Sports Education is a curriculum and instruction model designed for delivery in physical education. Modifications can be made to suit any age category, activity or setting. It is most effective with game-based activities and with participants who have a good level of basic competence.
It is intended to provide children and youth with a more authentic and enjoyable sports experience than what we typically see in traditional physical education lessons. This model was developed and introduced by Daryl Siedentop in 1984 and has since been adapted and successfully implemented in all national and international physical education programs. Students participate as team members in seasons that are longer than a typical physical education unit (usually longer than six weeks). They take an active role in sport and experience their own physical activity by serving in varied and realistic roles as evidenced in authentic sports settings such as captain, coach, coach, statistician, officer, publicist, and member of sports council. Teams develop camaraderie through team uniforms, names, and develop a strong affiliation with their team as they work together to learn and develop their skills and tactical play.
There are three main objectives that guide program development in Sports Education. It serves as a guide to ensure students become competent, literate, and enthusiastic players (Siedentop, 1994). This means that teachers must design learning experiences that facilitate student learning (not just supervised matches). According to Siedentop (1994);
• A competent player has sufficient skills to participate satisfactorily, can execute strategies appropriate to the complexity of the game being played, and is a knowledgeable player.
• A literate player understands and respects the rules, rituals and traditions of a sport, and is able to distinguish between good and bad sporting practice in a variety of sporting settings.
• An enthusiastic player is one who preserves, protects and enhances sports culture through participation, engagement and appropriate behavior.
To achieve this goal, students need to develop a set of objectives which Siedentop (1994) has identified as the following ten items.
• Develop skills and fitness specific to a particular sport.
• Appreciate and be able to carry out strategic play in sports.
• Participate at a level appropriate to their stage of development.
• Sharing in the planning and administration of sports experiences.
• Provide responsible leadership.
• Work effectively in groups towards a common goal.
• Appreciate the rituals and conventions that give certain sports their unique meaning.
• Develop the ability to make sound decisions about sporting matters.
• Develop and apply knowledge of referees, referees and training.
• Decide voluntarily to get involved in sports after school.Features
What makes sports education unique and different from other types of physical activity and physical education instruction?
o Sports or physical activity played in seasons or at certain times
o Students participate as team members
• Formal Competition
o Competition schedule built into seasons in the middle of training sessions
• Peak Event
o Sport recognizes individual and team performance through closing events
• Saving Notes
o Individual and team performance records provide feedback to students and encourage goal setting for improvement
o Sports are interesting and meaningful to participants and should be reflected in the sporting season.
Formal Seasons & Competitions
In the sports education model, sports are played in “seasons” rather than units. Using the term season makes the physical education experience more true to being part of an authentic sports season. Just like in authentic sports games played throughout the season with a closing culmination event.
Usually the first question college students have when it comes to physical education is, “Can we play today?” The idea of a season-long game appeals to students because it offers frequent opportunities to play. In the sports education season students participate as teams in skills training and games; all build a unified team. Using instructional models such as Game Sense or Teaching Games for Understanding (TGFU) can also be incorporated into sports education seasons to allow this form of game to be played on a daily basis. The form of this game allows