Integrate strength and conditioning into the PE curriculum at secondary school

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James Baker

Sport has long played an important role in school life and competitive sporting fixtures have also been established for a long time. Indeed, in many institutions – especially in the private sector – traditional fixtures and events have always been seen as key dates in the school calendar. But although competitive success has always been seen as important, focus has normally been on technical and tactical practice, with far less attention paid to the athletic development of young people who wish to excel in sport and/or enjoy life-long physical activity. However, all this is now slowly changing, with a greater understanding developing of the potential contribution that an effective athletic development programme can have on multiple layers of both physical health and sporting performance. Indeed, it can be argued that the need for a focus specifically on physical development with young people is greater than ever as we battle against increasing levels of physical inactivity,3 levels that are producing weaker, slower and less physically literate children. In the world we live in today, just playing and practising a sport in itself is not enough to develop the modern athlete: a more rounded approach to such development is required. In schools we coaches have more contact time than anyone else with young people over a relatively long period of time throughout their school life. Therefore, a physical education curriculum provides an excellent opportunity to expose young people to high quality strength and conditioning.

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