The PE Playbook – May 2016 Edition

Welcome to the May 2016 Edition of the PE Playbook. The PE Playbook is a review of blog posts over the past month that are specific to Physical Education or Youth Sport. Its about bringing these blog posts into a format that is easy to find, use and share. Hopefully this will result in more PE Teachers (and others) reading them and engaging with them. If you have any feedback about the presentation or content of the PE Playbook then please let me know in the comments section of this post or via @ImSporticusPrevious Editions of the PE Playbook can be found here


John Stoszkowski is a lecturer in sports development and coaching at the University of Central Lancashire in the UK and blogs at where he contemplates about learning. John has been on fire over the month of May and has produced some thought provoking posts. In Is Convenience Killing Learning? John asks us how do we quality assure the information we ‘consume’? Has social media made us lazy and comfortable with fast food info rather than taking the time to follow the leads and reflect on our context.  Coaches it seems prefer informal learning as a main part of their professional development, but Much to learn you still have… ponders whether coaches are learning to be liked, rather than to be effective. With Leicester winning the Premiership, many people have been seeking to find answers. In Claudio Ranieri, David Hume, and the Butterfly Effect John cautions us by sharing  Bonini’s paradox; that if we break success down into separate parts we may miss the bigger picture, by trying to reduce this complexity to simplified models or rules, the complexity is lost.

In A word to the wise John explores the difference between Wisdom and Knowledge through Jeste’s six components of wisdom. Accepting uncertainty is one that I’m trying to embrace in my own teaching and coaching. Fun is a topic of debate between PE Teachers. John feels whilst it is important but warns us that Learning – It isn’t always fun and that we might we often prioritise style over substance. Superhero’s are fast becoming part of the cultural norm. Perhaps rather than being Batman or Superman, John ask us whether we should Be more like Bullshit Man. As coaches we should try find our powers of critical thinking and filter out all the useless information we take in. Finally in  Are we out of the woods? explores the difference between copying and innovating. Do we as teachers and coaches just copy something we find, online or when watching others, and absent kindly just stick in into our toolbox. Or do we take the time to see how it fits with us, our contest and the people whose learning we take responsibility for. What I really like about John’s blogging is that there are no answers, only further provocations and questions. They are filled with links to explore and challenges for us to answer.


Rounders – is it time to end our love affair? by Lee Andersen  once again challenges the status quo of secondary PE teaching. This is when Lee is at his best, taking an activity we all take for granted and looking at it from a different perspective.

Throwing away the plan… by David Court via Nick Levett’s blog asks us to reconsider sticking religiously to the session plan, over the needs of the players, that might emerge within the session.

How to Measure Success in Physical Education by Dr Justen O’Connor is a deep exploration of a wholistic assessment of Physical Education, something far removed from criteria and norm referencing.

Who we used to be by Kelvin Giles is a post that romances about a time of freedom. Whilst I don’t agree with everything in the post, it challenges me to think how we can regain some of the freedoms for the children in our care, whilst at the same time creating a safe environment

Shifting tide by Mel Hamada is a post about continuing to deliver extra-curricular sport whilst also under pressure to deliver a PE curriculum.

A repost to the drills killing creativity argument via Stuart Armstrong  is a guest blog and a response to his initial blog post on are drills killing creativity.

Lessons Along the Way – Advice for Young Practitioners by @InformedinSport is a wonderful post from a coach who shares 22 reflections on their coaching journey so far.

Of Leaders, Followers and the Self by Sherri Spelic ponders the dynamics of leading and following of her students within the classroom.

Coaching Congruency by Grant Jenkins asks us as teachers and coaches whether we just talk the talk, or whether we walk the walk as well.

The Prize of Perseverance by Amanda Stanec shares the story of her own daughter’s experience of learning to swim, and the lessons learnt through perseverance. Further she considers how that access and support her daughter had to persevere to succeed can be shared for everyone and their own physical literacy journey.

Valuing Meddlers in Re-View and Pre-View by Keith Lyons  looks at the differences between performance reviews and learning and suggests one is what the system does to you, and the other is what you do for yourself.











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