Hotel Room Prom

Graduation_webIn our February 8, 2010 blog, I discussed the problems that occur when high school administrators schedule prom and graduation ceremonies on the same day as championship sports events.

(See “High School Graduation & Sport Championship Conflicts. Can’t They Be Avoided?“).

This conflict forces student-athletes to decide between the culminating competition of their high school athletic career and the traditional coming-of-age event they’ve long dreamed of sharing with family and friends. It can be a difficult decision.

One of my track coaching friends encountered this situation several years ago. Four girls from his 4 x 100m relay team were provincial contenders and opted to attend the championship despite the fact that it required two members of the team to miss their prom and graduation ceremony.

So the coach concocted a surprise to acknowledge and compensate them for their sacrifice. He sent several teammates to a dollar store – they returned with decorations and did up a hotel room in a prom-on-the-road theme that included a disco ball, banners, flowers, corsages and even sashes for the two graduates.

The girls were ushered into the darkened room and the coach turned on music, focused a flashlight on the disco ball and voila – prom night!

It was a ceremony fit for two special student-athletes, created by a special, caring teacher and coach.

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Dick Moss, Editor,
PE Update.com

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[tags]high school track and field,prom,graduation ceremony,graduation versus championship competitions[/tags]

Thunderstorms, Night Meets, Canada Geese and Fireflies Provide an Unforgettable Experience

Canada-Geese_webI ‘m a track fan and I love night meets. There’s nothing quite like them. The stadium lights turn the track into a giant stage as everything around the track fades into the darkness.  There’s a heightened sense of drama because athletes look like they’re performing under a spotlight.

The wind drops to nothing, there’s a bite to the air, and conditions become perfect for competition. And there’s an elevated sense of anticipation, as if everyone in the stadium is holding their breath, waiting for the next great performance.

Our regional championships were held in my hometown last week, and a lightning-delay forced the meet to linger into the night. Of course, I was delighted by Mother Nature’s intervention. As always, the night competition heightened the track experience, but nature provided two perks that made the evening even more special for me.

As the meet was ending, a large flock of Canada geese flew over the field, barely clearing the stadium roof. A fly-over by the air force couldn’t have been more dramatic. Everyone became silent,  the only sound a chorus of honking and the whoosh, whoosh, whoosh of the powerful birds as they thrust the air beneath their wings. They had appeared suddenly, close above us, highlighted in sharp detail beneath the stadium lights and then just as suddenly disappeared into the darkness, their sounds slowly fading into the night. It was definitely a “wow” moment for everyone who witnessed it.

The other special experience happened soon afterward, as I rode my bicycle home, two kilometers down a dirt path.  Pedaling beneath its overhanging canopy, I could barely see the silhouette of the bordering tree trunks as I flew down the path. Suddenly, without warning, I was surrounded by hundreds of fireflies, igniting and disappearing like signal lights in the darkness. Sensing my approach, they moved to the edge of the path and formed a flickering audience for over 200 meters as I pedaled through them, my jaw wide open in awe.

A track meet under the lights … a fly-over by floodlit Canada geese … a flood of fireflies… all in one night!  Life can be good.

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Dick Moss, Editor,
PE Update.com

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[tags]track and field,track & field,night track meets,physical education,Mother Nature,Canada Geese,fireflies[/tags]

Can Physical Education Unite a War-Torn Country?

Athletes-Shaking-Hands_webWhen it comes to physical education, it seems that Uganda is more advanced in its thinking than many North American school boards. Rather than firing PE teachers and cutting PE from school curricula, Uganda’s ministry for education has announced that they’ll be recruiting 3600 new physical education teachers over the next two years.

In justifying this expenditure, the minister stated the well-known (but often ignored or misunderstood) rationale of improved health among students.

However, he also  expressed a benefit that is overlooked in North America but is of great urgency in a country with a long history of civil war…unity!

In education minister Kamanda Bataringaya’s speech, he appealed for local leaders to support sport in their districts as a way to unite their communities. In his words: “Very many countries fight each other but when it comes to sports, they are one.”

Fitness, health, national unity.

In Bataringaya’s words,  “So, education should go hand in hand with sports.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Reference: Paul Watala and Joseph Wanzusi, “Government Eyes 3600 to Train Physical Education,” AllAfrica.com,  April 8, 2010.

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Dick Moss, Editor,
PE Update.com

To check out the PE Update.com website, Click Here!
To subscribe to the free Fun Stuff for PE Newsletter, Click Here!

[tags]physical education,PE,physical education advantages,physical education and unity,sport and unity,sport advantages[/tags]

Resources: Free Videos Teach Desktop Yoga for In-Class Physical Education

Yoga_web1When we think of physical education classes, we automatically envision students exercising in a gym. However, the reality is that many teachers don’t have a gymnasium in which to work. That leaves them with the challenge of finding activities that students can perform in their classroom.

Three PE Update.com articles that describe in-class physical education activities are: Non-Elimination Musical Chairs, Fitness Breaks, and Favourite Sports Routines.

