In recent years evidence has accumulated to document the importance of physical activity to lifelong health and fitness. This paper is based on the assumption that a primary goal of physical education is to promote lifetime physical activity. Common misconceptions are described and alternatives for change are proposed: (a) recognizing the unique physical activity needs of youth; (b) promoting opportunities for girls; (c) changing our focus from fitness to physical activity; (d) promoting self-esteem and feelings of competence among youth; (e) narrowing the scope of our objectives; and (f) emphasizing self-management skills in high school to help youth adopt active living as adults. The suggestions are based on scientific evidence and the author’s own experience.
Charles B. Corbin, David R. Laurie, Candice Gruger and Betty Smiley
Recent research indicates that females are particularly likely to lack confidence in their abilities to perform physical activities. One theory of instruction suggests a need for educational support for developing competence, self-confidence, and persistence in physical activities. Vicarious success in the form of audiovisual presentations is suggested as one method of educational support which may be effective in enhancing confidence, particularly among females. Thirty-nine adult women participating in an exercise class were studied to determine if vicarious success presented via audiovisuals was effective in altering self-confidence, commitment to physical activity, and physical activity involvement. A discriminant function analysis indicated a significant difference between treatment and control groups on a profile of improved confidence/attitude/activity involvement, with the treatment group showing a more positive profile. Vicarious success experiences enhanced self-confidence, and there was a trend toward greater persistence in activity among those experiencing vicarious success through audiovisual presentations.