Back in India, we played with crazy balls also known as super balls. They have interesting physical properties. Physicists love them and find them fascinating. Why?
They have extraordinary abilities to bounce in all directions.
What would happen if you dropped a baseball on the ground? It would hardly bounce back. In the case of crazy balls, they will bounce back 92% of their drop point because they have spring–like qualities.
What is special about these balls? The material and elastic collision. The crazy ball is made of elastic material that does not lose all of its kinetic energy after collision.
You must be wondering how this is related to learning? Let’s break it down.
In this article, I will use the properties of a crazy ball and apply it to learning with actionable takeaways.
The crazy ball has two superpowers:
A crazy ball is made of hard rubber that helps it bounce without loss of energy. I remember having two crazy balls as a child and they did not break, deflate or lose their shape. The material of the ball defined its personality and ability to bounce on most surfaces.
As a learner, our material can be defined as our strength and perseverance to bounce back, pivot and move forward.
2. Relationship with surfaces
The crazy ball absorbs energy and bounces back at almost similar velocity as the drop. If you drop it on a hard surface like wood, cement, the bounce will be as hard as the throw.
As a learner, how we interact with our surroundings and how we embrace the feedback define our learning energy. If the feedback is difficult, the response should be tough actions.
How can we build properties like the crazy ball to build our learning capacity?
1. Embrace the strength
Just like the ball, we should embrace the strengths we have to bounce and build. Failures in learning must lead to rest and not quitting.
2. Build resistance
The crazy ball is made up of material that helps it retain its shape and resist tough surfaces. As learners, we should plan for our codes failing or our song sounding off. Resistance in learning is key to persistence.
A crazy ball moves in all directions without biases. As learners, our openness defines our diversity in learning from all mediums. Imagine if you trained your brain to be like the crazy ball, picking up ideas from our environments and letting our curiosity go wild.
The crazy ball loses 8% of its energy as it bounces each time. After a number of bounces, it comes back to its original state of rest. Rest is fuel for learning. We need to push the brakes in order to fuel up and gain momentum in the next drop.
We need to let go of the constant need to soar high and embrace the power of rest in learning.