For the academic year of June 2017 to May 2019, I decided to learn a new sport of Table tennis where I gave 45 minutes for 3 days every week as we had our sports slots of 45 minutes for 3 days in one cycle. I decided to learn this sport in school as the school has proper training equipment ranging from automated machines and multiple tables in one room with many types of rackets to choose from. When I was adequate in playing the sport, I started going out to sports academies like STC, Sarita Sagar etc, to play the sport and practice.
In this activity the learning outcomes in focus would be: 1,2,3&4
LO1: Identify own strengths and develop areas for growth
As I am good at playing FPS Multiplayer games, I had good reflexes which helped me in reacting fast to the fast pacing ball coming towards me My trainer advised me to use the automated machine to practice the backhand shot. Which helped me a lot and I was able to perfect it to some extent. While learning to play the sport I realized that I was better at playing a forehand stroke than a backhand stroke so I took to primarily play the forehand stroke more till I could improve my backhand play. I played of the machine to improve my backhand stroke as I could vary the speed and direction of the balls so that I could adjust to each scenario and improve my playing style to suit a more around play. Amidst learning how to play, I also noticed that playing a spin style was my strength than playing an aggressive style, hence I constant tried to implement it in my matches.
LO2: Demonstrate that challenges have been undertaken, developing new skills.
The first challenge that I faced was I had no experience such a sport where a table is involved or there I very little space to play in, here I had to focus on accuracy and judgment on where the ball is going to land after I hit it. This improved over time as the activity was spread across almost a year, I received enough practice from my instructor and was able to learn this new sport effectively. I faced many challenges throughout the journey of playing Table Tennis. One of the major challenges was to cope up to the level at which my friends were playing. They were more experienced than me at the sport and it was a piece of cake for them to beat me at friendly matches. However, as I continued playing with them, I understood their playing style and understood some of the weak points which I could uses to crack their defense. Through this I developed upon my observation skills and utilized them to adjust my playing style according to my opponent which was beneficial for playing matches.
LO3: Initiate and plan a CAS experience
Planning is an essential part of life. It helps us organize our progress in life and helps us set goals for the future. Planning was also an essential part of this activity. Since this was a long term activity, I was able to plan what I wanted to accomplish ahead and set my goals to improve on the areas of the sport in which I was weak and then I was able to reflect upon them to see where I went wrong and how could I improve in the next classes. At first I would learn the basics of the sports like backhand and forehand shots and then advance to much more complex techniques like chop and spin. As I progressed further in the sport, I was able to accomplish many goals and make newer ones so that my progress was constant and wasn’t hindered in any way.
LO4: Show perseverance and commitment in CAS experience
As Malcolm Gladwell once said, “10,000 hours of deliberate practice are needed to become world-class in any field”, it is apparent that those 10000 hour need our commitment and only then can we acquire any the skills to master any field. Such is also the case in sports.Even though I had to balance between studies and sports I was able to give this activity significant amount of time and commitment as we had dedicated slots for this activity. I had to remain committed towards learning and improving in the sport to make my progress be visible to others and being consistent in improving at the sport. I tried to not skip any of the slots and keep improving my skills in this sport.
LO5: Demonstrate the skills and recognize the benefits of working collaboratively
Working collaboratively is a skill we all develop in our lives and it is an important skill which helps us succeed in our future life as there are many situations where we have to work as a team to accomplish tasks. Working collaboratively is also a skill required in Table Tennis while playing doubles. It is essential that we trust our partner and work cohesively to play and win.
By playing with several partners, I understood their playing styles and tried to adjust mine so that I could complement their style and we could play smoothly and without and conflicts.
To summarize, while playing this sport, I got to learn a lot of new things and also got the opportunity to improve on the skills that I had already acquired. This activity also helped me bond with my friends more as we spent more time together playing and knowing each other and hence it beneficial for not only my physical fitness, but also my mental fitness. I really enjoyed playing the sport and intend to continue playing it in the near future.