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Pin is a blue little monster. He is 11 years old and he is in the 5th course of primary education. He has got a lot of friends at school: Sam, Cheek, Lyn...
One day of April, during a lesson of Physical Education at school, the teacher explains what they have to do during the month:
- Good morning, boys and girls!
- Good morning, Miss!
- How often do you do exercise?
- Pardon? - Pin says.
- How often do you play sports?
- Oh, OK. Let me think… I play basketball twice per week. – Nira says.
- That’s great, Nira! And what about you, Nira?
- I play football three times per week.
- Well done. And you, Lyn?
- I do gymnastics four times per week!
- Wow! That’s amazing! And what about you, Pin? Do you play football too?
- No, I don’t. I hate football. I prefer doing karate. In my opinion, karate is the best sport.
- I don’t know. I don’t like teamwork. I am not good at working with other people. I think that individual sports are more comfortable and easier.
- But when you do karate, you have to work with another person.
- Yes, you are right, but I decide my movements, without the help of other people.
- Well, I respect your opinion, but the sport of this month is American football. This sport is typical in the United States of America and it is very popular in the world. Have you ever heard about it?
- Yes, I have! My cousin plays American football. She is better at sports than me!
- Oh, that sounds great, Fan! And have you ever played American football?
- Yes, I have. It is exciting and fun!
- Well, so now it is time to explain the rules of this sport. There are two teams. In every teme, there are eleven players. The players of a team must work together to win points. To score a touchdown, that is, to win 6 points, run to the goal area of the opponent’s field.
- And how long is a match, Miss?
- Oh, yes, I almost forget it! There are four parts of 15 minutes each in every match.
- Oh, an American football match is shorter than a basketball match, but it is longer than a football match.
- Really? How long is a basketball match?
-There are 4 parts of 10 minutes each.
- And what is the difference between football and American football?
- Well, in a football match, there are two parts of 45 minutes each and the main difference is that in football, players hit the ball with their feet and in American football, players use their hands to carry the ball.
- Wow, it is interesting. OK, guys, do you have any doubt about the game?
- No, we don’t, Miss!
- OK. So let’s play! Remember, share the ball, run very quickly and block the opponent team, please. Everyone must participate.
The students start the match. Everyone is excited and Pin thinks that he is the best player in the class, so he starts to play, but he doesn’t share the ball with his classmates. He runs and he even hits some children to arrive to the opponent’s field. Suddenly, the teacher shouts:
- Stop! Time out!
- What is wrong, Miss?
- Pin, don’t do that! Share the ball with the members of your team and play in teamwork!
- OK, Miss. I am sorry.
The match continues. While Pin is keeping the ball, Fan, one of his classmates, shouts:
- Come on, Pin, share the ball! I am here!
Pin doesn’t listen to Fan and continues running with the ball in his hands, so the teacher shouts again:
- Time out! Pin, you are not following the rules of the game. You are not cooperating with your friends. I feel really disappointed. You are out of the game!
Pin sits down on the bench, next to Cat, a student who can’t play because he is injured and they start to speak:
- Hello, Pin. Why are you here?
- Well, I have not shared the ball with my classmates, so I am out of the game…
- Oh, I can see what you mean… Well, you should be more cooperative and you must follow the rules. You need your team’s help to win the match. American football is a cooperative sport.
- Yes, you are right. In my family, we don’t play cooperative sports. I normally do karate, my sister usually plays tennis, my parents often goes running and my brother works as a dancer, so sharing the ball is difficult for me.
- I understand, but you must try.
- OK, thanks for the advice.
The next day, Pin changes his mind and decides to be a more cooperative player than before. Her teacher is very happy for his evolution:
- Well done, Pin! Now, everyone can participate and your team is stronger than yesterday.
- Thanks, teacher. I have discovered that a team works better with coordination.
From that day on, Pin discovers that karate is his favourite sport, but he starts to play new sports, like rugby, baseball, judo, hockey, swimming, cycling and handball. Moreover, Pin learns a lesson: he discovers that he can enjoy more when he plays sports with other people, like his family or his friends.
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