What is Sport Stacking®?
Sport Stacking®, often referred to as Cup Stacking® is the up stacking and down stacking of 12 specially designed cups in predefined sequences.  Speed Stacks is the official supplier of the World Sport Stacking Association (WSSA). Each year in April the WSSA hold the World SPort Stacking Championships. At this event stackers from over 20 countries participate to show their speed and skill at stacking.


It’s True. Exercise and Sport Stacking helps Children learn.

We all know that Exercise makes us feel better, but most of us have no idea why. We assume it’s because we’re burning off stress or reducing muscle tension or boosting endorphins, and we leave it at that.  In the view of Dr John Ratey, Clinical Associate professor of psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, and author of SPARK,  The revolutionary new science of exercise and the Brain,  the real reason we feel so good when we get our blood pumping is that it makes the brain function at it’s best, and  this  benefit of physical activity is far more important and fascinating than what it does for the body.  Building muscles and conditioning the heart and lungs are essentially side effects. Dr Ratey often tells his patients that the point of exercise is to build and condition the brain.

So, what the best exercise to get the brain to function at it’s best? Dr Ratey suggests choosing a sport that simultaneously taxes the cardiovascular system and the brain – Tennis is a good example – or do a 10 minute aerobic warm up before something non aerobic and skill based, such as rock climbing or Sport Stacking.

While aerobic exercise elevates neurotransmitters, creates new blood vessels that pipe in growth factors, and spawns new cells, complex activities put all that material to use by strengthening and expanding networks. The more complex the movements the more complex the synaptic connections.

And even though these circuits are created through movement, they can be recruited by other areas and used for thinking.  This is why learning to play the Piano makes it easier for kids to learn math.  The prefrontal cortex will co-opt the mental power of the physical skills and apply it to other situations

Sport Stacking fulfills these criteria and is an excellent sport which is skill and activity based.

Other benefits are everyone can play the sport, it improves eye hand coordination, improves ambidexterity and teaches patterning and sequencing.  Patterning and sequencing are the fundamentals basics of reading, writing and arithmetic.  The proof is in research studies as well as many Occupational Therapists in South Africa who have shown that their patients have improved dramatically after stacking regularly for a few weeks.

At this time of the year when most children start writing exams, they make the mistake of stopping all sport. This is the worst thing to do.  Research has shown that the brain functions the best immediately after exercise.  These students should go for a 20 min run and stack for 15mins in order to get the brain functioning at its optimum performance.

We should therefore be encouraging our children and adults not to reach for the remote, but to reach for the tackies and go for a run.  Run for 20 mins and stacks for 20mins.  This is the best form of medication for stress and anxiety and will get your brain working at maximum performance.

Gavin Penkin
gavin@speedstacks.co.za 
South African Division World Sport Stacking Association
www.speedstacks.co.za

Sport Stacking on Motor Skills Development

Friday, 28 November 2008

Sport Stacking is an excellent activity for all ability levels of children.It helps with, the development of motor skills, promotes hand eye coordination, improves dexterity and quickness, increases focus and concentration, as well as improving self image. Using Sport Stacking as an integral part of the school curriculum will further improve the child’s ability to master, sequencing, which is a basic concept required for mathematics.

The child also learns to be more proficient in rhythm and is encouraged to use both sides of the brain. It is an ideal activity to help a child set personal goals and it can be implemented to promote team work. Sport Stacking provides the child with a sense of achievement in a stress free environment including loads of fun. Implementing Sport Stacking in my movement programmes and in therapy has benefited the children to such an extent that improvements are observable in reading, writing and mathematics.

The skills developed in Sport Stacking form the basis of learning readiness.

Dr Soezin Krog
Senior Lecturer University of South Africa
Movement Specialist 

 
Influence of Stacking on Hand-Eye Coordination and Reaction Time of 2nd Grade Students
Wednesday, August 22nd, 2007  
Dr. Steven R. Murray, Brian Udermann, John M. Mayer, Kenneth Sagendorf - Mesa State College - Perceptual and Motor Skills, Spring 2004
Summary: Sport stacking has been adopted recently by many physical education programs to enhance rudimentary motor skills such as hand-eye coordination and ambidexterity as well as quickness and concentration; however, no empirical evidence has been published to support these claims.
We examined the influence of stacking on hand-eye coordination and reaction time of 24 boys and 18 girls in second grade as measured by the Soda Pop and Yardstick tests, respectively.
Two physical education classes were randomly assigned as treatment and control groups and were pre- and posttested for hand-eye coordination and reaction time. The treatment group participated in a 5-week sport-stacking program.
Significant improvements were noted for both hand-eye coordination and reaction time between the pre- and post test scores for this group but not for the control group.
Therefore, sport stacking is indeed effective in enhancing hand-eye coordination and reaction time.