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Yard Games Fitness Fun in Physical Education

Posted 2 days ago - by Jessica Shawley

Looking at implementing a Yard Game unit this year? Check out these five great tips from Jessica Shawley, 2012 National NASPE Middle School Physical Education Teacher of the Year!

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A game of horseshoes at my school isn’t your typical experience. I’ve added new twists to traditional yard games to foster creativity and add an element of fitness. Yard games offer a different level of socialization, cooperation and creativity than traditional sport and fitness units. Everyone can be successful regardless of athletic ability or fitness level. Yard games are also a great activity for connecting students with their family. Teach them in late spring so the learning is carried into the summer and fall months as an activity with their family and friends for weekends, family reunions, BBQs, sporting events, or a trip to the park.

To integrate yard games into your curriculum, be sure to follow these tips:

1. Use the “Jig-saw” method: Divide class into the same number of groups as there are games and assign one group to each to learn all rules, scoring, set-up, take-down, and modifications. One person from each group then combines to form a new group. Members take turns teaching their newly learned game to the rest of this new group (over one or more lessons).

2. Use the Sport Education model: Student-led teams come up with a name, choose roles (manager, scorekeeper, equipment manager, captain), practice the games, and plan for a culminating event. As you research the Sport Education Model framework, you can modify it to your level and available time frame.

3. Integrate health-related fitness: Play “half-court” games so students have to move back and forth instead of stand in one location. Have fitness stations and equipment to work on muscular strength/endurance or flexibility while students wait to throw. Pairing with a high intensity activity allows yard games to be a rest station or bonus when the workout is complete.

4. Integrate skill-related fitness: Require the use a balance disc or dome to balance on while throwing, challenge students to use their non-dominant hand to throw, or have skill-related fitness challenge stations to complete while students wait their turn. There are many fun ways to incorporate the skills of coordination, reaction time, agility, and balance.

5. Cultivate Creativity: After students learn the traditional games have a “create your own yard game” challenge. Teams must create a new or modify an existing game by adding, subtracting or modifying a minimum number of rules (scoring, how to play, etiquette, etc.). Teams practice and then present their new games to another team or the entire class and try them out. You will be amazed at what students create. One of my recent favorites was using the “triple jump” footwork skill from the track unit as the movement form to throw horseshoes. Very creative indeed!

Incorporating all or some of these five tips will ensure an enjoyable yard games unit. You will also appreciate the way yard games allow you to interact with students and strengthen relationships in a non-traditional activity setting.

Join the community and continue the conversation: What’s one of your favorite yard games or strategies to “amp-up” the fitness aspect of lower impact activities such as yard games? Leave a comment or question below.

 

 



Turkish Get Up

Posted 2 days ago - by Frank Baumholtz

One of the best lines I’ve taken over the last few years is one from Dan John.  “If it’s important to you, do it every day. If it’s not important to you, don’t do it.”  In all of my training programs, we always foam roll, warm up, go through dynamic-movement prep and perform Kettlebell swings and Turkish Get Ups.  Everyday! 
        The Turkish Get Up is the ultimate core exercise.  It’s the yoga move of strength and conditioning.  You have to have mobility, strength and coordination.  You need to be able to breathe while under load and take the body through the full range of motion.  We don’t isolate muscles and movement patterns, we integrate them. 

One key note to remember is that bony prominences of the body (Heel, heel of hand, elbow, knee, etc) are points of stability.  Use them to your advantage. 

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Turkish Get Up:

  1. Starting Position-- Positioning the kettlebell (KB)

    1. Start in the fetal position
    2. Pull the KB close to the bdoy with both hands
    3. Extend your top leg and roll to your back
    4. Press the KB up with both hands
    5. KB side knee should be flexed and foot flat
    6. Abduct the straight leg roughly 45 degrees from your mid line
    7. Place off hand flat on the ground
    8. Keep wrist neutral (knuckles to the ceiling)
  2. Roll To Press
    1. Control breathing (breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth)
    2. Roll into the off-side shoulder, pressing the KB to the ceiling.
      * This is a very small controlled motion, don't rush
  3. Elbow
    1. Press throught he shoulder and up to the elbow
    2. Roll back to your back
  4. Post (Seated)
    1. From the elbow, press through the hand to the steated position
    2. Keep the off-side heel into the ground. It might want to pop up, but don't let it!
    3. Return to your back. Make sure to control through the elbow on the way back down
  5. High Pelvis
    1. From the Post, extend the hips to the sky/ceiling.
    2. Return to your back.  Make sure to control through your seat and elbow on the way back down
  6. Bend
    1. From the High Pelvis Position, Bend sideways placing your knee directly under you.
    2. Return to your back.  Make sure to control through your seat and elbow on the way back down
  7. 1/2 Kneeling
    1. From the Bend Position, bring your torso up into the ½ kneeling position.
    2. Return to your back.  Make sure to control through the bend, your seat and elbow on the way back down.
  8. Full
    1. From the ½ Kneeling Position, stand tall keeping the KB directly above you.
    2. Return to your back.  Make sure to control through the ½ kneeling, bend, seat and elbow on the way back down.

Progression Ideas:

  1. Part: Work only to the position where you can control the kettlebell and return to your back each time
  2. Whole: Perform a full Turkish Get Up, under control, without stopping

Turkish Get Up Progression with Pictures:

  1. Starting Position:

     2. Roll to Press                                         3. Elbow                                                     4. Post

    5. High Pelvis                                             6. Bend                                                      7. 1/2 Kneeling