In doing research for my new book I have been looking at the decline of physical education in the schools and the effects this has had on the process of developing athletes. When I started teaching in 1969 this was the model program, a famous physical educator and coach Stan LeProtti developed it. This is a boy’s gym class from La Sierra High School Carmichael California circa 1960’s. These are not the athletes this is a gym class! No cup stacking, no heart rate monitors, no machines just education that was physical. It was demanding and competitive, there were five levels of achievement signified by the color trunks that the students earned.
It makes you wonder where we lost our way? Where did standards and expectations get lowered? We need to wakeup fast; we are sitting on a time bomb of obesity and diseases’ of disuse from our hypokinetic society. The results will bankrupt the healthcare system. We must reinstitute mandatory daily physical education as a major step in the right direction. Of course there is a problem there because there are few colleges and universities that train physical educators anymore, but there are also solutions to that. We need action now!
Just to sum it one of the swim coaches I work with told that yesterday one of the gym classes at the local high had the students walk to Dairy Queen for the class activity – this speaks volumes! Let’s find the compass, orient to true north and get back on track.