Listen to the episode below!
A Q&A with OMNIKIN® U.S. Coordinator, Scott Williams:
[0:23] Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got introduced to OMNIKIN®?
[0:27] I taught elementary physical education for 15 years before leaving in 2019 to run my own summer camp business. I also taught high school physical education in summer school for five years and I was introduced to OMNIKIN® probably the first year I moved down here to Charlottesville, Virginia. We had a rotating 48-inch OMNIKIN® pink ball that just rotated around the various schools and we have to sign up for it. And I remember asking about what the heck is that thing? I had no idea! I’ve never seen it before and when I was introduced to it and saw some of the activities we could do, I absolutely fell in love and was thrilled to learn that there were other products too.
[1:11] So it wasn’t just the big pink ball, as everybody refers to it, but we had the smaller OMNIKIN® SIX balls too, which I honestly can’t tell you like when I’m exhibiting their like, which one’s gonna buy, I can buy one, I can buy the 48-inch or a set of OMNIKIN® SIX, and I’m like, I don’t know, I can’t tell you because it’s just, I love them both equally and you know that we have plenty of other products too, but those two were just, I just absolutely love them.
[1:40] I’m like a big kid. So I think I’m a good gauge of what the kids will feel, what various teachers around the country’s students will feel being high school kids, elementary kids and they just go bananas. You just throw it out there, you don’t have to do anything, you just throw it out there on the floor and they just start going nuts over us. So it just, it just generates so much excitement and it’s truly a unique product and I use it all the time in my, in my summer camp business and you know, I do birthday parties throughout the years, kind of outreach for the summer camp and a lot of my former students are like, can you blow up the OMNIKIN® balls, can you bring the OMNIKIN® balls and for special occasions, I’ll blow those up outside and take them outside too because they’re indoors/outdoors, very durable. So I absolutely definitely biased, but I’ve loved it 15 years before I started working with OMNIKIN®. So I think I’m a pretty good judge of the quality of the product and just the dynamic nature of it. I absolutely love it.
[2:40] I think that’s what I’ve been incredibly impressed with as well. It’s lightweight. It can be used with all ages and it’s also incredibly durable too.
[2:48] Yeah, my favorite thing to do is, and it’s tough to do because everybody wants to do it, but I’ll have a little kindergartner put the 48-inch ball over their head and just hold it with one hand and it’s a little bit cumbersome, but it’s not, the weight is fine. They can totally push it up over their head and they think it’s the most hilarious thing. They love it.
[3:04] That’s awesome Scott. What’s your role as the OMNIKIN® coordinator?
[3:08] I’m lucky enough to set up all the conferences that we will exhibit. So this year, for example, we’ll be hopefully at about 13 conferences and I get to I love planning travel and I love organizing fun things and PE conferences, I’m sure you’ve been to them before. They are an absolute blast. So not only do I get to set up which places I and my colleagues go to, to share OMNIKIN®, but I get to go and meet all these different pe teachers and have fun with them. Sometimes I’m able to get away and do a couple of sessions, but it’s a ton of fun so we submit all the proposals, set up the exhibit paperwork, and so that my travel, that’s all the stuff that’s not super fun, but then after that, it’s just kind of fun to get to go share it. I love it. I mean, I think you heard it, my first answer, I’m very passionate about OMNIKIN® so I love sharing my passion with others and just get to go talk to teachers and do one or two sessions at each conference. So we’ll get an hour or two sessions at each individual state conference and you know just show them just rapid-fire about 6-8 activities that I’ve used in my teaching that I think is very beneficial and that I think that my attendees would benefit from as well.
What to Expect from an OMNIKIN® Session
[4:31] What can someone expect if they attend an OMNIKIN® session?
[4:35] So right away, I love getting there early and I referenced just tossing the balls out. We don’t get an opportunity to do that much in PE. Free time kinda isn’t a thing in physical education but camp it is and conferences there is too because there’s a little 15 minute, 30 minute time in between sessions so I get all the balls pumped up, I just invite people to come out and like come play just check it out.
