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5 Fitness Training and Conditioning Tips [Video]

Posted 1 week ago - by Peter Boucher

fitness training pull-upOne question that always seems to pop up is, “What’s the best way for me to get back into shape?” or “How do I get in shape for my sport?”

I have always tried to keep it simple and succinct when giving advice on how to get into shape or maintain conditioning levels. I’ve compiled a list of Training Tips that are absolutely pertinent to training. 

Here’s what competing at the high school and collegiate level cross-country/track & field and then coaching/directing high level fitness programs have taught me when encouraging myself or others to develop or maintain conditioning levels:

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Change your Clothes

I know, this sounds very odd. However, my high school coach used to preach this to us and it actually works! I can still hear him now. He would say that when you’re supposed to work out and you’re procrastinating or wavering, “simply change your clothes and put on your running sneakers, shorts, etc. and you will feel compelled to go work out.”

We call it “flipping the switch!”, and as odd as it sounds, he was 100% correct. Every single time I do this, it works! I find myself walking around in my workout gear and feeling lazy or silly for not actually working out, so then I go work out. Try it, I bet it works for you too!
 

Gather Guidance

It’s extremely important to check in with some sort of expert before you begin a new conditioning program so that you are starting off safely and appropriately. Everyone has different goals and therefore you really want to generate a program that is tailored to your goals, body type, and current fitness/conditioning level.

If you are able to view our attached video clips, our Strength and Conditioning Coach talks about how important it is to have a program designed specifically for you. It is also critical to be able to utilize assessments (generally each week) to determine how far you are advancing related to your goals and workout prescriptions.

Having a conditioning expert or coach to check in with can also generate some much needed motivation and can usually help prevent over-use and injuries.
 

Routines and Schedules

This can be a “make-it or break-it” type of organizer for those wanting to begin or improve their fitness level. It is very important to set up a routine or scheduled time to work out for the upcoming week. A schedule will really encourage you to carve out the time needed to get a comprehensive workout in.

I typically tell students and adults that you can get a workout in from anywhere to 30-60 minutes if you plan properly. Setting up a time and day to workout is paramount for forward progress.

For example, I would typically schedule my workouts similar to: Tuesday 4-5pm, Thursday 5-6pm, Saturday 9am-10am, and Sunday 9am-10am. If someone were to simply schedule those 4 days to work out and not assign a specific time I have noticed that the workout typically gets bumped when more “important” or fun things pop up. Try specific scheduling for two weeks and see if it helps you to garner better results.
 

Workout Partners and Workout Groups

Workout Partners

These might seem very similar but they are different enough to receive their own mention. A workout partner or buddy is a specific person who you commit to work out with a certain number of times a week. 

This can be so helpful as it links you to a schedule time and a particular person who is counting on you to show up so you both can work out together.  I have a friend at work, we try to work out 3 times a week, and I can honestly say that if we didn’t commit to those times, I probably would miss many sessions due to being tired, too busy, etc.

Workout Groups

Regarding workout groups, these can be lifesavers too. See what two of our football players have to say about workout groups and partners in the video.

Often times, you’re joining a club or form a club of your own and commit to meeting a few times per week to get the heart pumping. This is a great motivator as you feel connected to this “team” and you typically feel obligated to attend the session. It’s also nice to have multiple people different levels all working out at the same time so you have friends all around you during workouts. Workout partners and workout Groups can be a valuable tool to keeping you on the fitness continuum.
 

Goals, Recording Keeping and Rewards

As our Conditioning Coach mentions in the short video clip, goals are extremely important to everyone who is looking to get into or stay in shape. They are a fantastic way to monitor your progress and ideally inspire you to keep moving forward. Whether it’s losing weight, gaining muscle mass, improving your fitness capacity, etc., it is imperative to have short-term goals (weekly) and long-term goals to help you assess where you are currently and how much progress you are making.

