Inspirational Video for the Underdog – Beating the Odds

Does your team have an upcoming competition against an overwhelming favorite? Do they think they don’t stand a chance? Do you need a way to fire them up and get them to believe?

Then have them watch this inspirational video, produced as a Nike advertisement in 2010.

Here’s a sample of the script:

“Just remember, out here, the results don’t always add up. No matter what the stats may say, no matter what the experts may think, and commentators may have predicted, when the race is on, all bets are off. Don’t be surprised if somebody decides to flip the script and take a pass on yelling ‘Uncle.” And then suddenly, as the old saying goes, “We got ourselves a game.”

There’s just one caveat about the language. The video contains the phrase, “Just because they’re strong doesn’t mean they can’t get their asses kicked.” That might not be appropriate for the classroom or for younger students.


Dick Moss, Editor,

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[tags]inspirational video,sports inspiration,underdogs,underdog,coaching,physical education[/tags]

Tennis Video is Inspirational for Female Athletes in Every Sport


Welcome back to school! If you’re looking for some inspiration, I’ve just found an incredible tennis video, produced by the New York Times Magazine. With the U.S. Open tennis championships just over, it’s very timely.

Called “The Beauty of the Power Game, ” the video shows some of the world’s top female tennis players hitting the ball, close up, with special effects, in slow motion and with music in the background.  It’s a wonderful illustration of the power, strength and beauty of female athletes.

Segments include: the incredible flexibility and recovery abilities of Kim Clijsters; the tremendous power generated by the backhand of Serena Williams; the ballet-like movement of a spin-around groundstroke produced by Elena Dementieva; and the rippling quadriceps of Samantha Stosur as she absorbs the shock of ground contact during a forehand. Victoria Azarenka’s segement showing the ball exploding off her racquet is especially notable.

If you’ve ever had doubts about the strength and power of female athletes, be sure to watch this video. These women are strong, and athletic, and beautiful. It’s inspirational for female athletes and coaches in any sport.

And be sure to see the companion slide show: “Women Who Hit Hard.”


Dick Moss, Editor,

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[tags]tennis video,tennis slow-motion,Kim Clijsters,Serena Williams,Elena Dementieva,Samantha Stosur,Victoria Azarenka [/tags]

New Articles Are Now Free on PE

New Articles Section on the PE Website
New Articles Section on the PE Website

Our companion website, Physical Education, 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:

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!


Dick Moss, Editor,

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

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

Why the Olympics are So Addictive


The Winter Olympics are over, and if you’re like me, you’re feeling a huge void in your life! That’s particularly true here in Canada, where Olympaholics like myself became accustomed to following the Games in the mornings, at the office, during meals, in the shower, and late at night.

It’s interesting, but for those 17 days, I completely forgot about the Toronto Raptors, a team I’d been following before the Olympics. Somehow, the struggles of the millionaire players on that squad seemed inconsequential compared to the efforts of the world’s snowboarders, curlers, nordic skiers, ice dancers,  skeleton racers, and bobsledders, many of whom live below the poverty line.

I was particularly interested in the efforts of two athletes, Canadian hockey player Rebecca Johnston and cross-country skier, Devon Kershaw. I coached them both in their high school days, when they were competitive runners in addition to being phenoms in their chosen sport.

They were both excellent runners, having won medals at the provincial, and in Rebecca’s case, the National Junior level (in the 400m).  I can take absolutely no credit for their Olympic success – they made wise choices in specializing in sports other than running. But it sure was fun watching them perform at the highest level, at our home Olympics, under the most intense scrutiny they’ll ever face.

Rebecca, a speedy forward on the team’s “energy line,” won a gold medal in hockey – Canada’s game- with every eye in the country watching her every move! At only 20 years of age, she played with incredible composure and was a threat to score every time she took the ice.

Devon helped put Canada’s men’s team on the map in cross-country skiing, placing a surprise fourth in the men’s team sprint (a two-man relay), then a shocking fifth in the 50km mass start – the most prestigious of the cross-country skiing events. Better known as a sprinter, he missed fourth by a photo-finish and a bronze medal by .5 of a second.

My favorite moment of the Games was Devon’s interview immediately after his race, when, exhausted and emotional, he was asked why he was so upset. He said, that it was a tough pill to swallow to have skied for two hours only to come up 1.5 seconds from a gold medal… Not the bronze, not a silver. but gold. What a mental shift from an athlete who went into the race ranked 27th, and before the Games would have thought a top-10 finish to be a dream result.

For me, that’s why Olympics are so addictive to so many. The pressure-filled atmosphere allows us a glimpse into both the athletic evolution and the true character of the athletes we observe, and if we’re lucky, with whom we’ve associated.

You can see the finish of Devon’s race and his interview at:


Dick Moss, Editor,

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[tags]Winter Olympics,Olympic cross-country skiing,Olympic nordic skiing,,Olympic hockey[/tags]

Women’s Teams, Bus Travel and Chick Flicks


Laurentian University, where I coach the women’s track and cross-country teams, is four hours north of Toronto, and most of our competition venues are at least that far away. (I also coach a track club, but that’s for other blog posts).

So we  do a lot of driving. In the past, we travelled in vans, but this year our fortunes changed dramatically. We now use a 30 passenger coach,  It’s heaven! The difference in stress levels after a bus-trip versus a van trip is astronomical. In fact, I’m typing this blog while sipping tea in the front seat of the bus. We’re flying down the highway and I can see the fall colors flashing past, and rivers and lakes and other spectacular views. The bus has a bathroom, luggage compartment,  reclining seats and a professional driver.

It has one other feature that sounds wonderful, but is a double-edged sword – a DVD player with five screens and speaker system. Movies! What a great way to wile away the hours!

Or so I thought. On our first trip in the bus, I made a fatal mistake. Continue reading Women’s Teams, Bus Travel and Chick Flicks

Sports Injuries Often Occur Off the Field


An event during this year’s cross-country running season reinforced the point of an article I wrote several years ago called “Injuries- Check Outside Activities.” (PE Update members can find it using the search bar).

The point of the article was, if your athletes sustain an injury – especially a chronic injury – make sure you know what their outside activities involve. And make sure you know what kind of shoes they use for casual-wear.

What reminded me of that article was one of my female runners who complained of foot pain back in the Fall. A week of non-impact training in the swimming pool didn’t help at all – the pain kept getting worse.

It wasn’t until we saw her mosey into practice one afternoon that we realized what was going on. She was wearing ballet-type slippers. Our campus is hilly with a 15-minute walk on paved streets between some classes. She was wearing the slippers because they were “comfy.”

After advising her to wear better shoes, there was still no improvement for a couple of days. We then thought to ask what she was wearing instead of the slippers. Flip flops. Not much better. She explained that they went with her nail polish (this was in late October in a northern climate). Needless to say, we advised another change in footwear.

A week after exchanging her ballet slippers and flip-flops for regular running shoes, her foot pain was gone. A miracle!!

This is a great example of an injury whose origin wasn’t sport-related. The moral is, be careful when you encounter one of your own athlete’s ailments – they may not have occurred on the playing field at all. And athletes often don’t realize how their non-sport activities can affect their injury status – as a result they may fail to mention such activities to you. You must often be very pointed in your questioning when trying to determine the cause of your athletes’ injuries.


Dick Moss, Editor,

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[tags]sports,sport,injuries,sports medicine, coach,coaching[/tags]