[5:03] I know you’re all looking at it like all the kids as soon as you bring it in they just want to hit the ball and adults most of us, most of the pe teachers hopefully are just like big kids anyway so they want to come out and you get people out there just starting their own games and just doing some volleyball skills. They love doing any type of striking activities with the OMNIKIN® SIX balls and you got the footballs, the Super Balls, it’s a novel thing, seeing an oversized football that’s super light. So we got guys, women, and men out there tossing a football around and yeah, so after that 1st 15 minutes where I let them play with the equipment, it’s just a rapid-fire about 6-8 activities like here’s some of the crowd favorites, all-time favorites and just try to share as many things as I can because I know that most of us are visual and kinesthetic learners. So instead of me talking about it, I try to get them moving as soon as possible, try to share as many activities as possible and you know, just get them having fun, get them having fun.
Get a More In-Depth Experience by Hosting OMNIKIN® for a Workshop
[6:06] Yeah, that sounds like a lot of fun and a lot of activity. Now, I don’t know if many teachers know that OMNIKIN® actually does district workshops as well. Tell me about those.
[6:16] Were trying to get more of those out there. So we’re in the works now of promoting those a little bit more so you can contact me and we try to set up a time that either I or another OMNIKIN® presenter can come out and just share at the district and you know those things will vary whether they have an hour or two. It’s all over the place trying to talk with people and you know, find what suits them best. But getting out there for two or three hours where I can show all of the things that OMNIKIN® offers. You know, the 48-inch ball, the big pink ball as everybody refers to it. There’s just a plethora of games and activities that are available. So it gives me time to kind of show that, but not be in such a rush to get it done. So it’s not rapid fire. So we can reflect a little bit, talk more about modifications. I love getting the teachers involved in hearing what ideas they would have for modifications, but also it gives me a chance to share Kin Ball as well. Kin Ball is the organized game that we’ll talk later more later about, but just the progression of Kin Ball, takes a good 20 minutes to show the proper progression. That’s in conference format where I’m kind of rushing through it. So we get more activities, but it’s also not at such a rapid-fire pace and, and I love the rapid-fire pace and most of the attendees love it as well, but it is good to kind of be able to slow down and I like to hear from my attendees. The same thing with my students, I always had a really good report with my students and campers because they know I want to hear their ideas and I will implement their ideas and when I have all these dynamic PE teachers out there.
[8:13] In a session format, I’m talking for an hour, I barely get to get to talk to them, but if I’m there workshop 2-3 hours, I get to slow it down. We talk about modifications, challenges they may have or foresee in their classroom, but also I talk about ways a lot more in a workshop than in an hour-long session. How we can modify these activities to support their SOLs. So there, it doesn’t take much just to change the name of the game, change the name of the ball, or of the person chasing the ball. You know that that can they can now support an SOL in third grade or in 10th grade or you know, it could be health-related, it could be skills related and just talking about how we can make the like to say we make our movement meaningful. So what more ways that we can make this OMNIKIN® and yeah it’s fun. It’s a ton of fun but there are some things that we can do to make that movement more meaningful and address those standards and why not address those standards while we’re having a ton of fun? So I can relay a lot of that in the sessions that we do at the conferences, but we just have way more time to talk about it in the workshop.
[9:25] Yeah, I love that OMNIKIN® has built out lessons that implement national standards and ensure quality PE around their products. Now, if someone wants to bring OMNIKIN out to their state conference or bring you guys out for a school or district workshop, what’s the best way to contact you?
[9:43] They can contact me at coordinationusa@OMNIKIN.com. That’s my OMNIKIN® email. My personal email, some people contact me through there too that’s firstname.lastname@example.org and they can also go to the OMNIKIN® website, there’s a contact us option there and that would eventually get filtered onto me too, but they can always contact me directly.
[10:09] Thanks so much for joining us, Scott! Visit OMNIKIN® online at www.OMNIKIN.com. You can view their product selection, learn more about workshops and view OMNIKIN® lesson plans. Subscribe to the PE Express podcast for more tips, activity ideas, and teaching strategies to help you become a better pe professional. We’ll see you soon right here on the PE Express podcast, powered by Gopher, your resource for all things Physical Education.