Who doesn’t get excited when they’ve lost that pound, gained that indicated bench press weight, or reached an intended fitness heart rate or running time? Rewarding yourself every now and again for achieving some of these goals is encouraged too! No matter how you choose to do it, setting goals and recording them can be helpful and inspiring to achieving your intended fitness level.

So, here is what I have compiled as a high school and college athlete and a Head Coach/Director for almost 25 years. As you can see from the attached videos, our student-athletes here at Milford High School utilize and believe in these 5 fitness tips as they feel that these specific tips help them get into and stay in top shape.  We try to offer as much specificity, organization, and professional support as we can during the school year and summers to help our students, student-athletes, and staff/community to embrace maintaining a fitness level that works for them.

How about you and your community? What works for you, your team, or your school? Thanks for checking in and let us know what you think…

 



Outside the Box Fitness Station Ideas

Posted 2 weeks ago - by Michael Beringer

When you think of fitness stations, you likely think of stations involving a piece of fitness equipment, like dumbbells, jump ropes, resistance bands, or medicine balls. Sometimes you need to switch it up to keep fitness and fitness stations fresh!

Below are four creative fitness stations that I have used. These unique and easy-to-use stations have really motivated my students to be more physically active and get their sweat on. To get started, simply divide your gymnasium or physical education space into 4 quadrants.

Fidget spinner PE spin boardsStation 1: Fidget Spinner PE Spin Boards

As we all know, fidget spinners are popular right now. Why not jump on-board and be the “cool teacher” that actually lets students use them in class? I’m a firm believer in building relationships with students and this will help you do just that.

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While searching twitter, I came across these cool pre-made Fidget Spinner PE Spin Boards. All you need are a bunch of Fidget Spinners (I bought mine at the Dollar Store) and these awesome Fidget Spinner PE Spin Boards, created by Pete Charrette AKA @CapnPetesPE on twitter.

Station 2: Fitness Puzzles

Fitness puzzles

My next station combines teamwork, cooperation, fitness, and literacy all into one station. All you need to do with these Fitness Puzzles is print, cut, laminate, and you are done. Put the puzzle pieces on the floor and let the students solve the fitness puzzles. When the group solves a puzzle, have the students perform the exercise and how many reps it says until it’s time to rotate to the next station.

 

Themed Fitness WorkoutsStation 3: Themed Fitness Workouts

Switch your stations up using themed fitness circuits or workout routines. Darebee.com allows you to pick from a variety of themed circuits and workout routines, all you need to do is print, laminate, and display the workout.
 

 

Station 4: Fitness Tic-Tac-Toe

This activity can be used for 2 vs. 2 or 3 vs. 3, depending on how much wait time you want. Use the ACTION! Quick-Tac-Toe Set or use hula-hoops for a DIY version.

The objective is to have your team get three in a row like in tic-tac-toe. If all the objects have been played and there is no tic-tac-toe, the next player in line will run down and move one of their own objects into an open hoop.

How to Play:

  • Each player has one scarf (or any object they can carry).
  • On the signal, the first person in each group runs as fast as they can down to the tic-tac-toe board and places his/her object into one of the nine hula hoops.
  • After he/she places the object, he/she runs back to the team line and high fives the next player in line.
  • The next player will then run down and place their object in an open hoop. 

Tic-Tac-Toe Hula Hoops



25 Medicine Ball Exercises [Video]

Posted 4 months ago - by Gopher Community

Medicine Balls are a great way to introduce your class to weight lifting! They are available in a variety of weights, offering a challenge to students who are new to training, as well as established athletes. Their uniform weight allows your physical education class to focus more on form and technique, and the special tacky material and raised panels offer the best grip, making it safe to use. We compiled exercises with medicine balls for a complete workout! In the videos below, you’ll discover medicine ball exercises for upper body, lower body, core, partner passing, and wall-ball passing!

Upper-Body Exercises

Work with a partner to perform theses medicine ball exercises!Pairing your students up can be a great way to motivate them, have more fun and work harder!

From med ball push ups to triceps extensions, this video includes five muscle building medicine ball exercises.

