Hebrews 12:1 "let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us."

Life is a marathon, and the journey is just as important as the destination. It matters what you do. It matters what you say. Make God smile today!

Fitness Tip of the Day

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Exercise and cold weather

When is it too cold to go outside to exercise? That depends on what you are going to be doing, and for how long. If you have the appropriate clothing and are not going to out any longer than 30 minutes you can exercise safely outside in weather as cold as the 20's. Layering is a must. Getting warm and dry as soon as you finish is critical.

Kids need to be supervised so that any signs of frostbite or hypothermia can be spotted immediately. Proper hydration is often forgotten in the cold weather, but is still important. Your body still loses water when you exercise, even in the cold.

Remember to have a "buddy" or someone who knows where you are going and when you should be back. Then if you run into trouble someone can get you help.

Fresh air and exercise can be fun in the cold, just be sensible. Sometimes a day at the gym is the best choice........

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Do it right - or just do it?

I learned something interesting while teaching a unit on basketball the other day. We had learned the basic dribbling, passing and shooting skills that I wanted to cover. The kids were divided into two groups: one that wanted to play a game of basketball, and one that just wanted to take those skills and play around. ( not be competitive )

After getting both groups started on their activities, I watched carefully to see if one group would move around more than the other or have more fun. Surprisingly the answer was NO. Both groups were very active and were having lots of fun. Everyone was actively involved in the group, and I saw all the skills being used.

Some of the kids who did not really want to play basketball ended up saying that they liked it a little bit now. By allowing them to use the skills in a game that they came up with, I got them to be just as active as the other group, AND to look at the activity in a new light.

It does NOT have to be the "real" thing! Just get out there and DO something.......

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Fitness testing

We test kids in other classes so we know where they are in their development. The same should be done in P.E. classes. How else for the teacher, student and parents to know where the child is in their physical development? I do not advocate using the results in the grading process, or in any public way. But knowing how a child stacks up to their age norms when it comes endurance, strength and flexibility can empower parents and students to make changes that can improve the child's physical fitness.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Children or Competitors?

As the youth football season heads into the playoffs, we see an increase in the pressure put on children to WIN. While some competition can be healthy, there are definite side effects from putting children into the pressure cooker too young. Besides the obvious physical stresses of the game, we have parents and coaches putting extra stress on the kids to "win it all". Should there even be a playoff for children under 12?

Competing and losing do teach some life lessons, but only if the child is at an appropriate age to digest the lesson. With the main goal of youth sports being participation and sportsmanship, playoffs bring another dimension. The extra emphasis on "win or go home" can't be ignored.

Watch the reaction of parents and coaches: then ask who the playoffs are really for. As kids mature, they can handle tougher competition. Introduce it too soon and they are unable to learn the lessons it can teach. How sad........

Friday, May 22, 2009

Injury TimeOut

A few weeks of not participating in a specific activity seems like a small sacrifice to adults. To kids it can seem like the end of the world. As parents it is our job to make the unpopular decisions and make sure the injury is properly cared for.

Involve the child in all of the information about the injury and explain all of the ramifications of each decision. Next month is a long way off to a child, but as adults we know how insignificant that amount of time will be in the long run.

Support, encourage and love your athlete!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Look at the world

Try a new activity sometime during the year. By doing something new you push yourself to expand your world. Sports give you a new way to look at the world. Whether it is being part of a team for the first time, or doing something by yourself for the first time, you get a new perspective.

Stretch, strengthen and savor!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Why play sports?

People play sports for a variety of reasons. Kids should play sports for a few main reasons: health, fun, and education. Learning how to move your body and maintain a healthy lifestyle is important from a young age. If it is not fun, you will not stick with it. Let your kids choose and try lots of different activities.

The goal is to have fun, learn the game and stay active. NOT winning! Keep the experience positive. And don't forget to get out there and play.......

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Field Day Awards?

Field Day is the most FUN day of the year, if it is done well. The athletic kids love the competition and place ribbons. But what about the kids who never place first, second or third? There is a life lesson to be learned about doing your best and not winning. Losing with grace is just as important as winning with grace.

Field Day should be a nice mix of competitive and non - competitive events. It is just as fun to have a water fight as it is to win a race. Great memories last forever!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Pro examples?

Does your child watch pro sports? If so, you should be watching with them to make sure any inappropriate behavior can be discussed. Kids look up to the pros, and will imitate their actions and words. Remind your child that even pros make mistakes, and should be held accountable for their actions.

Watch closely for any "copycat" behavior in your child's activities. These should be addressed immediately.

