A DIFFERENT KIND OF YOUTH SPORTS
The Ball Hawk Athletic Club is designed for any kid who has a passion to play, to compete and to become a better athlete.
The club works differently than any other sports league. We run all year long, with both indoor and outdoor programs, depending on the season. Players can join anytime.
The club is divided into three cohorts (IGNITE/J-HAWKS/BALL HAWKS) each reflecting a distinct phase of programming and athletic development.
The IGNITE program is the spark - designed to ignite an interest for players in movement, sport and competition.
In this program we focus on building movement literacy - the foundation of all sport. Every game is designed to introduce players to a range of movement opportunities and skills.
Sampling plays a pivotal role at this stage, and players are introduced to a wide range of games that involve various types of throwing, catching, kicking, shooting and defending. Our focus at this stage is teaching kids the basic principles of play (attacking, defending, teamwork).
The J-HAWKS mark a transition period, where we begin to introduce some sport-specific games and activities, while also increasing the degree of competition.
Movement literacy remains important, but team sports become more frequent in this program as we begin to place a greater emphasis on developing sport literacy.
Donor sports play a pivotal role in this phase of development. Games such as Bucket Ball and Raiders are designed to integrate our focus on movement, sport and competition in a way that still encourages players to search and explore their own solutions.
BALL HAWKS is our final phase. At this stage, all three literacies are interwoven and prioritized equally.
Players are given the opportunity to play a diverse set of team sports and competitions on a regular basis. The nature of competition, leadership and teamwork are discussed far more directly with kids at this stage, reflecting their emotional and cognitive development.
Ball Hawks' remains committed to a multi-sport perspective. The kids in this phase have the opportunity to help design new donor sports and they often are given the chance to mentor younger kids.
Autonomy & Co-Design
Giving kids autonomy and a chance to create their own sports experience is critical to sustainable long-term athletic development.
Donor sports are games or activites that contribute to performance in a target sport (ie. hockey, baseball, soccer, basketball.) These activities have a high degree of specific and general transfer, while also adding a high degree of variability, customization and fun.
Small-Sided Conditioned Games
SSCG's are important for two reasons. First, small-sided games give every athlete more opportunities to play. We never play more than 6 v 6 in any game or sport, which guarantees that every kid gets into the action. Second, small-sided games allow more opportunity to customize the game and add or subtract various constraints. It is these constraints that produce new opportunties for each athlete to adapt, develop and learn.
We gamify our training by giving kids the chance to complete missions, accept challenges, achieve milestones, and earn badges. Kids can customize their badges and passports to reflect their own interests and their own skill acquisition goals.
Constraints-Led Approach (CLA)
We adopt a constraints-led approach (CLA) to coaching and program design. The goal of CLA is produce opportunities for players to explore and self-organize.