Student participation in sport is quite low in many American schools. Over time, students are encouraged to focus more on their academics and less on their fitness and enjoyment of their favorite sports. While academics are certainly important, the body should not be neglected either, as it is, ultimately, the seat upon which the mind rests.
A big part of the problem is the fact that some students have already become accustomed to not doing sports at all. So, even when a sports program is initiated, it can be difficult to motivate these students to try it, therefore maintaining the low participation rates in sport.
With all the sports innovations popping up around the world, there has never been a better time for students to engage in sports. While encouraging students to try sport isn’t easy, it isn’t impossible either. There are simple tips you can follow to increase your chances of success. Here are 5 of the most important ones.
- Have clear Goals
Whatever activity you partake in, one of the most important steps is that you have a clear goal for your activity. Without a clear goal, it can be rather difficult to establish a sense of direction or even have any metrics you can use to measure your success.
As a teacher, you will want to set goals for the students to encourage them to want to put some effort into sports. Short and long term goals should both be present, and they should be broken down further into smaller, more achievable goals. For example, starting a soccer team with the aim of entering some league or winning some tournament is much better than starting a soccer team for its own sake.
You should also encourage your students to create their own goals, discuss them, and determine the best route to achieve them.
- Sports should be Fun
A common reason why many students aren’t motivated to try sports is that they see it as a chore. Try to avoid a monotonous sports routine, and keep things both interesting and varied. Ask your students to give you feedback on what they find fun and take it into consideration as you create your sports program. Students will feel a lot more motivated to try sports when they consider it play, rather than work.
- Create a Positive Feedback loop
Even as you ask your students for feedback, make sure you also provide feedback to your students. They should constantly know about their progress and what they can improve on their quest to achieve their goals.
Your greatest focus should be on creating a positive feedback loop. You want students to constantly know that they are making progress and growing in whatever sport they have chosen. They should also know what they need to improve to get to the next level, so that sport looks like an ascending staircase, rather than an impenetrable wilderness.
You should also celebrate the successes of your students. Few things motivate as well as celebrating small wins in the pursuit of larger wins. This will encourage your students to work even harder to achieve their sports goals because you have already confirmed to them that they are on the right track.
- Encourage Active Participation and Develop Awareness
We always appreciate most what we are actively engaged in. While motivating students, you should encourage them to actively participate in the improvement of their own fitness and health, rather than simply pass on instructions to them as if it were a classroom setting.
Try to give your students some help with finding free time for sports as well. Many of them will be bogged down by assignments and essays and the like. There are many top assignment writers in the United Kingdom that they can outsource that work to so that they can find more free time for sports.
When you make your students active participators in the process, their level of interest will stay up and they will also have a higher level of awareness. You can, for example, encourage them to record and track their level of physical activity every day and match them to their goals to see how progress they’re making. They should also write their motivations down so that they always know why they started in the first place. You can even encourage them to try and spread the good word to their friends. Sport is one of the most informative speech topics for college, so they can use it for their term paper or class presentation.
- Be Passionate about what you do
Your students will never feel motivated about sports if you don’t show motivation yourself. The most important thing about being an educator is to maintain a passion for what you do. It is contagious, and might just be the fuel that will ignite passion in your students too.
Sport is an important part of the educational process and should not be neglected. By following the tips above, you’re going to get a lot more students motivated to try sport. Hopefully, over time, we’ll see a much more active America due to this.
Michael Turner is a highly skilled content writer and researcher. His main focus is on education and technology. He also loves to write about human development and everyday life.