I Hate Gym (PE) Class!
How to become more athletic, stronger, leaner and start enjoying PE class
I HATED GYM (Physical Education) class. Here is a picture of me as a 13 year old skinny-fat. I was uncoordinated and couldnt play sports to save my life. Didnt matter what sport, every time teams were chosen I was the LAST one chosen. Only those of you who have had this happen know how embarrassing and demoralizing to be LAST all the time. I DREADED PE class. Every single day I would try to think of some creative way to get excused from class. I know how horrible it is, IVE been there.
I’m going to share with you how you can get better at sports, boost your self confidence, and start looking FORWARD to PE class instead of dreading it.
Its summer now and you have at least 3 months to get ready for the next school year. Give me the summer and I will make sure you are not the last one picked anymore. At the end of the summer you will be stronger, more skilled, your self esteem will be higher and your confidence better. You may not be the first person picked for teams but you certainly wont be the last!
Let me start by asking you this, what grade would you get in math class if you never read the book or did any homework? You would fail. Why do we expect PE class to be any different? We are not born knowing how to dribble a basketball any more than we are born knowing how to do longhand division. To get better at physical things, you have to work at it!
Here is coach Scoobys summer class sylabus for you:
- learn the rules
- lose fat (if required)
- increase strength
- skills practice
1) Learn the Rules. I know some PE teachers are excellent but none of mine in high school were. PE class was babysitting. They would take roll, lead stretches, then go drink coffee and read the paper. They didnt teach the rules of the games nor give us skill drills, we just went and played. For many of the sports, I had no idea what the rules were nor the terminology of the game. How can you possibly be good at something if you dont know the rules or dont understand what people are talking about? You cant! If you dont understand the rules and the strategy you will just run around in circles helplessly like a chicken with its head cut off. Step 1 is to learn the rules of the sports you will be doing in PE class. Read the wikipedia entries, read about rules, strategy, and the lingo. Spending an hour or two reading about each sport is all it takes:
- soccer rules and soccer strategy
- football rules and football strategy
- basketball rules and basketball strategy
- softball rules and baseball jargon
2) Lose Fat! If you are fat, one of the fastest ways to improve your confidence, self esteem, and sports performance is to lose weight. You lose weight by eating fewer caloreies and exercising more. You probably have to eat what is put on the table but you can choose WHAT you eat and how much you eat. Cutting back on the portions is the #1 easiest way for an overweight teen to lose weight – have one helping of mashed potatoes instead of two. The other thing you can do is make better choices from what is on the table. Choose more vegetables and fewer fried foods. Drink plain water instead of soda or juice. You might have a choice of foods at the school cafeteria too, have a turkey sandwich without mayo and an apple instead of a double cheeseburger and fries. You have more control over what you eat than you think. You might even offer to make a meal or go shopping now and then, gives your parents a break and lets you choose healthier options. When it comes to losing fat, nutrition is your #1 best tool but exercise is also important. Starting a cardio program helps burn the calories off. If you are overweight, doing 30-60 minutes of cardio a day is what you should shoot for. If you are *way* overweight, brisk walking is your best exercise. Running is good too but dont do it any more than every other day or you might get overuse injures, read about starting a running program. Biking and swimming are excellent for the days you are not running/walking.
3) Increase strength! One of the best confidence builders around is increasing your strength! If you dont have access to a gym or are too embarassed to go to one, no matter, you can make great progress with bodyweight exercises. Start with my pullups for beginners program and my 100 pushups program. When you get more confident find a used set of dumbbells and start on my beginning workout or my teen workout. Over the summer you wont develop bulging muscles, in fact, you may not see any difference at all but you *will* get a lot stronger and feel a *lot* better. You newfound strength will help you significantly in sports and even more important, it will boost your self confidence. As a newcomer to resistance training, it wouldn’t be unheard of to double your strength over the summer.
4) Skills practice. OK, so far we havent even touched a ball and obviously that is going to be necessary if we want to improve at sports. If you are shy or self conscious, you can do all these drills by yourself. If you are really shy, go out to the school ground early in the morning before anyone is around to practice. The trick is to keep the skills practice simple, just the basics. Another thing is that it is important to focus on skills that make you a good team player. Lets start with basketball as it illustrates some good points. Many would practice for basketball by just shooting baskets, wrong. Even if you cant make a basket to save your life, if you can pass well and dribble well, you will be first pick every time because the team captains know you will get the ball to THEM so THEY can make the baskets. So practice some shooting, yes, but far more important are dribbling and passing drills – things that make you a good team player. Lets look at some drills you can do by yourself on a sport by sport basis. Remember that the things they are doing in these drills are going to take you a *long* time to master – dont expect to do it like them the first time you try. The goal is to be able to do what they are illustrating by the end of the summer.
Despite what you have experienced, playing sports CAN be fun – LOTS of fun but you do have to put some work into it. Take the summer and just spend an hour a day working these four things and I guarantee you that come the first day of school next fall, you will be more confident, have higher self esteem, and actually have FUN in PE class.
Have a great summer!!!