The vast majority of students that participate in school sports find it a positive, beneficial experience. There is a small minority, however, that do not enjoy, and are even put at risk, by sports. Unlike making sure there is appropriate and plentiful school furniture available to students, creating a safe environment for children to participate in sports is often neglected.
There are three main reasons for this neglect: denial, blame and minimization. Clubs, organizations, funding bodies and governments, engage in these reasons to not do anything about keeping children safe. They react by either saying: this does not happen here; it is someone else’s problem; or it is an isolated incident. Due to these types of responses leave children, coaches, clubs, sports bodies, and funding bodies isolated, vulnerable and powerless.
Keeping children safe requires both a preventative component and a reactive part. There must be appropriate policies, practices and procedures in place to limit the harm from occurring in the first place, while there also needs to be procedures, practices and policies to allow all those who participate in sports the ability to report any unsafe activities.
The leading source of sports news for high school sports, USA Today High School
Sports, is embarking on a search for the nation’s best high school basketball coaches. Fans of high school basketball all over the country will be able to get out of their school chairs and cast their votes for one of 306 coaches who are actively leading high school teams across the country. Six coaches from each state were selected by the staff at USA Today, plus an additional six from Washington, DC. The group of nominees were chosen after weeks of research and conversations with local high school reporters and officials with expertise in high school basketball from each state.
The winning coach is set to receive $2,000 for his/her school’s athletic department. The second placed coach will get $1,000. The coach who makes it to third place will earn $500 and fourth place $250. All of the ten finalist wil get USA Today High School Sports banners to display in their schools.
Last autumn the best high school football coach competition named Philip Haywood of Belfry, Kentucky as its winner.
Everyone knows that school is much more than students sitting behind their school desks. For many children, if it weren’t for the sports program at school, the school day would be almost unbearable. This notion is not just the opinion of restless children, but has been legitimized by research. It is a basic fact of life that physical activity is crucial to the holistic development of the young. Not only is their physical development nurtured but social and emotional health is also enhanced.
When children are engaged in sports they develop a laundry list of good character traits which can be even more important in life than many of the facts the children learn in school. Some of the things children learn are honesty, teamwork, fair play, self-respect and respect for others, and respect for rules.
In addition, school sports help to teach children healthy ways to deal with competition, and how to react properly to either winning or losing. The evidence is in: school sports and physical education benefit children in a myriad of important, socially beneficial ways.
When you create a sports program in the school, there are bound to be some students who are better athletes than others. This can cause some kids to feel bad about themselves and their ability level and to, perhaps, eventually give up on enjoying sports. There are easy ways, however, to help each child to feel better about himself and his own abilities on the field. And this can translate to all areas of his life, allowing him to enjoy sports in school, sports after sitting in church with the church furniture, sports in the afternoon, and more.
First, encourage children to break their own records and to push themselves as individuals. If you are having students run laps, for instance, and you want to encourage them to run faster each week, make sure that they are measuring themselves only against themselves. So, rather than having all kids run at the same time, and measuring how they did against each other, have them record their own times and only measure how they did on their own. Continually explain to the kids that they want to challenge themselves and continually improve themselves – regardless of what anyone else is doing.
Encouraging teamwork can have a large impact on self-confidence. Create games and sports activities during the day that require teamwork. It isn’t about which team won the basketball game; rather it’s about which team had the most passes during the game or which team encouraged each other the loudest. Obviously, sometimes you’ll want the students to play a basketball game with a score and with a winner and loser. But as the kids are learning, you can create opportunities for sportsmanship and teamwork and reward those who demonstrate these skills.
Sports is one vehicle for raising the self confidence level of children. Aside from the obvious health benefits that come from physical activity, there are many psychological benefits. But there can also be psychologically detrimental consequences to a school sports program that is not done correctly. Learning how to encourage children to measure personal successes and to participate in teamwork can have a lasting influence on them as they grow.
One of the most important aspects of the sports program at any school is to help kids to love sports. If kids learn to dread sports class in school, it may turn them off to physical activity in their lives and this can have detrimental consequences for their health and wellbeing.
How can a sports teacher make sure to help her students to love sports? Certainly, getting them away from the school furniture and on to the soccer field is a beginning, but then you have to help students to want to stay there. Here are some ways.
Keep the competition down: While some students love to be competitive, others will find this competitive nature intimidating. It’s important to help children to enjoy physical activities without feeling like they are always competing.
Vary the activities: Some children are far more coordinated than others. If you always do activities that require balance or stamina, some children will feel frustrated and left behind. Try to keep activities to brief lengths of time (20 minutes perhaps) and if you do an activity that requires a lot of coordination, make sure the next activity doesn’t require this skill.
Don’t let students pick their teams: Everyone knows the story about the child who gets picked last for the school team. Do not let your students select their teammates based on friendships or ability. It is best for the coach to be the one who selects the teams and for the teams to be kept as balanced as possible.
These are a few suggestions that will help you to get your students to love physical activity and to enjoy this aspect of their day both in and out of the school yard.