Back in the day
When I was in secondary school, before the days of mobiles phones and Game of Thrones. We had two blocks of lessons that used to put the fear of god into every child who was not, as I would say “sporty.” It was the dreaded P.E. and games lessons.
Back in the eighties
Health and fitness was never heard of in schools! All the sweet you ate from the local shops were laced with every kind of addictive and colouring that it would make a serial poisoner blush. Kids would come out of school and run to the corner shop and buy a quarter of cola bottles and a single cigarette from behind the counter. This is when we were turning 13 years old! We had the green cross code man, a cat telling us not to talk to strangers and don’t go and collect your ball if it gets stuck an electricity pylon. (Frankly this is good advice.). Not much about how to stay healthy. A “carb” was something your dad fitted to the family car during the weekend.
Nothing to stand out from the crowd
I had my own group of mates, who would spend more time chatting about the latest computer games and who had the best home computer system. Sport was not a major part of our lives during or after school. This did not put us in good stead with the P.E. Teacher. Who would be more interested in the kids who had the ability to play football. That was my biggest gripe!
P.E. and football, the be all and the end all
Everything around the P.E. department evolved around being able to play football. If you were good at football, the staff took notice of you and if you wasn’t, well, you just went through the motions of skimming the curriculum trying different sports for a couple of weeks before trying something else out. You didn’t get a chance to breathe before you swapped a rugby ball for a tennis ball. It’s was crap, we did not learn new skills, we did not get fitter! Most of my P.E. teachers were lazy! It’s easier to do group or team activities then to find something suited around the individuals needs and abilities. We are more likely to stick to an activity if we enjoy it!
You would think things have changed. Not really in the schools. Things still revolve those team sports, just there is more choice of the games we are no good at.
The children on how the body works. How the muscles move, what happens to our heart if we don’t exercise, when you eat food and how does it effect the body. How can you get stronger, how to challenge oneself etc. The trouble is most of what is taught about the human body is usually taught within a science class. How about skipping some of the p.e. lesson within a class environment or even visit the local gym? Teach children and young adults in the benefits of keeping fit and getting stronger in a safe place. These will one day be their customers.
You don’t need to be good at sports to train your body.
At school, it doesn’t matter if you’re great at science, a mathematician, crap at team games, a super artist, crap at maths and English. Everyone can get stronger and fitter! You don’t need to form a team, kids can do press ups, goblet squats, learn progressive overload, teach them many forms of body weight training.
Let’s start early, change the mindset and get the grey matter sparking. Let’s try and get it right for this and the next generation.