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teach:course-building-guide [2015/09/11 03:35] (current)
eric created
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 +====== Course Building Guide ======
  
 +Courses challenge students physically and mentally by forcing them to test how well different movements actually work. Besides this, a course can serve as a great climax for your class and a synthesis of the different things you’ve worked on in that session. If you decide to use a course, try to make it...
 +
 +===== Memorable =====
 +
 +What makes your course fun and interesting?​ Would you enjoy running it yourself or want to show it to another coach?
 +
 +Your course should feel special and fun. There are a lot of different ways to do this, but it can be hard to make this happen quickly. If you’re struggling with this, try starting with a gimmick or centerpiece and working out from there. Create one fun thing like a slide, a rope swing, or a big jump, and then build your course out from either side. 
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 +When you’re done with your course, ask yourself whether you would enjoy running it yourself. Would you be excited to show it to another coach? If you don’t have time to make your course fun and special, don’t use a course.
 +
 +===== Manageable =====
 +
 +As you are constructing your course, consider where you will position yourself while the course is running. Optimally, you should be able to see the entire course from your coach station. If this isn’t possible, identify the points of your course with the most possibility for danger and make sure you can see them all. If you have an element that needs to be spotted, that element needs to be at your coach station. If this isn’t possible, don’t include that element.
 +
 +The design of your course determines how many people can be on it at once and how quickly they will move through it. If you have a large class, don’t make a slow course that only takes one person at a time. Especially in kids classes, have a plan for what students will do while they wait in line. Give them something to play with or a challenge to work on so that they’re not dying of boredom while they wait for their turn to go. 
 +
 +===== Sensible =====
 +A course should make visual and intuitive sense. Once  you show your students the start and end points and the basic path of the course, they should never get lost. If your students stop running to ask you where they go next, there is a problem with the course. ​
 +
 +One thing that really helps with this is removing extra equipment from the course. Unused vault boxes and trainers draw students’ attention and pull them off course. Consider the shape of the run path. Straight lines are simple, zigzags and crossovers are complicated. The more complex the shape of your course, the more disciplined you need to be about making it visually clear.
 +
 +Rules should be simple, intuitive, and consistent. If the black mat is lava, it’s lava everywhere. Where possible, indicate rules visually. Instead of saying “don’t jump between these two boxes”, make a wall out of a panel mat so they CAN’T jump between the boxes. See also: cones on top of boxes.
 +
 +Assigning a certain movement to an obstacle counts as a rule; you should generally avoid doing this. If you want your students to practice specific movements, design your course such that those movements are the most efficient and then suggest (or use them as you demo the course) them rather than mandating them.
 +
 +===== Scalable =====
 +
 +Your course should be challenging and fun for everyone in your class, despite differences in skill level. Generally you can accomplish this with alternative routes, optional equipment, and individual challenges. Alternative routes are generally pretty easy to implement (“cat across this gap or traverse along the side”) but you risk changing the impact of the course for students who take the alternative path. You can also add equipment to help people get past certain obstacles. Draping green bands down a sloped wall can make the climbup possible for kids who would normally be unable to make it. Finally, you can offer individual challenges to students who are outperforming your course. These are simple to do and have the advantage of leaving the course unaltered for the rest of the students.