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Lower-Body Exercises

Medicine balls can be used while performing lunges, squats and presses.

 


Core Exercises

Medicine balls can be a great addition to your core workout!

 


Partner Passing Exercises

Pair your students up to perform these medicine ball exercises! Pairing your students up can be a great way to motivate them. Workouts can also be more fun with a partner!

 


Wall Passing Exercises

Utilize your entire workout area by performing med ball exercises against a wall. Either pass against the wall while shuffling or lean against it with wall sits.

 


Medicine balls are available in 11 individual weights, ranging from 4 to 30lbs, and are also available in sets with storage and instructions. Receive free shipping on UltraFit™ Evolution™ Medicine Balls today by using the promo code VideoFreeShip at checkout!

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Resistance Tubing Exercises: A Complete Workout for PE

Posted 4 months ago - by Gopher Community

Want to get your students a great total body workout but low on storage space for equipment? Resistance Bands are a great way to add resistance to fitness workouts in physical education, and saves on storage space! It also offers infinite possibilities for adding variety to your class workouts.

We compiled exercises for a complete, total body physical education resistance-tubing workout! In the video playlist below, you’ll find resistance tubing exercises for upper body, lower body, core, and stretching/flexibility. Resistance Tubing is available in sets, packs, or individually in 5 ranging resistance levels to meet your personal needs and goals. Receive free shipping on ProStretch™ Resistance Tubing with Plastic Handles today by using the promo code VideoFreeShip at checkout!

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Upper Body

Try bicep curls and triceps extensions for a great upper body workout.

 

 

Lower Body

To achieve an awesome lower body workout, incorporate resistance tubing in your squat workouts.

 

 

Core

Strengthen your core with V-Up Sit-Ups.

 

 

Stretching and Flexibility

Increase flexibility by stretching with resistance bands

 

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Tips for Starting a Fitness Club at Your School

Posted 5 months ago - by Peter Boucher

Reach and teach the benefits of an active and healthy lifestyle to more students at your school by starting a fitness club. Continue reading to learn helpful tips and strategies for launching a fitness club at your school!

For at least the past decade or more, K-12 Physical Education teachers have been encouraged to focus on fitness and activity in our classrooms to help combat the rising obesity rates in the U.S. The vast majority of P.E. and Wellness teachers are incredibly dedicated in their commitment to “reach and teach” all of their students from a fitness perspective. One of the biggest challenges to this commitment or goal is that students typically only have Physical Education classes once or twice a week due to budget and schedule restraints. Others have it for one quarter or semester and then not at all for the remainder of the school year. As fitness professionals, we all would likely agree that challenged scheduling is not going to help our students achieve any long-term fitness goals during school hours.  So if these schedules appear to not be changing (and most will not unfortunately), what is the next step or potential genesis of helping students achieve some authentic fitness goals?

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Many schools are now looking at Fitness Clubs either before or after school to help augment the PE staff’s and curriculum’s fitness pursuits.  Establishing a fitness club is a tremendous opportunity to build school spirit, galvanize staff and students, and make fitness and activity a healthy focus at your school.  Here’s what we did at my school and what I would recommend as the critical steps to getting a Fitness Club up and running, literally! 

Obtain approval

I always recommend seeking approval from the Principal, Athletic Director, or staff member in charge of clubs and activities before doing anything else.  Being certain you have followed all of the district’s protocols for starting anew club is significant and can help you avoid unnecessary hurdles, speed bumps, and potholes down the road.

 

Seek “People Power”

Approach staff and/or parents that you have connected with who share your desire for fitness.  Plant the seed about your idea and see who would be willing to help.  Once you have some committed staff and parents, you’ll probably need both, you can then begin to forge a game plan.  Committed adults will be critical to your successful club launch.

