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Team building, managing frustrations and staying in control

North West Team Instructor Sgt Bowen, describes how we channel feelings of anger and frustration and use them in positive ways.

Team Building

We have spent the morning outside on the activities field, where the mini troopers had to undertake a series of team building tasks. Each task required different skills and testing their communication, listening, voice projection, giving and receiving instructions, trusting others as one task involved the participant being blindfolded and trusting their buddy to direct them safely through to the next stage. This was not easy, as we put distractions in place to make them work that little bit harder and they had very little equipment to assist with the challenges and had to depend on each other to share ideas to figure out how to complete the tasks. HB told me “We all had so many ideas, so we chose a leader through a vote and they had the final say on which idea to use.”

GC said “We kept falling off our mats into the (pretend) river, it was really funny”.

Falling into the river

The teacher commented; “they have really listened to each other and showed great communication skills.”

We felt all the mini troopers worked extremely well with lots of communication and perseverance, they managed to successfully complete the tasks.

Staying in Control

We then introduced the mini troopers to the ‘Diplomatic Arena’. What is this? This is a safe area for the mini troopers to release any anger or negative energy through a controlled-contact sport. With faces looking up at us slightly puzzled, we asked the mini troopers to put up their hand if they have ever lost their temper. With a room full of raised arms, we asked them to keep their arms raised if loosing their temper ever made them feel sad, or if it resulted in hurting themselves or someone they loved. Explaining to the mini troopers that obviously this is to be avoided; we discussed ways we can channel our feelings of anger in what we call ‘controlled aggression’. That is, taking that negative energy and supressing it until we are in a safe environment to release it in positive ways and one of the ways we can do this is through sport. I gave the mini troopers an example, I told them how I personally find a release through swimming. When I feel tense or stressed about something, I don’t lash out or scream at someone I care for, I take it to the pool and release that energy as I swim the length of gym pool until I’m free of the angry feelings – using that energy to my advantage – making me fitter in the process. Sgt Bussell takes his aggression out through mixed martial arts, releasing the negative energy and channelling it into his contact sport. Making the mini troopers aware that there is a time and place to release their anger or frustrations, we paired them off, entered the Diplomatic Arena and had fun in a sumo and pugil session. The mini troopers went head to head with gusto and released any negative energy whilst having fun.

When pairing the mini troopers up for this exercise, we normally pair them off in height, size order and gender. Today the twins jumped at the chance to get competitive and asked to face each other in the Sumo session. The mini trooper’s cheered on the twins as they fought so hard to come away the winner. It was so much fun to watch the two rivals give it their all, especially when they are already so competitive. “I always win! I’m just smarter than him,” said MA “I won 2 out of the 3 games and he didn’t slip, I won fair.” JA said “I want a rematch, my foot slipped and I fell.”

We finished the day with a game of laser tag. Everyone had so much fun and said they wished they didn’t have to leave.

I felt the group worked really well today and I was particularly impressed with how well they worked on the command task. We had lots of loud voices today and I’m seeing the change as their confidence grows. The accompanying teacher commented, “It’s been a fun day, everyone got stuck in. I’m really starting to notice how CG is coming out of her shell and we are seeing the difference in the classroom.”

I hope you have enjoyed this week’s blog, thank you for reading. Next week we will be learning basic survival skills in Bush craft week.

For more information on our programmes please click here

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Posted: 29, January, 2016
by Sgt Bowen

Sgt Bowen is a Team Instructor in our North West Team. Formerly a Corporal in the Army Recruitment Team, after she had served for over ten years in the British Army Royal Corps of Transport where she was deployed to Germany, Northern Ireland, Kosovo, Iraq and the Falkland Islands. She is passionate about making a positive difference to the lives of the young people she works with.

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"Outdoor learning is giving them back their childhood wonder and curiosity at new things, allowing them to experience the marvel of discovery and the learning that comes from taking risks"

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