednesday November 24, 2010 with Vito Gilic from Wingate. It was an amazing Wednesday evening at the Hands in Hands School in Jerusalem where the fellows got a rare treat to gain some very valuable insight from one of the most innovative and intricate coaches in Israel. Vito Gilic who has been coaching in Israel for the past 10 years joined the fellows sharing his tricks of the trade. The main point reiterated throughout the night was the importance of combining together both personal skills with basketball skills in every drill.
The night started off with dribbling skills incorporating teamwork and creative thought. In pairs, fellows started dribbling side by side with the right hand leaning on each other until half court. At that point the partners broke apart and each did a lay-up (person on the left did a left hand, right a right hand lay-up). As the drills were completed a new element was added such as holding hands behind each other’s back or linking inside legs encouraging creative thought on how to stay together as a team.
The next set of drills were passing skills. This drill set incorporated a lot of teamwork and coordination of both partners. Side step hand offs was the name of the game as partners made there way up and down the court side step shuffling while both tossing each other a ball at the same time with their right hand and catching with the left. The progression of the drill switched to catching with you right hand and throwing with the left to taking two shuffles, faking left and throwing
right to a fun game where partners were still passing both balls but were now squared to the basket like one would be in a game situation passing then taking a shot. Competition was added when the drill would end when the first fellow reached three shots in consecutively.
Simple objects were incorporated into the practice when the fellows worked on multiple skills using a cone. Coordination and teamwork were prevalent when partners each had a cone and a ball and had to dribble and try to catch the ball on the cone when the partner decided to pass. Then, the partner who caught the ball on the cone proceeded to toss the ball back while maintaining a constant dribble. This
moved into a relay race increasing the skills as new elements included dribbling, crossovers, and catching.
The final minutes of the practice were spent playing a type of full court game. Each team member was given a number. That number defined how many points their shots were worth. No team is allowed to dribble at the beginning but as teams scored, your point value equaled the amount of dribbles your team was allocated. The game was played to 15 and was a great way to end the practice. This game had more meaning behind it, as it is a way to manage equal and fair play. The game could be set up so the dominant more experienced player is worth one point and the struggling player worth the most. This not only give the struggling player more opportunities to practice but puts the strong player in a leading role making sure to feed the ball to other team members and not just carry the team themselves. Vito showed us unique ways to educate youth through basketball but made sure we recognized that it could be transferrable to other coaching situations and sports.
A big thumbs up for an amazing night the fellows are looking forward to testing out their new skills this coming Friday with a session back at Hand in Hand. Toda Raba Vito!!
November 19th, at Hand in Hand School in Jerusalem, Bring It In - Israel Winter Fellows used games and drills from the Bring It In - Israel curriculum to run a joint practice for 2nd and 3rd grade Arab and Jewish children from Beit Safafa and Katamon. The children are part of PeacePlayers International's (PPI) program that uses basketball to unite and educate Arab and Jewish children and their communities. The 2nd and 3rd graders, lovingly called "Mini's" by the PPI staff, were meeting for the second time. Bring It In - Israel Fellows focused on honing their skills coaching with enthusiasm and excitement. PPI Joint practices, or Twinnings, require a high level of energy and excitement from the coaches to ensure that the children have a positive experience. Similarly, Fellow lead Israel sports Days in Israel and back home in North America are designed to be packed full of energy and excitement. Over the course of the Fellowship, coaches have gained the skills and coaching techniques to engage children and get them excited. The PPI joint practice was filled with High Fives, cheering, and a lot of laughter.
According to Bring It In - Israel Head Coach David Lasday, "Research shows that people learn more, and connect more with each other, in a high energy atmosphere. The Fellows have done a great job of taking the positive energy building coaching techniques we taught them and really making them their own."
PPI players left the practice excited for future PPI activities. Fellows left having connected to another important part of Israeli society. Fellow Judah Batist from Aardvark Israel said "This was a cool and unique experience, it was great to see the Arab and Jewish children cheering each other on, and playing together."Click here for a link to PPI's blog post about the event.
Tuesday, November 23rd , Bring It In - Israel Fellows Gabi Remz and Sam Foreman had the opportunity to work with children from Keshet School in Jerusalem. Keshet is a unique school that offers secular and religious Israeli children the opportunity to learn together. The first practice Gabi and Sam shadowed basketball coach Aran Rondel as he coached twenty 1st and 2nd graders. Fellows were able to observe and jump in on drills. The second practice the fellows had the opportunity to coach a group of 12 3rd and 4rth grade boys. Fellows practiced running activities from the Bring It In - Israel curriculum. They focused on explaining the drills properly and group management. According to Head Coach David Lasday, “Sam and Gabi were a big hit with the children, they commanded respect, got the children excited about learning basketball and English, and ran the games to perfection. As young dynamic leaders they have the ability to serve as both coaches and role models for Jewish youth around the world.”Click here for a blog post by Fellow Gabi Remz.