 

Build a Plan

This part is tri-fold and important, as your infrastructure will be paramount to your success.  You will want to complete the following three initiatives before you seek out students:

  • Determine whether your club will be pre- or post-school and what days you will meet
  • Build a “curriculum” of fun activities for your club sessions
  • Secure space outside of your school for good weather days and explore space inside your school for the inclement or cold weather days

 

Put the Word Out

Begin to announce to the student body, staff, and your families that you have limited space and are launching a fun fitness club.  Morning announcements, flyers around school, social media, and newsletters proved very helpful when we launched our fitness club.  I recommend the “limited space” verbiage because it is probably true that you can only host a certain number of kids (safe supervision) and it also adds a little positive pressure to sign-up quickly so as not to be left out of the limited number of spaces in the club.

 

Launch with Energy & Enthusiasm!

Kick off the Fitness Club with all the energy, enthusiasm, and excitement that you can muster! We had a blast!  Everything was meticulously planned for maximum activity and movement. We had the music pumping, actions planned for almost zero transition time, and the very best fun and active games that we could design so that the morning session (we chose mornings twice a week for our Fitness Club) was active and awesome for the students and staff.  Everyone couldn’t wait for day two!

 

Additional components you can explore and expand with once your club is up and running:

  • Have fun formulating a cool and fun name for your fitness club
  • Consider finding financial support for club t-shirts for students and staff
  • Healthy snacks for after the club is fun, too.  Our parents were so supportive that they worked with our cafeteria staff to provide a modest healthy breakfast for all of our fitness club members.
  • Determine a culminating goal for each season (fall, winter, spring); our fitness club started with a 1-mile, then a 2-mile fun run in our community, and now (4+ years into existence) evolved into attending an annual 5K that all of the fitness club student and staff members run and walk.

So these are the tips and strategies that we used to start a small club that has become a beloved and very successful fitness club to augment and support our physical education and fitness curriculum. I recommend utilizing these steps to explore and ultimately launch your club too. 

What other ideas do other professionals or parents have? Are there other steps that could help or streamline the process? Check in and let us know what you think or if you have a question about starting your own fitness club. 

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Fitness Bars: A Total Body Workout for P.E. [Video]

Posted 5 months ago - by Gopher Community

A great way to introduce your students to fitness training is to get a fitness bar in their hands! Fitness bars, also referred to as aerobic body bars, take your class workout to the next level. They are great for building muscle definition and teaching better lifting technique. Add resistance to any movement and help acclimate your students to resistance training. We compiled exercises for a complete physical education class bar workout! In the video playlist above, you’ll find fitness bar exercises for upper body, lower body, core, balance, and flexibility/agility, with a total of 25 fitness exercises!

Fitness bars are available individually in 6 sizes and also in multiple pack options that are perfect for physical education. Receive free shipping on UltraFit™ Fitness Bars today by using the promo code VideoFreeShip at checkout!

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Upper Body

Fitness Bars are extremely versatile and offer a great upper body bar workout.

 

 

Lower Body

Balance the bar in a rack position or hold the bar for a variety of lower body exercises.

 

 

Core

Perform core exercises like V-Up Sit Ups or Balancing Rows.

 

 

Balance

Use Gopher's Fitness Bars to either add resistance to balancing exercises or help maintain balance during movements.

 

 

Flexibility/Agility

Increase flexibility by using the bar similar to stretching stick. Also, lay the bar on the floor to practice agility movements.

 

 

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5 PE Fitness Stations with Slide Boards [Video]

Posted 5 months ago - by Shannon Jarvis Irwin

Slide boards are a great addition to physical education fitness stations! Transform classic fitness exercises like mountain climbers, bridge hold/hamstring curl, front lunges, side lunges, and shuffling by adding slide boards. I’ve also included a quick tutorial on how to make your own slide boards to help stretch those PE dollars!  

5 Fun Fitness Exercises Using Slide Boards:

 

Dimensions for the smaller slide boards shown in the video are 48” x 16” and the larger board is 2’ x 6’ with a piece of wooden molding attached to each end. This allows the students to push off to get momentum to slide.

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You can purchase slide boards here or I’ve included instructions for making your own below!

