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Teaching a Holistic, Harmonious and Internal Motivational Concept of Excellence to Promote Olympic Ideals, Health and Well-Being for All

in Journal of Teaching in Physical Education
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  • 1 University of Thessaly
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Based on recent trends in positive psychology, on ancient Greek sport literature and particularly on Aristotle’s philosophy, the holistic, harmonious and internal motivational components of excellence and their implications for students’ motivation for physical activity, health and well-being are presented. While modern motivational theories and research have partly addressed the holistic and internal motivational components of excellence, they have yet to address its harmonious part. In this article it is explained why all three components of excellence are required to promote eudaimonic well-being, which is the ultimate aim of Olympism. It is argued also that the conceptualization of hedonic-eudaimonic well-being should be primarily based on the “me” versus “us” meaning. While current physical activity experiences more often reflect a hedonistic perspective, to promote health and well-being for all, an eudaimonic perspective in teaching in physical education and youth sport is needed. This should primarily focus on the promotion of Olympic ideals, such as excellence, friendship, and respect. These three ideals and well-being are all very much interconnected, when all three components of excellence exist in excess. To promote excellence, Olympic ideals, and well-being, the core ideas of an educational philosophy promoting excellence in physical education and youth sport are presented.

The author is with the School of Physical Education & Sport Science University of Thessaly, Trikala, Greece.

Address author correspondence to Athanasios G. Papaioannou at sakispap@uth.gr.
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