Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Becoming a Greater PE Teacher

In a previous blog, the topic discussed was about the responsibilities of a PE teacher which included educating students while also motivating them to actively participate in class. Today, different ways to become a greater PE teacher will be explained. Being a facilitator, providing encouragement, and utilizing music during class are all components to becoming a greater PE teacher.   
Be the Facilitator
It is important to maintain good classroom management while being the facilitator during physical education class. Do not allow students to pick their own teams for team sport activities. As the physical educator, pick the teams for the students randomly or divide the more athletic students up evenly. Number the kids off, have them draw straws, or pick teams at random; there are a variety of creative ways to make teams.2 Whatever you do though, don’t let them choose the teams themselves!2 This prevents the embarrassment of the students that often get picked last because of their lack of athletic ability.

Encouragement is another key to becoming a greater PE teacher. One of the best ways to engage your kids, and keep them engaged, is to encourage them!2 Students need positive reinforcement, especially in elementary school. Some students may not receive praise at home so it is the physical educator's job to provide a smile or a pat on the back to keep them going.

Utilize Music
Music not only gives background noise during activities, but it can also be utilized as a classroom management tool. When the music is playing in my gym, students automatically move around; when I turn off the music, they instantly stop what they’re doing and look for new directions or instruction.1 Utilizing music in this manner, eliminates having to use verbal cues to make transitions.     

Be the facilitator by picking teams for each activity. Provide encouragement to students because they may not receive it at home and it also keeps students engaged. Utilize music as a tool to maintain classroom management. Greater physical educators will do all three of these and more in order to make an impact on the students they teach.
1Jodi. (ND). Energetic, empowering p.e. teachers on tpt. Retrieved November 15, 2016 from:
2NA. (ND). 15 Fantastic ways to be a better pe teacher. Retrieved November 15, 2016 from:

The Role of PE Teachers

In a previous blog, the topics discussed were the differences between physical education and physical activity. The responsibilities of a PE teacher include educating students while also motivating them to actively participate in class.  
Physical education classes are often not taken seriously by core subject teachers because they feel like essential learning does not take place in the gym. Roddel explained that learning does take place in the gym.2 I teach the students how to be safe while they learn how to play a game or sport that will engage their brains and their bodies.2 I teach them how to work together.2 Although students are not sitting in a desk to learn about math or science, topics like spacial awareness, personal safety, and rules of games are being learned. While the PE instructor is satisfying the responsibility of educating students, motivating students is the other responsibility that needs to be fulfilled as well.

After creating a lesson plan, a physical education teacher's responsibility is to motivate students to participate in prescribed activities.1 Participation is the most important part of PE. If a student is not moving around or engaged in the activity of choice then they essentially do not learn anything during that class. Every physical educator needs to possess the ability to get students excited about the lesson of the day because their grade is usually based heavily on their participation in class.
Educating and motivating students are the two main responsibilities of a physical educator. PE teachers engage their minds and bodies while motivating them to get active during the activities that are taught. Next to be discussed are ways to become a great physical education instructor.
1NA. (ND). What does a physical education teacher do? Retrieved November 15, 2016 from:

2Roddel. (2014). What i’ve learned: a pe teacher clears up a few misconceptions about “gym” class. Retrieved November 15, 2016 from:

Physical Education versus Physical Activity

In a previous blog, the topic discussed was about the importance of teaching students physical activities and nutritional eating habits at an early age to encourage a lifetime of health. In this blog, the differences between physical education and physical activity will be explained.  
Physical Education Mission
The purpose of physical education classes are to teach students a variety of physical activities and nutritional eating habits. School physical education programs offer the best opportunity to provide physical activity to all children and to teach them the skills and knowledge needed to establish and sustain an active lifestyle.1 The basic skill sets of each physical activity are taught to students so they may be able to participate in that physical activity during their free time outside of school.

The expectations of a physical education class is much different from those of an athletics program or competitive recreational program. Physical education contains physical activity, but it also contains a lot of other things that set up children for long-term health of the body, mind, and spirit.2 Physical education focuses more on the lifetime health of students rather than performance.

