Physical Education and Sport at
forefront of developing adults of the future
"Millennials don't stay very long in jobs" Robin Koval
"Grit to Great: How Perseverance, Passion and Pluck Take you
from Ordinary to Extraordinary" Title of Robin Koval book.
Since Christmas in Victoria Junior School, Workington, I have
been taking time out of the PE lesson to deliver our Endurance
Run. In the initial weeks we were aiming to support every Year 5
and 6 child to run 2 minutes without stopping. People outside of
this sector might be shocked to hear this was a daunting and
difficult task for some children. However we are now 10 weeks
down the line and with perseverance and support from me, grit
and passion from the children, they are now loving their
running, extending the time weekly and loving telling me about
the extra running they are doing in their own time.
Success in PE and Sport will never be instant, you have to work
consistently hard. Another reason why I believe it should be
used so much more in society with so many more people.
Why is a demonstration so important?
In this week's tennis lessons, in my Allerdale schools, we were
working on the ready position. In previous weeks we developed
the technique to play forehand and backhand shots. This week the
children tried to remember that technique when playing a mixture
of both shots. This then led into mini matches which produced
some great rallies!
I always find that children find this week the most challenging
when teaching tennis. This is because children don't know which
side the ball is coming to them on. They have to try to remember
the correct technique for whichever side the ball bounces on.
This ends up with them having to process a lot of information in
a short space of time (before the ball bounces twice).
According to Atkinson and Shiffrin (1971) short term memory
lasts for 15-30 seconds. In order to transfer the technique to
long term memory I believe a good demonstration is vital. This
is so children can get a good picture of what they need to do to
be able to perform the skills correctly. I also back up the
demonstration with clear teaching points. I try to make the
teaching points meaningful so that children understand why it's
important to do something. For example bring the racket back
straight away, so it gives them as much time as possible and are
therefore not rushing the shot. Finally I ask questions to see
if they can remember the information before they can practice
the skill shown. Depending on how the class gets on I might stop
and re-demonstrate. This week can be frustrating but definitely
rewarding once the skills are engrained.
Importance of Creative Leaders and
After another great week in schools, I have managed to think of
new sessions and test out new ideas. I challenged myself last
week to try and create 3 new lesson ideas or games with
different ideas and practice different skills in the process.
Being creative in your lessons is the fun part and it helps to
gain new ideas, challenges and skills for future
lessons/activities. It's not always about being creative as a
coach, I also learn so much from the creativity of kids and the
ideas they bring to the games when I give them the chance to be
Follow the link to reasons why being
creative is so important in coaching:
Firstly I was asked to help the kids at Allonby school by
coaching some Tri-golf, which I had done before at Chance Camp
but never in a school. So a lesson plan was written up to teach
the children the basics of golf and the rules of playing. This
lesson worked really well and the children were fully engaged
into practising and completing challenges set.
My second challenge was to try and get kids to stay in games
whilst still gaining points for their team rather than having
kids who are out due to the traditional rules set. So during an
after school dodge ball game at St Gregory's I came up with a
system so that each player collected a cone after being hit,
this meant no player was out and came straight back into the
game. The winner was identified by having the least cones.
My final session was my Active Families session based at
Fairfield School on Saturday morning. The challenge for me was
to try and find different ways of using the same skill and to
practice the skill at different levels and in different ways.
Knowing this I tried to engage the kids by making the skill
progressively harder and using benches to move the ball along
rather than just on the floor. The kids being 2-4 years old
meant that the activities needed to be engaging, fun but needed
to move on quickly as they can lose concentration a lot quicker.
This creativity and progressing the challenge, moving to a
bench, kept them interested and ensured the skill could be
consolidated with a helping hand from mum and dad.
Psychological Benefits of Physical
Most of us know that being physically active is good for our
health, it helps build our strength, improve our cardiovascular
system and prevent chronic disease, but how much do we know
about the effects physical activity has on children's
Research has shown direct links between physical health and
mental health in childhood and adult life, highlighting a
positive correlation between physical activity and a sense of
psychological wellbeing. The more active a child is during their
early years increases the likelihood of them being active
throughout their whole life. Children exposed to sport and
physical activity at a young age develop an understanding of
social skills faster than their non-active peers, we call this
A high sense of social capital leads children to have a greater
understanding of others, builds relationships/friendships,
improves social skills, social acceptance and inclusion, creates
an understanding of right and wrong and reduces the likelihood
of the child being involved in crime/juvenile delinquency.
Along with an increase in social capital regular physical
activity in childhood can lead to an increase in emotional
capital. Emotional capital refers to improvements in how we feel
about ourselves, this can include rises in self-esteem,
self-efficacy (our belief that we can succeed), body image and
intrinsic motivation. By increasing our sense of emotional
capital we can help the prevention/treatment of stress,
depression and anxiety.
As a coach who wants to help develop healthy and happy
individuals creating an optimum environment for development is
key, the use of play in physical activity can help children and
young people to reach key development milestones and promote the
adoption of healthy physical activity behaviours throughout
their lives. I have just teamed up with Jen Benbow a local
nutrition expert and can't wait to get out into local schools
and organisations to promote physical activity and the need to
fuel our bodies accordingly.