Serving Up Communication and Teamwork

By: Robbie Smiley, PE Teacher
Students in eighth grade have begun learning the skills of striking through a game called pickleball. This game combines elements of badminton, tennis, and table tennis and is a great way to build hand-eye coordination. With teams of two players, students are also learning how to play in zones of the pickleball court and communicate with one another to call for the ball. This communication is a great skill to build and can apply to many other physical activities and team sports.

Games are friendly and students are encouraged to be good sports by complimenting players from other teams during our matches. This encouragement has allowed students to feel comfortable making mistakes and taking risks during team games.

Pickleball was invented in the 1960’s and has become a very popular game among children and adults of all levels. The modified version of this game allows for students to improve their skills while they are learning a new sport. They can take two tries to get their serve in and can serve from a closer area if needed to encourage more rallies.

Students are given time to practice their skills individually or with small groups between games. They are focusing on four types of striking motions: the forehand, backhand, overhand, and underhand. Students are also learning the terminology of the sport, such as “baseline” “center line” “volley” “rally” and “fault.” These skills will translate to the sports of badminton and tennis which they will also be learning in physical education. 

Building teamwork and cooperation in PE helps reinforce some of the fundamental collaborative skills students use throughout their K-8 journey at Live Oak. 


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