In most American school systems coaches are also physical education teachers, and physical education teachers are also coaches. Historically speaking most physical educators don’t choose to go into the field because of their love for gym class, but because of their love for football, basketball, baseball… sports of some kind. And for a high percentage of these folks coaching (their first love) occupies 90% of their attention, while physical education class (their job) occupies 10% of their attention.
In other words the games, and practices for those games is where the coach’s heart is, while PE class is an afterthought, a stepchild, a second class citizen that’s tolerated because it’s the means to a highly regarded, highly valued, and often highly publicized (it’s also the most potent PR vehicle in the world for most schools systems) end – the games, the sports, and the 5 to 10% of students who actively participate.
Physical Educators and Pink Slips
Under these conditions is it any wonder why Physical Education has inadvertently climbed all way to the bottom of the academic ladder in most school systems? The people who are in charge of the classes don’t even value them.
In contrast math and science inevitably occupy the top two positions, while art, music, and physical education occupy the bottom three positions, and everything else is sandwiched in between. Under these conditions is it any wonder why physical educators are so often at the first pink slip recipients when local budget slashers start chopping away at their school system’s budget?
A Strategy Designed to Steal the Football Coach’s Spotlight
In this light I’d like to introduce a strategy that’s designed to steal the football program’s spotlight an to refocus that spotlight on the 90 to 95% of the students who have historically been overlooked, ignored, and basically shortchanged by sports dominated physical education departments, educational administrators, school boards, and American culture in general.
In the process we’ll aim to breathe new life into physical education, rescuing it from the depths of academia, placing it right up alongside math and science. After all, a mathematician or a scientist who lacks a physical body is pretty hard to value.
Solving a $100 Billion Dollar Problem
Think about this scenario. Over the past fifteen years obesity in this country has grown into an epidemic. According to government sources two thirds of Americans are overweight. One third of Americans are obese. And childhood obesity is a forest fire raging out of control costing American taxpayers a cool $100 billion annually.
I contend that physical educators can tackle this problem with a simple and cost effective intervention and successfully eliminate childhood obesity one child at a time, one school at a time, and one school system at a time. This in turn will cause local communities to see physical educators in an entirely different light. Check it out.
In Less Than Five Minutes Per Week
Here’s how it works. Show all your kindergartners how to use a height adjustable pull up bar together with a technique called leg assisted pull ups in order to grow stronger week after week, month after month, all year long while learning to do conventional pull ups. In less than five minutes a week you’ll find that 90% of your kids will learn to do conventional pull ups in year one, and the other 10% will be well on their way.*
Eliminate Childhood Obesity in Your School District
But why in the world are pull ups so important you ask? They’re important because kids who can do pull ups are NEVER OBESE. And once they’ve learned to do pull ups, all they have to do is maintain the ability and they’re IMMUNIZED AGAINST OBESITY FOR LIFE. Now if you repeat this kindergarten based scenario with each new class for five straight years, and make sure your graduates maintain their ability, childhood obesity will be eliminated in your school within five years.
Much Bigger Than a Win on the Football Field
And if you let the media in on what you’re up to it won’t be long before the junior high and high school have implemented their own respective editions of this (Operation Pull Your Own Weight) strategy, and within one decade you and your fellow physical educators will have eliminated childhood obesity in your school district completely.
Changing the Communities Eyeballs
Do you suppose that would be worth a headline or two in the local (national) newspaper, TV or radio station? And in the process what do you think that would do for the value of physical education in your community? At worst I’m talking about great job security! At best I’m talking about helping lots of kids live more productive lives while avoiding the obesity related problems that plague so many lives today. Now remind me one more time, why are math and science are so important?