The pros can be a great example for your child - of good AND bad behavior!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Awesome kid????

Of course your child is awesome! Everyone else thinks their child is awesome as well.....and they are right. Tell your child how great it is that they are participating in something, but remind them that everyone else is participating too. Even if they do extremely well, being a gracious winner is just as important as being a gracious loser.

Kids love to play, and they should be encouraged to do just that.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Hard lessons

When should a child be consoled after making a mistake that changes the outcome of a game? Young children should be participating for the fun and experience of the situation. They are still learning and winning should not be the main objective. Older kids can be expected to know certain rules and understand the consequences if they do not act accordingly.

Teens and up can and should be held accountable for their actions when participating in highly competitive situations.

Sports and their hard lessons help kids learn about life and themselves.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Does the best ( most expensive ) equipment really make a difference? Probably not if you are a 6 year old trying soccer or baseball for the first time, but most definitely if you are a top ranked tennis player or a serious runner or biker.

Kids trying things need serviceable equipment, not the most expensive. Save your money for the sport or activity that you child sticks with!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Mouth guards

Everyone should wear a mouth guard when participating in sports. The guard will protect you from serious tooth injuries, and can prevent bloody lips as well. It is not just for convenience, but also the expense and pain of dental work!

My son has braces and he got hit in the mouth this weekend while playing baseball. One of his brackets came loose and now has to be fixed. He was NOT wearing his mouth guard!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Real Expectations

Sometimes we forget what it is like to learn something new because as adults we rarely take on anything we don't WANT to do. But kids are faced with learning something new almost daily, and they get graded on how they perform. The pressure to do well is constant in school and if parents add the same pressure on kids when it comes to sports the consequences can be disastrous.

Sports should be FUN for kids! If you are counting on a college scholarship for your child - STOP PUTTING THAT ON YOUR CHILD!!!!! If they have the drive, talent and desire they will let you know. If not, the experience of participating in a healthy activity will still benefit your child.

Millions of kids participate in youth sports and only a VERY small percentage ever get to play at the college level. Have realistic expectations and help your child get the lessons of sportsmanship and teamwork that come from sports.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


When was the last time you tossed around a frisbee? If you haven't tried it in a while, you are in for a treat! The frisbees are really well made and high tech compared to my childhood ones. There are some that are specially made for distance, and others made to be extremely accurate. You can even find frisbee golf courses set up in many public parks now.

Grab your family and friends and get out there!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

No Talent?

Can you have fun doing things you really have no natural talent for? Of course! Most people who golf or play tennis or bowl are not nearly as good as the pros - but that does not keep them from having fun doing their personal best at it. I have never been a very fast runner, but I get such enjoyment from my runs that even if I am the last one in a race I don't care! I hope I can pass along that kind of experience to everyone who thinks " I'm not good enough".

God does not expect you to be THE best, he expects you to do YOUR best. If that is good enough for God, it should be good enough for you, so get out there and MOVE!

Monday, April 6, 2009


If you want a great workout that takes you back to when you were a kid, just ride around all day on scooters! You remember the flat squares with wheels? Great ab and thigh workout. Plus it is just a blast. After the safety rules are learned the games are almost endless. My favorite is horse and buggy, what is yours?

Friday, April 3, 2009

Field Day

Should field day be about participation or competition? There are good arguments on both sides. I like a combination of the two. Some events that are given 1st, 2nd and 3rd place awards to promote a healthy competition amongst the schools best; and some events that are purely a participation station. We have math competitions and score those, why not allow the best athletes to shine for a day? But the day should include something fun for everyone!

What do you think?

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Indoor Golf!

We are playing indoor golf this week! We have blow up targets and birdie balls for the kids to put and chip. The kids have had so much fun with this! I even got a few teachers to stay and try! This is a blast, and every school should try it.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

supporting your team

Cheering on your favorite team is fun. Just remember that you don't have to cheer against another team to cheer for your team. Keep all your comments positive and directed at your team. Rooting against another team is not required! Be loud, but be proud of what you say.

Friday, March 20, 2009


Where is the line between being tough and putting yourself in danger? If you are injured to the point of limited range of motion, swelling, or pain that keeps you from doing normal activities then you should seek medical attention. If your symptoms last more than a few days you definitely need to see a doctor.

If the "injury" does not cause loss of motion, strength or require pain medicine to cope then a kiss from MOMMY should do the trick!

Stay in the game.....

Thursday, March 19, 2009


What does it mean to be a team? Everyone has to believe in what the team is trying to accomplish, and their own part in that. Most successful teams have a lot of players who play a "role" without being the star. A team will only go as far as the weakest link can go, so it benefits everyone to help and encourage all members of the team. One person's success is the team's success.

