March 15, 2022

What Does Gym have to do with Social Emotional Development Anyway?

We often disconnect our physical well-being from our social interactions and emotional state. We stick it in our sub basement, deep from all eyes to pass judgement.


It goes back to being "seen". You can hide if you don't write well. You can hide that math isn't your strong suit. You can even hide if you are not a good reader. Your physical self, you cannot hide. It is visible for all to see...every slip and mis-step, every ball not caught, all eyes are on you.

How many of you faked a stomachache on gym days?

We have to open old wounds to clean them, it is the only way to heal properly...

Whats the old saying? You look good, you feel good? That doesn't just apply to make-up or your finest fashion line. It also goes with YOUR comfort of physical self.

Emotions is the vehicle for this, it drives the direction of what we want and need. WE all have deep inside a need to belong...So if what you can and cannot do affects your social situation, children are not going to do it, point blank.

Here is something to think about...

 This is the first full year that students are in school. Below is a chart that compares the last time they were in a building with 25 other classmates.

Last year in schoolCurrent year
4th Grade6th Grade
5th Grade7th Grade 
6th Grade8th Grade

4th to 6th

The 4th grader is starting to develop a love for a certain sport. Complex movements are now becoming more natural...or at least familiar. The level of comfort is developing.  Social emotional connections and groups are being formed. They are learning how to compete and be more engaged, the two not mutually exclusive.  Instead you have the older 6th grader, unsteady, hormones developing, trying to find self while re-learning social cues and interactions.

5th to 7th

The 5th grader now 7th grader misses cues, is still discovering self, hormones in full rage and still afraid to throw and run at the same time....The boy/girl/it/they/non-binary that they are interested in is watching... no way a middle schooler is going to embarrass themselves.

6th to 8th 

The 6th grader now 8th grader...fully afraid of social interactions, trying to find self as well as find self amongst other people but has to be ready for high school with hundreds of people around (yes, I know that was long but read that again).....but hasn't figured out how to operated around 30 people. Yes!! and still not comfortable running in a straight line. They hide it behind "it not being cool" and "lack of interest".  What we know is they are masking "physically" not being comfortable with "emotions". Then, they hide amongst the social mob mentality.

In Conclusion

We cannot worry about throwing balls and running if we do not address being able to handle spaces with other people.  It is important that we share our stories with our children to prepare them from what is to come.  They as well as the rest of the world, are trying to catch up to the new norms.  Everything is tied together, mind, body and feelings.  In P.E. (Physical Education) we address the whole child. You feel good, you can start to look good and feel the energy around you. Be a villager in your children's lives. Let's support each other to maximize our children's potential.

I will leave you with this...

Any and everything you do, do it with passion and grit....find your passion and get to it.