How to make a Slide Board:

Take a trip to your local hardware store and pick up a sheet of Smooth White Panel Board. Some stores may refer to it as Hard Board or Shower Board. It typically comes in a large 4ft x 8ft sheet for less than $15. You can even ask the store associate to cut it down to any size desired using their wall-mount saw; most of your major hardware stores have this option available. Score! No clean up on your end.

You will also need some type of cloth to use under your student’s shoes to help their feet slide on the board. I use 2 types with my students depending on the exercise: washcloths or a cloth book cover cut in half that the students can slip on over their shoes.

The slide boards will become less slippery the more they are used. TIP: Use Pledge furniture spray to wipe down your boards to regain its slick surface.

Enjoy!

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Fun Fitness Circuits for PE [Video]

Posted 5 months ago - by Jason Gemberling

Circuit Training is one of the best ways to get all of your students actively engaged at their own pace and ability, which in the world of differentiating, this is a jackpot winner! I teach high school students, and we do several styles of circuits throughout the year based on what fitness areas we need to improve and also space and time. The circuits that we use can easily be adapted to any level of students, but please keep one thing in mind, doing circuit training all year or even for extended periods of time will not work for all students! You need to add variety and frequency to your circuits. Imagine if your only form of exercise was intense circuit training, you would lose interest too!

We do three, for lack of a better word, “types” of circuits in program; whole group, small group, and while you wait (this is one of my favorites because it keeps all kids active at all times!). For each “type” of circuit we do, we try to incorporate a lot of variety and also try to hit as many muscle groups as possible. We have extremely wide ranges of ability levels in our classes, so we feel circuit training is a great way to reach all of our students.

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Whole Group Circuits

Our whole group circuits take place either in our main gymnasium, or outside if the weather permits, with our entire class. These circuits will also include cardio, which is something that really ramps the circuits up. One of our favorites to do is called the Rep & Run 300. I am going to give a shout out to Maria Corte for introducing this circuit to me at a conference! In this circuit we set up 15 stations, with exercises ranging from push-ups to military presses with weight plates. And if you are lacking the equipment do not panic, use your imagination and student body weight to accomplish very similar results in your circuit. I won’t lie there are times we do no equipment circuits, because setting up 15 stations and taking them down every day or even within the day can be a pain!

 


The goal of the Rep and Run 300 is for students to start at one of the 15 stations and complete 20 repetitions as quickly as possible utilizing proper form which would give them 300 repetitions in the end. After they finish at a station, the students will leave the center of the gym and jog 3 laps around the perimeter of the gym floor, I encourage you to measure this so your students know how far they are jogging. When they are done with their jog, they re-enter the circuit and move to the next station. This is a very challenging circuit, but the beauty is that the students work at their pace and ability.

Another circuit you could use for a large group would be a Partner Circuit. The video describes what a partner circuit could look like in my gymnasium. Again, this a great circuit to use to get every student in class actively participating on their level.

 

Small Group Circuits

 

For small group circuits, we utilize a variety of equipment and try to make it so students can safely and effectively get through in a small space. We do our small group circuits in our auxiliary gymnasium which is less than half the size of our main gymnasium. When we do small group circuits we have students divided in half with half the group doing their cardio workout on spin bikes in the same space and the other half doing the strength circuit. For our cardio, we have our students do up-down workouts.

Up-down workouts are when students pedal at a required gear at a specific RPM while seated and then when they go up they increase the gear and pedal as hard and fast as they can until they come back down. The intervals for these workouts range from 1 minute down-15 seconds up to 3 minutes down-45 seconds up. Students start with 3 minutes of down to warm their legs up and finish with 3 minutes down to cool down. Check out great spin and exercise bike options!

One of the circuits we do in small group is a mini version of the whole groups circuit. We like to start with this one before do whole group because it allows us to demonstrate proper technique, plus easily correct students because the group is smaller. We also love to use fitness bands in small group circuits because of the small space and the versatility bands provide. The video below will show you the fitness band circuit that we do in class. Remember that there are a lot more exercises you can have students do with fitness bands, so mix it up!