What is Physical Activity?
Physical activity is considered to be anything that requires the body to move. When kids are at home and head out to play freeze tag or red light green light, or when they head to dance practice, or when they chase lightning bugs around the yard, it also accounts for physical activity...It releases endorphins, builds muscle and bone density, and improves coordination.2 These types of physical activities are beneficial to the health of students, but it is not considered physical education because cognitive learning is not taking place.
It is important to know that there is a difference between PE and physical activity even though physical activity is included in PE. The difference is that during recreational physical activity there is no cognitive learning taking place. Next to be discussed are the responsibilities of a PE teacher.
1Shape America. (ND). Is it physical education or physical activity? Retrieved November 9, 2016 from:
2Spark. (ND). Physical activity vs. pe: what’s the difference? Retrieved November 9, 2016 from:

Teaching Lifetime Health Early

In a previous blog, the topic discussed was about how physical education classes should not be reduced by any margin, because physical activity aids academic performance. In this blog, the importance of teaching students physical activities and nutritional eating habits at an early age to encourage a lifetime of health will be explained.
Variety of Physical Activities
There are plenty of physical activities that can not only be done in the gym during school, but outside of school for the rest of their lives. The essential goal of physical educators is to promote a lifetime of physical fitness and health to their students. Although it is the goal of the PE teacher to promote this healthy lifestyle choice, a student’s lifestyle is initially influenced by their upbringing. Studies have shown that lifestyles learned as children are much more likely to stay with a person into adulthood.2

Eating Habits
In order to encourage a lifestyle of nutritional eating, students should be taught what is healthy and what is unhealthy at as early as 2 or 3 years of age. The kids may want to stick to the bland, beige, starchy diet (think chicken nuggets, fries, macaroni), but this is really the time to encourage fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans, which all provide fiber.1 As a physical educator, not only teaching good eating habits, but practicing nutritional eating habits would help students live a healthy lifestyle.

One of the purposes of PE is to provide students with a variety of physical activities that they can participate in outside of school during their toddler years. The other purpose of physical education is to introduce nutritional eating habits at an early age as well. Next to be discussed, will be the differences between physical education class and athletics.
1NA. (2016). Childhood nutrition. Retrieved November 2, 2016 from:
2NA. (2016). Lifetime sports. Retrieved November 2, 2016 from:

PE Helps Academics

In a previous blog, the topic discussed was about  physical education classes being important for the health of students, yet PE class times are still being reduced, and parents are becoming concerned. School administration needs to realize that physical education classes should not be cut short or completely out of schools because it helps academics subjectively and objectively.  
Subjective Benefits
PE should not even be in the conversation of being reduced. Students cannot be expected to perform at high levels academically if their time to be physically active in school is being reduced. The longer children and teens are forced to sit and grow roots in their chairs, the harder it will be for them to bloom.2 Students need to be given that allotment of time to run around, walk around, and be physically active in order to help them succeed in the classroom. When students are not given time to be physically active, it leads to behavioral problems in the classroom.  If school administration keeps PE in schools, it will help decrease these behavior problems.  
Objective Benefits
People can make an argument on how there is no positive correlation between PE and academics, but it is hard to argue against facts that prove PE helps academics. There have been studies that prove physical activity has a direct, positive impact on academic performance. Research has also shown that after 30 minutes on the treadmill, students solve problems up to 10 percent more effectively.1 10 percent is not much, but any margin of positivity is still positive impact on academic performance. 30 minutes is not even much time to have a physical education class so just think about how much more of a positive impact 45-60 minutes of physical activity could have on academics.

As an aspiring physical educator, PE should not be reduced by any margin because physical activity aids academic performance and there are facts to prove it. Next to be discussed is what a lifetime of health consists of.
1Mercola. (2012). Physical fitness in childhood linked to higher reading and math scores. Retrieved October 24, 2016 from:
2NA. (ND). How does physical activity affect academic performance? Retrieved October 24, 2016 from:

Why PE?

