What is it with children these days not taking the opportunities they are offered for free. As you will know I have started a ‘boot camp’ at school for years 9, 10 and 11. The first session ran yesterday. We currently have only 13 pupils having accepted the challenge and taken us up on the opportunity. Only 1 of them is a boy. If something like this was offered when I was a kid I would have jumped at the chance. This camp offers two sessions a week of fitness, including circuits, different methods of training, a nutrition and cooking workshop and even a healthy breakfast club. This is aimed at changing their mindset and teaching them small things could make a big difference in their lifestyle.
The question I ask myself is why? Why are pupils changing their attitude? What is more important to them than learning about how to lead a healthier lifestyle and getting fitter. Unfortunately, I feel there are a lot of answers to this question. These range from “I am already fit enough” to and I quote “I just can’t be bothered mam.” I want to try and change these attitudes. So many of the boys have been talking about Grand Theft Auto, I know its cliche to say this has impacted the youth but it has. They have too many video games, or smart phone games to play that they don’t want to take the opportunities that are handed to them. I hope they don’t look back on this when they have left school and regret not taking this opportunity. I sense I am not the only one having this problem, the motivation levels in PE are decreasing too. It’s been proven that pupils don’t like competition as much, yet lots of lessons end with competition. So what can we change to try and encourage them to be more motivated and to be bothered.
As practitioners, I believe we need to work out what will motivate and drive the pupils to show the most progress. I also feel that if they are more motivated to exercise and take part in sport, it can teach them more social skills and have a knock on effect in their school life. I think more parents should encourage their children to exercise more often or to limit the use of their phone/computer console at an early age. Recently, a lad at school shattered his wrist and had to have it pinned. The first thing he said was “I won’t be able to play Fifa.” My first question would have been “Can I still play football?” And I am sure many other PE teachers would have posed a similar question.
I still don’t know how to answer this problem, and I can’t provide a solution, but I am willing to work with my department and others of members of staff to try. Something needs to be done to get children to realise their potential and take the opportunities offered to them. If they aren’t willing to listen to us, then figures on obesity are going to rise. I want to help stop them.