 

Fitness Band Circuit Example:

Everr station will be 20 reps and each exercise should be done slowly and controlled. 

  • Bent Over Row
  • Bicep Curl
  • Tricep Extension
  • Squats
  • Seated Row
  • Shoulder Press
  • Forward Raise
  • Lateral Raise
  • Seated Leg Press
  • Monkeys

 

While You Wait Circuit

 

I love While You Wait Circuits! They keep ALL of our students active at ALL times! We play a variety of games in our classes from Pickleball (all-time best game) to Tchoukball and because our gym is on the small side we don’t have room for all of our students to participate at one time. So, instead of the sitting and waiting to play, we created the While You Wait Circuits! These circuits can be just about anything you want to have students do in the small space you have while they wait. We typically pick 5 exercises that require no equipment have the students do 10 to 30 reps per exercise. The rule for this is that your team can’t get back into play until every member has completed the circuit at least 1 time and those that have completed it keep going. Below is one example of a While You Wait Circuit and a short video demonstration.

While You Wait Circuit Example:

  • 1- Squats – 15 reps
  • 2- Ab of your choice – 25 reps
  • 3- High Knees – 30 steps
  • 4- Push-Ups – 20 reps
  • 5- Rocket Jumps – 20 reps

These are just a small sampling of circuits, and I encourage you to be creative when you create your own circuits. Keep in my mind your student’s abilities, the space you are working with, and the equipment you have at your disposal when you create your circuits. Try to make the circuits fun by cranking up the music and even jumping into the mix with students and showing them that you can do it too! Another fun way to get students more engaged is to invite and encourage other faculty members to join your classes during their planning periods!

I have had many teachers join us and you would be amazed at the increase in effort during class when the math teacher shows up to work out with your class! And finally, as I stated earlier, you do not need a lot of equipment or really any equipment to create successful circuits. Look in the hallway and around your gymnasium or outside classroom for structures or benches or stairs and incorporate these items into your workouts, for example you can have students do dips using bench outside or push-ups with their feet elevated. The sky is the limit,so use your imagination and have fun!

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Focus on Fitness or Intertwine Your Fitness Focus?

Posted 5 months ago - by Dr. Lisa Witherspoon

For many years there has been a struggle with physical education programs as to whether or not we focus on fitness or continue to teach skills that can also lead to a lifelong physical activity for children. This is a valid contemplation based on the fact that obesity rates are an issue and physical educators feel that children need to be getting as much moderate to vigorous physical activity as possible during school hours.

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The major issue with this concept is that physical educators do not have enough time during a typical class or during the week at school to help children accumulate the recommended amount of physical activity. Furthermore, fitness testing conducted once or twice a year should be used to set goals to help students and parents understand what the child needs to work towards to achieve a health fitness level. There is simply not enough time to do this for every student during the school year. So, do we focus on fitness or do we try to intertwine fitness throughout our curriculum?

 

Over the years, physical education has shifted from teaching skill-related fitness to health-related fitness. Our goal is to educate children on how their body works and what choices they can make to be healthy; especially when they leave high school and are making adult decisions related to their individual health. Many quality physical education programs understand that it is important to teach skills related to sports at the primary level and then progress to allowing children to choose what sports or activities they enjoy and begin to focus on those for their future health. Where does that leave teaching fitness? We all know fitness is a prime importance on living an active and healthy lifestyle.

Having units each school year in a curriculum focused on fitness is of extreme importance. Educating students on their muscles and how they work, bones of the body, heart rates, etc. is essential to help them understand how the body works and various activities they can do to maintain healthy fitness levels. However, the focus on fitness does not need to stop during these specific units. Throughout the school year, physical education teachers can intertwine a fitness focus during most skill units taught.