In a previous blog, the topic discussed was about the health-related diseases, that could be prevented through introduction to both healthy eating habits and a variety of physical activities. Despite childhood obesity, physical education classes and recess are being reduced. Physical activity is important to the overall success of students. With PE programs being cut, it is causing parents to become concerned.
Importance of Physical Activity
Physical education classes and recess have a numerous amount of positive effects on students. Regular physical activity in childhood and adolescence improves strength and endurance, helps build healthy bones and muscles, helps control weight, reduces anxiety and stress, increases self-esteem, and may improve blood pressure and cholesterol levels.2 It is healthy for students to be able to get up and move around for at least 60 minutes of their day.

Cutting PE Programs
Although physical education programs are beneficial to the health of students, they are being reduced significantly. 44 percent of the nation’s school administrators have cut significant amounts of time from physical education, arts and recess so that more time could be devoted to reading and mathematics since the passage of No Child Left Behind in 2001.3 Parents are starting to become concerned as this trend continues.
Parent Concerns
School administrations across the nation feel that reducing physical education class times would have a positive impact on academics, but the parents do not share that mutual feeling. With the troubling statistics regarding childhood obesity, health experts, educators, and parents are expressing concern that cutting recess will further contribute to weight and health problems without actually improving academic performance.2 Until school administrators find an alternate solution for increasing academic performance, parents will continue to be concerned about the reduction of PE time.       
Despite physical education classes being important for the health of students, PE class times are still being reduced, and parents are becoming concerned. Next to be discussed  is how physical education helps academics.
1Lue, E. (2013). Cutting physical education and recess: troubling trends and how you can help. Retrieved from:

2NA. (2015). Physical activity facts. Retrieved from:
3Patterson, J. (2013). Many schools cutting back on physical education. Retrieved from:

Monday, November 28, 2016

The Secret Sense

What does it mean to have body awareness? What does awareness have to do with joint position? Most importantly, how is body awareness relevant to sport? All are commonly asked questions which are all simple to answer with one concept, Proprioception.
Proprioception is the awareness of one’s joint positions within space. Proprioceptors are sensors that provide information about joint angle, muscle length, and muscle tension, which is integrated to give information about the position of the limb in space.2 There are two types of proprioceptors, muscle spindles and Golgi tendons. Muscle spindles are located within the muscles and are responsible for detecting stretch. They are set to determine to what extent can an individual stretch until an injury occurs. Golgi tendons are located within the tendons of the joints. They are responsible for detecting tension and caution the individual prior to an injury.2
Need more understanding?

Think of proprioception as a sixth sense. In sport, imagine paying attention to one’s arms when passing or shooting a basketball, or paying attention to one’s legs when kicking a soccer ball. Normally, a person does not pay attention to their arm or leg placement due to having body awareness and recognizing which joint position is necessary in order to carry out the desired actions. As an example, close your eyes and try to balance on one leg. Did you notice a postural sway? Did you notice muscles firing all throughout your leg? This occurs because the body is aware of the unbalance, and wants to not only correct but maintain balance through proprioception.
Body awareness, also known as proprioception is the recognition of one’s joint within space. It provides information about the state of the body parts in relation to each other and relative to the environment. Not only is it essential for activities of daily living but it is especially essential for sport due to the physical demand and quick motions that are involved within sportive activities. The two most important factors that athletes’ body are particularly sensitive to are muscle spindles and golgi tendons. Without these two factors, it will be extremely difficult for the athlete to move and function appropriately.

1Alpert, B., Field, T. M., Goldstein, S., & Perry, S. (1990). Aerobics enhances cardiovascular fitness and agility in preschoolers. Health Psychology, 9(1), 48.
2Performance, P. (2004). The Research Newsletter on Stamina, Strength and Fitness. Achilles Tendonitis: Prevention & Treatment.

3Voelcker‐Rehage, C., Godde, B., & Staudinger, U. M. (2010). Physical and motor fitness are both related to cognition in old age. European Journal of Neuroscience, 31(1), 167-176.

