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Thursday, May 2, 2013

Why Activities and Leadership are Important

        This past semester, I took a class called Social Recreation Leadership. In this class, we learned how important leadership and activities are. My professor has taught this class for 25 years, and these are his guidelines for leading activities. This post is the first of five for guidelines to leading activities.

       These guidelines are not intended to work in all situations. Applying guidelines requires leadership. You must decide what activities to use in different conditions. Leaders must be alert to potential problems and adjust quickly. Maximum fun and participation in a safe environment is the goal.

Why Games and Activities:
  • Remove social barriers
  • Enhance social skills and build self-esteem
  • Free participants from comparisons, criticisms, and self-doubt
  • Provide a feeling of belonging and ensure group inclusion
  • Remove win/loss, us/them, etc.
  • Give opportunities to socialize, make friends, and be together
  • Improve mental and physical health and relieve stress
  • Give a sense of achievement and success
  • Teach teamwork
  • Enact values, standards, and morals
  • Provide fun and emotional experiences
  • Break down inhibitions and allow participants to let themselves go
  • Help participants forget troubles
  • Leave participants refreshed and relaxed with a new perspective and a sharper focus on everyday life

Why Leadership is Important:
  • Sets the tone for a fun, enjoyable experience
  • Ensures equality, fairness, and involves everyone
  • Provides a physically and emotionally nurturing/safe environment
  • Gives thought and purpose to all phases of the program
  • Provides planning and organization
  • Keeps things moving

Qualities of an Effective Leader
  • Well prepared
  • Love and respect for all people
  • Enthusiastic, animated, fun, and entertaining
  • Ability to maintain group interest and control
  • Delivers clear, concise instructions
  • Group awareness
  • Creative and humble

Role of the Activity Leader
  • Smiling face
  • Positive, happy role model
  • Caring attitude
  • Help people feel good about themselves

Please comment with your thoughts and how you have been successful.

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