For example, any instant activity provided could allow the teacher to ask children how their heart is feeling or what muscles they feel are working during the activity. If teachers choose to have children stretch before or after a class, this is a great time to discuss the importance of flexibility (one of the components of fitness) without having to spend several classes on simply stretching. When teaching a skill-related unit of throwing or catching, incorporate activity tasks at some point in the lesson to provide extra moderate to vigorous activity time and then discuss this during the closure. Below are a few suggestions to consider helping children continue to learn fitness concepts while accomplishing teaching a variety of skill activities during physical education class:

1.  Technology: 

Pedometers and heart rate monitors are impactful inclusions in class that allow children to see the feedback individually of how their body is working and what they still need to do at home to accomplish healthy fitness levels for that day. Allowing them to reflect, journal, or discuss at then end of class or for a homework assignment is one simple option to foster their learning about fitness and their body.

 

2.  Sport-Related Skills: 

We teach students skills related to a variety of sports so they can learn what they enjoy and what they may continue to do, as they get older. Although some tasks during these units may require more sedentary time to teach the correct cues or form for the skill, every lesson should try to include an opportunity for the children to be at least moderately physically active. Self or small group challenges can provide children with this activity so they understand or can learn that skill related activities are healthy and active.

 

3.  Interdisciplinary Focus: 

Many school districts and organizations are expecting physical education teachers to include an interdisciplinary focus in their lessons. While we teachers already naturally do this consistently, some quality teachers like to include a main focus on spelling words, math, nutrition, etc. These lessons are very important but can also include a great deal of physical activity and fitness focus content based on how they are organized. For example, set up a distance equal to the distance of the pacer test and have children run to retrieve a letter, number, or word to complete a spelling word, math problem, or nutrition concept to accomplish the objective of the lesson.

 

4.  Weekly or Monthly Focus Vocabulary:  

Some quality teachers have found it beneficial and fun to create a “Muscle of the Month” and/or a “Bone of the Month” to be able to focus on a certain part of health fitness for the children during lessons. They are able to integrate/intertwine short discussions or content based on the monthly focus. Check out the Teach-nique Bones Instructional Banner and Teach-nique Muscles Instructional Banner! These enormous 5'W x 3'H banners, made from heavy-duty vinyl, allow for easy display and can be seen from across the gymn. 

 

While these are just a few suggestions for how to intertwine fitness into your every day classroom content, there are so many ways a teacher can incorporate fitness while still conducting skill-related physical education classes. Fitness is a huge responsibility for physical education teachers to instill in children. There is not enough time to do this during a unit or two during the school year.

Sport-related skills are also essential to teach children in order for children to feel comfortable and confident possibly pursuing an activity related to an activity outside of a fitness gym experience. Intertwining fitness make take some additional time to consider and plan. In the long run, children will benefit from continuing to understand and learn their bodies while also learning the important part of a skill based fitness curriculum.

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Teaching Skill-Related Fitness Concepts in All Spaces

Posted 11 months ago - by Jessica Shawley

There are two areas of fitness that must co-exists within physical education—health-related and skill-related. My students enjoy activities that challenge any of the six skill-related fitness components: Balance, Agility, Speed, Power, Coordination, and Reaction Time.

During an extended period of construction in our district, I taught without a gym or cafeteria and provided physical education from a traditional classroom space for a year. Things got interesting when we were inside for the winter, and I had to get extra creative. This is when I had fun with skill-related fitness challenges that could be performed in small spaces.

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Teaching skill-related fitness is an important part of physical education and just plain fun. Developing skill-related fitness increases student success in the activities they enjoy, or may come to enjoy later in life. When a student feels successful in an activity, he/she will most likely continue to participate in it. This can then increase his/her overall health-related fitness level and continue to enhance his/her ability to participate in activities.

At the middle school level, the SHAPE America Grade Level Outcomes state students should be able to identify the components of skill-related fitness (S3.M7.6) and distinguish between health-related and skill-related fitness (S3.M7.7); thus, I design and incorporate a variety of skill-related and health-related fitness-based lessons where students reflect upon both areas of fitness and apply them to their lives. In my end of lesson debrief, I ask students to choose one activity they currently enjoy (or would like to learn) outside of school and identify the skill-related and health-related components it addresses. Allowing students to listen to their peers’ activity interests and tying in the learning targets is very effective.

