There are three essential components to the Badges for Baseball program: consistent law enforcement and adult mentorship, the Badges for Baseball curriculum, and a team sport. The program was created to reach youth by using baseball and softball as the hook. What makes the Badges for Baseball curriculum so unique is that it can be used with any team sport. Baseball, softball, basketball, soccer, and any you can think of. The lessons are applicable to any sport!
Just as The Ripken Way encourages mentors to celebrate the individual, you can do the same with the program. Some youth are more interested in playing soccer or basketball, so feel free to modify the team sport aspect to fit the interests of the kids you work with.
In the sport of volleyball, there is a high need for teamwork and communication simply because of the nature of the game. Pass, set, hit. Each action and result is dependent on what you or your teammate does: pass, set, or hit. One teammate receives the ball and passes to the setter. The setter then sets the ball to a hitter. The hitter then hits the ball over the net to the other team. And the pattern continues as the two teams begin to rally: pass, set, hit. A great drill to enhance teamwork and refine serving skill is Cheerio.
The goal of the game is to complete your team’s Cheerio as quickly as possible by serving the ball in the court with accuracy. Remind your team to use positive encouragement and cheer for one another, no matter the difference in serving skill or time on the clock.
- Begin by having the team line up single file behind the end line.
- The game starts when the first person in line serves the ball over the net.
- When the first player successfully serves the ball in the court on the other side of the net, she will run to the other side of the net. If not, she will go to the end of the line and wait for her next turn to serve.
- The first player on the opposite side of the net will create a circle with her arms. The arm circle is called the Cheerio.
- The player with the Cheerio can move as freely as necessary to try to get the next ball, served by her teammates, through the Cheerio.
- Each player will serve the ball, one at a time, to the other side of the net and try to serve the ball through the Cheerio.
- Once a teammate has successfully served the ball through the arm circle, she will run to the other side of the net, join hands with her teammate, and expand the Cheerio.
- The Cheerio will continue to expand with every successful serve through the Cheerio.
- The game is finished and time stops when the final player serves the ball through the Cheerio and joins hands with her teammates.
You can play as two separate teams competing against each other or as a whole team racing against the clock. If you choose to play as two teams, the first team to complete their Cheerio with all hands joined wins.
After the game, reflect on these questions from the Badges for Baseball Coaches Manual page 23-24 as a team:
- What did you have to do to successfully complete the task?
- Why are teammates so important to successfully complete the task?
- How did you communicate with each other throughout the game?
- How can you be a better teammate moving forward?
The team needed to work together in order to finish the game. It’s important to remember that you needed to rely on your teammates to successfully complete the Cheerio.