Components of Motor Fitness for the Athlete

Components of Motor Fitness for the Athlete
There are three main components of motor fitness that athletes specialize in which are stamina, coordination, and agility. Each component work together to aid to the ability of the body to exercise physical demands; the more efficient the body functions, the higher the level of fitness it will achieve. A combination of all three factors allow an athlete to increase their athletic performance.
Stamina is the ability to sustain physical activity or sport over a prolonged period of time. In order to build stamina, it requires physical training and mental focus. There are many benefits to building one’s stamina; which are decreases the risk of heart disease, lowers blood pressure and stress, produces higher energy level, decrease chance of early fatigue, as well as burn fat more rapidly.2 There are many other benefits to increasing one’s stamina; however, those are the most predominant effects on the body.
Coordination is the ability to move various body parts simultaneously while under control, smoothly and effectively. A good skill level of coordination involves having an equal, yet strong combination of the previously discussed components of fitness; strength, endurance, and flexibility. There are two main types of coordination; hand-eye and foot-eye coordination. Hand-eye coordination uses fine motor skills to create an action such as catching a baseball, hitting a tennis ball, or hit a golf ball. On the other hand foot-eye coordination also uses fine motor skills to elicit a desired action such as kicking a soccer ball or performing a standing or running long jump.1 The major benefit of perfecting one’s coordination is the advancement in athletic performance as a whole.
The other important concept of motor fitness is agility. Agility is the ability to quickly change body position or direction of the body. It is influenced by one’s coordination discussed in the previous text. There are seven components of agility which includes a few of the major components of fitness; Strength, Power, Acceleration, Deceleration, Coordination, Dynamic Balance, Dynamic Flexibility. Benefits of increasing one’s agility includes neuromuscular adaptation, improved athleticism and cardiovascular endurance, as well as injury prevention and decreased rehabilitation time1.
All three components stamina, coordination, and agility helps to increase one’s physical fitness and athletic capabilities. Each concept connects together because each depends on the other in order to reach one’s optimum fitness capacity.

1Nagasaki, H., Itoh, H., & Furuna, T. (1995). A physical fitness model of older adults. Aging Clinical and Experimental Research, 7(5), 392-397.

2Rohmann, R. (2013, October 21). How to Increase Cardio Stamina. Retrieved 2016, from

What Method is Best for Athletes?

What is the best training method for athletes? That is the million dollar question. From the four methods I’ve talked about, it can be hard choosing one for a particular athlete. Conjugate, concurrent, sequential, and 5:3:1 all have their advantages for different people, but also have their cons. Also, knowing when to use the method such as in off-season, in-season, or post-season is crucial to an athlete's performance.
Image result for athletes             There is no doubt these methods can benefit you, but when it comes to sport specific training, there are times where the methods can hurt an athlete's performance. For example, using the 5:3:1 for a cross country runner will have little to no benefit for a cross country runner. However, using the 5:3:1 for strength development in football players during offseason can help produce bigger faster players.
Image result for athletes             In my opinion, the concurrent is the best method because it involves running. In the dictionary, an athlete is defined as a person trained or gifted in exercises or contests involving physical agility, stamina, or strength; a participant in a sport, exercise, or game requiring physical skill.2 Who’s to say you can’t add running into those other methods. Depending on what sport you play, should translate to what kind of cardio you do. If you are going to play football, you need short sprints. If you play basketball, you need tempo runs along with sprints.
            I feel that adding effective cardio along with useful strength training for sport, then an athlete can make gains that will positively affect performance. Implementing efficient periodization is important as well to plan both macrocycles (year-long cycles) and microcycles (cycles lasting 1 week-1 month) where the athlete will have harder training days and easier training days to ensure proper recovery and reduce the risk of overtraining.1 This comes back to properly implementing methods at the correct time with the correct amount of rest.
1Clark, S. (2011, October 03). Principles Of Strength Training For Athletes! Retrieved November 10, 2016, from
2The definition of athlete. (n.d.). Retrieved November 10, 2016, from