On Aggressive Behavior And Sports

Now that the 21st century is in its second decade, it is time for the paradigm to shift, so that non-aggressive sports fields are built at least as often as traditional aggressive sports fields.

These sports would be inclusionary. As the paradigm shifts, skill, intelligence and creative thinking will become as important as speed, strength and stamina.

There are numerous antagonistic and competitive sports. There are too few cooperative sports like Bankshot. The foundations for cooperative learning are established as much on the playgrounds and playing fields as in the classrooms.

Children have not been tested in quite the same way after playing Bankshot and video games. But many of the children were asked their impressions and evaluation for feedback as Bankshot was developing its program.

With hardly an exception, the children understood that Bankshot was a game for everyone, not for the athletic elites. No child had to stand at the sidelines and watch because they were not chosen to play. No child had to be mortified by not being “selected” for a team.

At non-aggressive sports, everybody plays. Team competition is not the driving force or core of the game.

The children also knew and understood that their instinct to be gracious to one another and to coach one another on how to take the various shots along the Bankshot course – and not to be constantly competitive – was conducive to friendship.

They were having an enjoyable time making use of their intelligence and learning skills.

In Bankshot, the players understand that they are to be cooperative with one another and to help each other. They rebound for one another, retrieve and pass the ball. They tend to instruct one another at each station’s challenge. They tend to be nice to one another, not having alienated each other with intimidation, power displays and body contact.

Children walk off the Bankshot courts arm in arm, having deepened their friendships, enjoyed each other’s company and having had fun at play.

Rabbi Dr. Reeve Robert Brenner has published books and articles in the sociology of religion and the sociology of recreation. He is the inventor of Bankshot Basketball and created the concept “Total-Mix Sports based on Universal Design.”

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