There is no "I" in team......

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Irish Dancing

Try something new today!!!! Irish dancing is great exercise, and fun to do. Watch a video, grab some friends and give it a try......have fun!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Invented games

This weekend at my son's baseball games I watched a group of younger siblings entertain themselves with old rackets and an old tennis ball and some baseball gloves. They all got together and invented a game using the equipment they had and the space available to them. They agreed on the rules, divided into teams and played for HOURS! Any arguments were decided by the group, and even the youngest was included.

Kids don't need the best equipment, instruction or even space. They just need their imaginations and some time. It was a joy to watch.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Winning and losing

In competition, winning is the goal. Every effort is made to win the game. As long as the rules are followed by all, the competition is fair and the outcome accepted. What happens when someone breaks the rules or the spirit of the competition? Is the winner legitimate?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Try something new

Our bodies become used to the demands we put on them. Sometimes doing something different can break us out of a holding pattern in our fitness. If you usually run, try swimming or stair climbing. If you usually play basketball, try soccer. If you usually do yoga, try a martial art. If you are a gym rat, try getting outside.

This can be true of everyone, not just adults. Kids need to be exposed to many different activities so that they can really know what they like. A lot of kids will have preconceived notions about certain sports and games. It is only after getting a chance to learn and play in a safe environment that they realize they actually like something.

Resolve to try something new with your kids at least once a month. Be willing to go outside your comfort zone!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Exercise and sickness

When are you too sick to work out or play? Any time you have a fever, are vomiting, or are dizzy. If you feel like you want to get some activity then you probably can. Make sure to drink plenty of water and drop the intensity down several notches. If your body is fighting off an infection, it needs all its energy to devote to that. Any activity should not be too taxing to your system.

A short walk to get some fresh air and sunshine usually does wonders!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Competitive spirit

Can you be competitive without being mean? Absolutely! One of the toughest matches I played in college tennis was against a very nice girl from our main rivals. We played three tie-break sets for two and a half hours. The level of play was high. Neither one of us questioned a call the whole match. Even though I lost the match, it is still the match I am most proud of playing.

Some people get very mean and rude when they are competing in games. They believe they have to be this way to win. NOT SO! Watch the NFL players help each other up after smashing tackles. Watch a tennis player applaud his opponents good shot. Watch NBA players shake hands before a game and hug after one! You can compete at a high level and still be a nice guy!

Winning and losing is inconsequential if you are not a good sport.

Friday, March 6, 2009

basic skills

Would you ask a child to do division without first teaching the addition, subtraction and multiplication skills required? Of course not! So why do we throw out a ball and expect kids to be able to play a game without first being taught the basic skills and rules involved? Even a small amount of time spent learning and practicing basic skills can make a huge difference in how successful a student will be trying to play any given game.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Wind Blown

When does the weather win? When you let it! Sometimes the weather is so bad that you really should NOT try to get outside to exercise. It can actually be unsafe. At these times it is tempting to just blow off your workout, but you can still get some activity inside even if you don't have access to a gym. Use the stairs in your house, or create a step if you don't have any. Set up an obstacle course using several rooms. Compete against yourself, or your family for time. See how many reps you can do of sit ups, push ups, dips, jumping jacks......be creative and have fun!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Short bursts!

Did you know that short bursts of intense activity can burn MORE energy than an even pace of exercise? A few bursts of hard effort thrown into a workout can increase the benefits you get from the activity. And guess how most kids play? When left to their own, most games kids play contain short bursts of hard activity mixed with some slower paced. This is our natural inclination, so why fight it? Play like a kid!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Today is here!

Make today count! Do something to honor God, do something for someone else, and do something for yourself!

Today is here. What will I do with it? Most people don't "have" time to exercise. You must "make" time to exercise. My challenge to you is to "find" 30 minutes in your day that you can devote to being active. Good luck!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Something new?

What sport would you like to learn about that you do NOT get to try in P.E.? With enough interest we can usually get some equipment and have a go! Let your teachers know what interests you have.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Greetings all! Welcome to my blog. Please feel free to add to any conversation in an appropriate manner. Remember that this blog is for EVERYONE, so children will be present. My hope is that we can discuss P.E. classes and how to improve them in such a way that children will benefit. Old folks are welcome to remember and share. Kids are welcome to question and suggest.
If you experience something in school or at a sporting event that concerns you, please bring it up. Is your Coach too mean? Do your parents push you too hard? Is your child not confident enough? Do you have a bully in class?

Lets talk......