3 Ways to Motivate Less Athletic Students in Gym Class

As a gym teacher, getting students motivated to exercise and engage in physical activity can be difficult—especially when you’re dealing with less-athletic students who would much rather be in computer class than in PE uniforms. Fortunately, there are a few steps all gym teacher can take to better motivate their students and get them excited to don those PE uniforms.

Encourage Healthy Competition

While not all students thrive on competition in PE uniforms, it can be used as a motivational tool for some students. Consider, for example, selecting activities that require students to break off into teams and compete against each other. If you have sets of different-colored PE uniforms, this can also help to enhance the sense of competition. Offering a small incentive or reward to the winning team can also be a good way to get students motivated in their PE uniforms.

Build on Individual Interests

Students have different interests when it comes to athletics. Even those who seem to have no interest whatsoever in donning PE uniforms can be motivated with the right activities. For example, that group of students who loves Harry Potter might get excited over a day of Quidditch in gym class. By getting to know your students and building activity plans based on their interests, you’ll have students who are actually excited to get those PE uniforms on and get moving.

Set Attainable Goals and Rewards

Some less athletic students may become discouraged when they aren’t able to keep up with their other classmates, so this is where setting more attainable goals can be useful for building confidence. For example, instead of holding your entire class accountable for achieving an average of a 10-minute mile, why not set individual goals for each student and reward those who make honest progress in their PE uniforms each week?

Every gym class will have students who would rather do anything but put those PE uniforms on, but with a little effort on your part, you can get any student excited about PE.

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