Physical Education

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Articles on Physical Education:
   Major in Physical Education
   A future in Physical Education

Major in Physical Education

Article by Rachelle Wiggins

“Work gives us the opportunity to use our endowed talents to showcase God’s love for the world.” ~Christos Makridis

Spend five minutes researching our nation’s obesity epidemic and you will quickly understand why it has been deemed a health crisis! Physical activity has been shown to not only control weight, but stress and anxiety as well, proving its mental health as well as physical fitness benefits. In addition, being physically active has been shown to lower cholesterol and blood pressure, improve strength and endurance and even prolong life expectancy. Therefore, it only makes sense to promote an active lifestyle wherever possible, including in our schools where children are encouraged to develop healthy exercise habits. Physical education, as a major, promotes lifelong physical fitness in children and adolescents, as well as in adults. It is a great major for someone with a passion for health, who enjoys sports and models a well-balanced lifestyle. 

In addition to this desire to encourage activity and wellness, a physical education major should possess certain traits such as good communication and interpersonal skills. These are necessary when working as a team player amongst other staff members, administrators, parents and students. If your goal is to become a P.E. teacher, it should go without saying that you enjoy kids and have strong teaching skills. Sometimes this is overlooked, however, by those more interested in sports and games than in the people into whom they will be investing time and energy. Being a P.E. teacher is a demanding job that requires creativity, organization and energy in order to keep students engaged and moving for six-plus hours a day! Even if you end up in a field other than teaching, it is important to be patient and compassionate since you will deal with individuals of all skill levels and athletic abilities, all of whom need to be motivated by your leadership, good sportsmanship and praise.

As a physical education major you can expect to take a plethora of science classes including biology, physics, anatomy and physiology. You will also learn about the prevention and care of injuries and delve into the history and philosophy of physical education. You may expect to participate in labs that focus on individual, dual or group sports, including net and wall games. Generally speaking, a degree in physical education will require a semester of student teaching near the end of your program. Some other examples of classes you might take include:

  • Biomechanics
  • Motor Development
  • Physiology of Exercise
  • Psychology of Sport
  • Concepts of Motor Skills 

While most students who earn a degree in physical education go on to become elementary or post-secondary P.E. teachers, there are others who end up in alternative careers, as well. Some possible career outcomes for those with a physical education degree are:

  • Exercise physiologist
  • Personal trainer
  • Coach/Intramural sports program director
  • Sports nutritionist
  • Fitness center manager
  • Athletic director
  • Athletic trainer

It’s no accident your Creator has wired you with a love for physical activity and a desire to educate others about the benefits of exercise. If you enjoy fitness and desire to lead others to new heights of healthy living, then perhaps God is leading you to major in physical education!