When most people think of their experience in Physical Education class, they either had a horrible or great experience. Horrible experiences include having to climb the rope or do pull-ups while the whole class watches in judgment. If you were athletically gifted, physical education was a place to shine and show your natural talents. For those who were not athletically gifted, it was a feeling of being out of place or isolated from the rest of the class. All your weaknesses were exposed in front of your peers. So the question becomes, how do we make physical education a safe and successful place for both the athlete and non-athlete alike?

In order for us to succeed in providing a safe and nurturing environment for both, at Harrisburg Academy we focus on the whole child reaching his or her full potential. Although skill acquisition and improvement is a component in our gym classes, this is certainly not our only focus. We focus on the effort the student gives during the activity and the sportsmanship he or she shows towards teammates and opponents. We realize that in order for physical education to extend and be relative to real work application, these character traits must be taught. When it comes to the skill aspect of physical education, our stance is not to make the best athlete, but rather to instill skills that students will be able to translate into classroom and real-world situations.

In the athletics and wellness departments, we do hope to instill in the students a love for physical activity outside of the classroom. We do not want our students to have the mentality that they should sit and watch as others are physically active. Throughout their life they will be put in situations where they will have opportunities to be active – whether it is a “fun run,” charity 5K, or even volleyball at the family barbeque. Ultimately, we want all Academy students to be participants and not just spectators. Join in!