Flag football and flexibility
Flexibility is an executive function skill that we’re asked to practice in countless ways in our daily lives. For example, this past weekend the NFL changed the rules and format of its traditional All-Pro game in an effort to keep its players safe. The new format — flag football — required the players to adapt to an entirely different style of football. The players needed to be flexible in their thinking and decision-making processes, especially during the fast-paced action of the game.
Flexibility is an important executive function skill as situations often require an ability to think creatively or differently in order to achieve a goal. Students may need to think flexibly in their approach to a difficult math problem that’s stumping them, or to develop a more successful homework routine. When something isn’t working, when they’re faced with a change in plans, or when your child is stuck, model how to pause and consider a different approach. Talk through the change of plan or new approach out loud so your child can be privy to your thought process and see how it’s done. The more students see flexibility modeled, whether by you or NFL players, the better they’ll be able to respond when you’re not around to problem-solve with them.