However, the Alberta Centre for Active Living has another option…yoga! That’s right, yoga can be performed while sitting at a desk, and this website provides four videos that show you how.

The Free Yoga Videos

The videos are free and can be downloaded to your computer (“.wmv” version) or played immediately on your computer screen using the “.mov” version.

How to Apply

You can try to memorize the routines or set up the computer so you can watch them while leading your students. You may even be able to use audio-visual equipment to show the routines directly to your students. The downloadable version are larger than their “streaming” counterpart and can be expanded to screen-size. There will be some loss of quality, but the videos are still viewable.

Not only does desktop yoga qualify as a physical education activity, it can be a great tool for when your students need to calm down and focus.

Video Link

See the videos at:

http://www.centre4activeliving.ca/workplace/trr/tools/yoga_atdesk_en.html

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Dick Moss, Editor,
PE Update.com

To check out the PE Update.com website, Click Here!
To subscribe to the free Fun Stuff for PE Newsletter, Click Here!

[tags]physical education,yoga,in-class physical education,desktop yoga,[/tags]

Our New Blog Mandate Now Includes Swamp Soccer

Swamp Soccer
Swamp Soccer

With PE Update.com’s recent change in format (new articles are now shown for free on our homepage for several weeks before being placed into our archives), our Fun Stuff for PE newsletter has also changed, focusing on informing readers about those new article additions.

So, this blog will be expanding its mandate. We’ll continue to provide opinion and commentary on the physical education, sports and fitness world. But we’ll also provide you with links to free resources and fun videos that relate to sport and PE.

Here’s an example.

Are you looking for a great way to improve your soccer players’ fitness and strength…to take advantage of that muddy bog that has become your playground field because of recent rains…to make every laundry-washing parent in your class ready to do you bodily harm?

Then play mud soccer in your next PE class or soccer practice.

It was originally developed in Finland by cross-country skiers who needed a way to stay fit in the summer months (I’d call it dry-land training, but that’s really not appropriate).  Their league has grown from seven teams to 170 in just three years and concludes with a championship tournament.

It’s regular soccer but played on a smaller field (usually 30m x 60m) and in shin-deep mud. Lifting the legs in shoe-sucking mud is resistance work at it’s best and will give your students a super workout. Their parents will also get a great workout as they chase you down the street and out of town.

You can see a video of Finnish swamp soccer at this link: (viewer alert, there is a brief glance of some bare bottoms in the video…apparently those players’ parents were tired of doing laundry).
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XE-DZwiLwf4

A Scottish version is here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SsWej8Ni76I

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Dick Moss, Editor,
PE Update.com

To check out the PE Update.com website, Click Here!
To subscribe to the free Fun Stuff for PE Newsletter, Click Here!

[tags]PE update changes,swamp soccer,muddy games,games in the mud[/tags]

New Articles Are Now Free on PE Update.com

New Articles Section on the PE Update.com Website
New Articles Section on the PE Update.com Website

Our companion website, Physical Education Update.com, has changed its policy and that’s great news for physical education teachers and coaches.

New articles  (and we add articles regularly) will now be available for FREE for several weeks. After that they’ll be moved to our archives, where they’ll will be available only to paid subscribers.These articles are free, but a membership is a great deal. You get a year of unlimited access to our archives (over 2100 articles, videos & printables) for only $29.95!

Do you just want to download a few articles and don’t want a year-long commitment. No problem, just join for a month for only $4.95.  Take what you need and cancel. You’ll also receive a free coaching charts package and the eBook, Tricks of the Trade for Coaching Basketball. It’s hard to go wrong!

The articles, by the way, have all been selected because they seem more fun and useful than normal. They provide the type of ideas that would get you all enthused at a clinic or workshop.

If you’re wondering what type of content will be available free of charge…we cover 40 different sports and PE topics with an emphasis on practical, fun information. Here’s what’s available right now:

  • Basketball: Four-Second End-Game Play From the Sideline
  • Games: Mukade Kyoso – A Fun Cooperative Game from Japan
  • Badminton: Two Shuttle Down Leadup Game
  • Sport Psychology: Workout Goals Improve Practice Quality
  • Volleyball: Limit Arm Movement When Setting the Volleyball
  • Tennis: The Four-Second Game
  • Wrestling: Shark Bait Game
  • Baseball/Softball: Green Monster Fielding Game
  • Nutrition: The Big Crunch Carrot Activity
  • Resources: Developing Physical Literacy – A Guide for Parents of Children Ages 0-12
  • Health: Nine-Year Old Students Should be Taught CPR
  • Football: Quarterbacks – A Coaching Cue for Better Weight-Shift & Follow-Through

You can check them out by clicking here:
http://www.peupdate.com

Coming later in the week:

  • Soccer: Obstacle Soccer Game
  • Swimming: Freestyle: Coaching Cues to Prevent Wide Arm Recovery

I hope you find the free articles useful!

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Dick Moss, Editor,
PE Update.com

To check out the PE Update.com website, Click Here!
To subscribe to the free Fun Stuff for PE Newsletter, Click Here!

[tags]physical education articles,coaching articles,[/tags]