Traditional Sports with a Fitness Component

PE Equipment Pack from Gopher Sport - Traditional SportsHave you given thought or begun to investigate how you can infuse more fitness activities into your traditional physical education classes, wellness activities, or recreational sessions?  There is a powerful undercurrent right now in the U.S. to incorporate fitness pursuits into physical education classes.  With all of the focus appropriately on enhancing and improving fitness in the United States, most professional physical educators are striving to add fitness components to the more traditional sport activities typically taught in American PE classes.  Are you asking, “How can I add more fitness to my PE classes without compromising my traditional activities?”  Many Wellness and PE teachers have been trying to figure out how to do this, and thankfully many teachers have already figured out ways to do just that. With all of the nutritional hazards, sedentary trends, and climbing BMI’s in our nation, it is more important than ever that we help our children be more active and fit.  Here are a few specific ways that creative professionals have incorporated fitness into their current PE and Wellness classes:

  • “Perpetual practice” is a term we use to add activity to traditional sport classes. Simply put, take the practice session and skill sessions and add a perpetual movement component to them.  Take every opportunity to morph the static and “standing around and waiting” practice lines into constantly moving practice lines.  Students should no longer be standing around waiting to practice; they should be jogging and moving throughout the entire session.  It takes a little more planning and a little more set up; however, it is worth the effort.  Just about every practice session in every traditional sport can be adjusted to be constantly moving if you give it some thought and preparation.  Keeping kids moving while they practice skills can be fun fitness if you plan for it.
  • Incorporate “Hybrid” Traditional Sports.  How you ask? Traditional sports such as soccer and basketball have a fitness component internally built in to them.  However, you can add a perpetual movement component to traditional sports such as football, baseball, softball, and most others by adding modified versions.  Football, and most sports, can be played in a similar fashion to Ultimate Frisbee or Speedball, where the football can be run, thrown, and defended but in a non-stop format. You are still utilizing the major rules and skills, but in a manner of perpetual movement.  Try it, the kids love it!
  • Utilize “Multi-Sports.”  Having already mentioned Speedball and Ultimate Frisbee, these fitness-skill activities and others like them are perfect examples of incorporating activities that require multiple skill sets from traditional sports into fun fitness games for PE/Wellness classes.  These Multi-sport activities have traditional skill practice embedded within them already, but more importantly host a fitness and constant movement foundation.

These are just a few ways to incorporate fitness into more traditional curriculums and classes. There’s a multitude of ways to add fitness activities to your PE/Wellness classes.

What are you doing in your classes or school that is similar?  What are you doing that is different and creative? I’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback.


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