Here are some ideas for teaching skill-related fitness and lesson breakdowns. These can be adapted for use inside or outside of the traditional physical education setting or can be used as part of warm-ups, in circuits or stations or as a full lesson.

Option 1: Four corner stations.

  • Set up stations in each corner of your space and use station task cards or a PowerPoint slide of the four stations (see blog image above).
  • Mix in two or three skills at a time with or without previously learned content. I like to mix in cardiorespiratory endurance exercises to further enhance student fitness levels.
  • Here is a breakdown for introducing skill-related fitness in a 4-corner circuit over two lessons:

 

Skill-Related Fitness 4-Corner Circuit

Lesson #1 Stations

Concept:

Activity:

Station 1: Skill-themed

Agility

Footwork Drills

Station 2: Skill-themed

Balance

Balance Disc

Station 3: Skill-themed

Reaction Time

Reaction Ball Drop

Station 4: Cardio-themed

Cardio Exercise

Jumping Jacks

 

Skill-Related Fitness 4-Corner Circuit

Lesson #2 Stations

Concept:

Activity:

Station 1: Skill-themed

Power

Squat Jumps

Station 2: Skill-themed

Coordination

Juggle

Station 3: Skill-themed

Speed

Speed Jump Rope

Station 4: Cardio-themed

Cardio Exercise

Jog in Place/High Knees

 

Option 2: Introduce skill-related fitness as a single focus topically.

  • It can be as part of a larger lesson, circuit, or as the lesson itself depending upon your program needs and learning targets.
  • You should loop back to skill-related fitness often as it is a natural fit in most aspects of the overall physical education curriculum.
  • The following table provides ideas to help guide your skill-related fitness activities.

 

Skill-Related Fitness Activity Ideas:

Concept:

Activity Ideas:

Equipment Ideas:

Agility: Your ability to move quickly, easily, and change directions.

  • Footwork Drills

  • Dot Drills

  • Line Hops

Tip: With agility ladders, have students follow footwork pattern station cards. No ladders? Create your own using floor tape, floor spots or small cones for your own agility course.

Balance: Your ability to maintain body control in any position or when moving.

  • Balance Discs

  • Balance Boards

  • Yoga Balance Poses

 

Tip: Use balance discs with task card challenges for students to try out. Work up in complexity, including having students toss a ball back and forth while balancing.

Reaction Time: Your ability to quickly recognize the situation and move accordingly.

  • Reaction Ball Drop

  • The Classic Ruler Drop

  • Agility Dot Drill Mats

Tip: The reaction ball game is played in groups of any size. Catch the ball off the bounce in a sequential order of bounces without losing control. How many bounces in a row can you go?

Power: Your ability to combine strength and speed quickly, creating force.

  • Medicine Ball Smash

  • Box Jumps

  • Standing Long Jump

Tip: – Have students perform a standing long jump and then measure their personal progress to incorporate personal goal setting and measurement skills.

Coordination: Your ability to perform complex movements, often doing two things at once.

  • Chinese Jump Rope

  • Juggling

  • Jump Rope

Tip: The “Chinese jump rope” challenge was a huge hit! I used Chad Triolet’s YouTube videos and skills cards via www.perocks.com and let students design their own jumps.

Speed: Your ability to move fast or perform a movement in a short period of time.

  • Agility Course

  • Speed Jump Rope

  • Relays

Tip: Students create an “agility course” and time themselves. Trying to beat their best times. This incorporates creativity, goal setting, measurement, and combines speed with agility.

Continue the conversation! What are some of your favorite skill-related fitness activities, especially those that can be done in circuits or a small space? Tweet me @JessicaShawley with #physed #PEblog @GopherSport to share your ideas!

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