Turning back the clock


I was going through some files the other day looking for some information. I did not find what I was looking, but I did find something I had been looking for, for quite a long and could not find. (Good filing system) I found President’s Council on Youth Fitness test manual and the AAHPER Youth Fitness test manual from the 1960 when I first started teaching. What a revelation! These were all written in the early Sixties when there was mandatory PE Kindergarten to Grade 12. You talk about comprehensive. There was a balance test. There actually was a flexibility test that was a good test of balance and proprioception that included transverse plain movement. My question as I was reading through all of this was why did we get away from all this? I really think it was part of the overall dumbing down of our education system. We became so aware that someone might fail and hurt their self esteem that the tests were watered down to the point where now I am not sure what hey they are measuring. Sure not many kids scored above the 90th percentile to qualify for the Presidents fitness badge, but that made the award that much more meaningful. Getting the award was a real goal. The youngsters had a standard to measure against. I know as a teacher I always stressed improvement. The kids worked to improve their performance, that way everyone was rewarded in a positive manner. I strongly believe that your level of expectations determines your level of achievement. We definitely need to raise our level of expectations of children today. I am not so sure that kids have changed as much we like to think, but I sure do know that our expectations of kids has changed. I really think we need to revisit a lot of that material. Let’s not reinvent the wheel!
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Vern Gambetta

Vern Gambetta

Director at Gambetta Sports Training Systems
Vern is the Director of Gambetta Sports Training Systems. He has been the a conditioning coach for several MLS teams as well as the conditioning consultant to the US Men's World Cup Soccer team. Vern is the former Director of Conditioning for the Chicago White Sox and New York Mets. He has lectured and conducted clinics in Canada, Japan, Australia and Europe and has authored six books and over one hundred articles related to coaching and sport performance in a variety of sports. He has a BA in teaching with a coaching minor and an MA in Education with an emphasis in physical education from Stanford University.
Vern Gambetta


Athletic Development Coach & Consultant. Founder of GAIN Network. Proud dad. Love to read everything.
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Vern Gambetta

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