Hi Readers! Bad gym teacher = bad life. I KNEW it. And now, that’s what this cool study by Billy Strean, a professor in the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation, has just confirmed: “A lifelong negative attitude toward physical activity can be determined by either a good or bad experience, based on the personal characteristics of the coach or instructor. For example…a teacher who has low energy, is unfair and/or someone who embarrasses students.”
Maybe that’s why I was always so scared of my gym teachers! (Well, that and the fact I couldn’t get off the knot when we had to climb ropes. And the fact I couldn’t make a basket. And the fact I could never touch my toes. And — I’ll stop now.)
Anyway, as fascinating as the topic of gym and gym teachers is, what really jazzed me was the bottom paragraph of the study:
Strean also found study participants had better experiences from minimally organized games such as street hockey, compared to the more organized activities. He suggests adults try not to over-organize sports and allow the children to explore sporting activities on their own, with minimal rules and no scorekeeping.
Right on! Let the kids make up their own games! Give play time back to the players! My good ol’ book has a whole chapter on how important “free-play” turns out to be, vis a vis child development. Nice to see this backed by yet more evidence. And from a professor of recreation, no less! Hey kids — go outside and PLAY! The professor says you have to! — Lenore