Monday November 22nd, Bring It In - Israel Head Coach David Lasday and Fellows Meagan Newman (Career Israel) and Chava Dashevsky (Real Life Israel), watched Bnei Hasharon take on Ashdod in the Israeli Men’s Premier Basketball League. Meagan, who is interning with the Bnei Hasharon basketball club as part of her internship with Career Israel, got Bring It In - Israel tickets. It was a hotly contested match that went into overtime. In the end the home team Bnei Hasharon lost to visiting Ashdod.
Fellows benefited from the exposure to a professional Israeli sporting event, interacting with fans and learning Israeli cheers and sports vocabulary. The Canadian fellows even found a boy from Ranana wearing an Israel Canada T-shirt.
A big thank you to the Bnei Hasharon club for hosting us.
Fellow Meagan Newman studying the manual
Friday November 19th, Bring It In - Israel Winter Fellows met at the Tel Aviv, SporTech at Park Hayarkon, to begin their formal training as Israel Sports Educators. Fellows were selected based both on their involvement as leaders in the Jewish community, and their achievements as athletes and youth coaches. To learn more about our fellows click here. The Bring It In - Israel Fellowship combines formal training in sports based youth development and Israel education, with hands on in the field training running sports education days for Israeli youth from around the country.
Fellows learning the activities
Fellows were introduced to the idea of using sports to teach and connect children to Israel organically. Fellows learned that one of the most valuable tools to engage children is through stories from personal experiences. The Bring It In - Israel fellowship seeks to utilize Fellows experiences from in field training days running educational sports days for Israeli children. Fellows learned how and when to use stories during activities.
Together Fellows will build a new field of Israel education
Bring It In - Israel Head Coach David Lasday taught fellows how to put together a practice plan for an Israel sports day. Each Israel sports day consists of an introduction to the theme of the day, warm up, stretching, sports activity, sikkum, and bringing it in at the end of the practice. The training covered different warm ups, stretching methods, and sports activities. Fellows participated in the different activities as if they were players. As a main component of an Israel sports day is teaching Hebrew through the activities, Fellows learned the Hebrew vocabulary to run the drills, as well as Hebrew sports cheers. The in field training days with Israeli children will give the Fellows a chance to hone their Israel sports vocabulary.
Looking towards the future together
The training also covered different practice management techniques such as call and response strategies, discipline, transitioning between activities, taking group temperature, and methods of instilling energy and excitement into their practice. Throughout the day fellows had the opportunity to share games and skills that they found successful in the past. Fellows finished the day feeling excited at the opportunity to build this new field of Israel education together. For more pictures from the training click here.
This blog post is by Bring It In - Israel Winter Fellow Gabi P. Remz.
Gabi with basketball cheering on the players
Large lines to play in video game competitions. A large clown performing in bright green sequences. An intense futsal match. And a Bring It In- Israel basketball clinic, featuring an eclectic mix of Jewish and Arab players, and American and Canadian coaches.
The air was electric on a humid Monday night in Jaffo, where the Bnei Brit Community Center was celebrating it’s reopening after significant renovations. With tons of boisterous kids attending the event, it was an ideal opportunity for the Bring It In- Israel team to organize an activity.
Throughout the night, more than fifteen kids participated in a variety of basketball related activities, from shooting competitions to games of keep-away to defensive slides. Though some of the activities were quite challenging, the kids’ energy levels and enthusiasm remained high, leading to a tremendously successful night of basketball. The coaches—all of whom were leading their first clinic—were able to put some of their new Hebrew sports vocabulary into good use, and the children were extremely receptive to the coaches’ tips and advice.After the organized practice session, there was some time for an open shoot around, during which several of the young players challenged coaches to one on one match-ups, providing both important experience and laughter for both sides. The end of a very successful clinic early on in the winter fellowship has left the coaches very excitedfor the experiences to come.To see more pictures from the day click here.
Barak Netanya PF Eliran Gueta and Bring It In - Israel Head Coach David Lasday
On Thursday November 18th, Bring It In - Israel Winter Fellows joined forces with players from Israeli men's professional team Barak Netanya to run a basketball education day for children from after school programs (moadoniote) in Netanya. The program focused on teaching the children basketball fundamentals, English sports vocabulary, and life skills such as listening, communication, and teamwork. The day served as a Mifgash (cultural exchange) between Bring It In - Israel Fellows and the Israeli children and players. Bring It In - Israel Winter Fellows Adina Weinberg, Jacob Walker, and Judah Batist from Aardvark Israel, teamed up with Barak Netanya players Eliran Gueta (Power Forward) and David Asnte (Guard)
. Bring It In - Israel Fellows utilized the in field training day to hone their Hebrew sports vocabulary, and to learn how to work together with Israelis. Bring It In - Israel looks forward to run more sports days with Barak Netanya over Hannukah. Click on the album below to see more pictures from the day.