Falling for safety

There are  many things to fall off of and down.  Most of us do not think of that until we actually fall, right?  You could fall off of a slide (you’ve probably heard of that happening), or off of the monkey bars (ditto), or down steps, or you could trip over a stone.  You get the picture.  There are many different ways we could end up on the ground. 

At Horizon, the students are taught how to fall “properly”.  After all, if you are falling, you might as well fall as correctly as possible, right?  Since children learn faster when having fun, we play a “game” to teach how to fall.  Here is what we do to teach the students how to fall as safely as possible:

  • have the students in a line all facing front
  • the coach walks behind the line and taps one student (the students won’t know which one)
  • as soon as the student is tapped, they do the fastest forward roll possible

The reason for this is for the child to break their fall by rolling out of it.  What better way than to play a fun game to get the point across?  If, when falling, they lock their arms, it could cause a break as they try to brace themselves for the impact.  We’ve all heard of that too.  Or even worse, if the head or neck is hit during the fall, there could be much worse injuries.

We do the same “game” when teaching how to fall backwards.  You know, there is no guarantee which way we will fall.  This time, the coach walks in front of the students that are in line, and taps one student.  When that student is tapped, they hurry and sit in a squat as fast as they can and then do a backward roll.  Again, if they had put their arms in back of them to “catch” themselves as they are falling, they could break their arm or elbow or  injure their head or neck.  By rolling, the student hopefully avoids very harmful injuries.