Physical Education – Why Some Children Don't Like it

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A formal school education is not just meant to develop one’s brain skills alone but to develop good physical well being too. A healthy mind in a healthy body is the idea behind including physical education as a part of school curriculum for the children.

Though playing games, engaging in competitive sports and developing physical strength and stamina are expected to be very attractive to children as a way of diversion from the boredom of studies, in reality, there are children who dislike physical education. There can be several reasons for it and we shall look into some of them. 

1)  The basic fact of creation – every one is unique

In God’s creation variety is the essence of life. Not all are created with equal likes and dislikes, equal mental and physical stamina, and equal curiosity on various aspects of acquiring knowledge and physical skills.  Though generalizations exist at a macro level, differences are unavoidable at micro level.

Some children are born book worms. Some children have more attraction towards fine arts like music, drawing, dance etc than logical learning of mathematics and science. Some children love to study language and poetry rather than science. Some children love to play all through the day and given a choice, they would rather avoid opening the books for study!

Likewise, there are also children who have the least attraction for sports and physical education. It is a natural reality.

 2)  Inability to develop sporting skills

Even if some children have lots of interest in sports, they may not be endowed with the physical prowess to learn and grasp specific skills of the games. To cite a personal example, during my school days, I had a love for volley ball; but I was not endowed with the physical stamina to play the game with energy; I did not possess the quick reflexes and an agile body to learn and display the nuances of volley ball. Despite my trying hard with sincerity, I found that I had certain inherent limitations in me to master the essential skills of the game. Over a period of time, I got resigned to the reality of being a spectator rather than a player of the game that I loved.

 3)  Physical limitations

Not every one is gifted with good physique, stamina, height, weight etc to participate in games and excel in them. Physical limitations and handicaps can put off people from enthusiastically taking part in physical education classes.

 4) Fear of injury

Some children might get a bad start in physical education by facing some unexpected problems like an injury, sprain, or accident and this bad experience may frustrate them from actively taking interest in sports and games.

 5) Fear of failure and ridicule

Some children, by nature may be too sensitive to losing in competitive sports and to face any ridicule on account of it. Some children, who excel in formal education and remain class toppers may feel averse to losing in a game or in competitive sports,  where their skills may not be up to the mark. This very idea of losing their “topper status” may dissuade them from taking active interest in physical education classes.

    There is no denying of the fact that physical education as part of curriculum is extremely important. Children can learn the importance of developing a good physique at young age and also derive a joy out of it too. However, it must be understood that not having a liking for physical education should not be considered as a bad trait in some children, unless the children are outright lazy. Individual likes and dislikes, and capabilities and limitations must be accepted as a reality of life.


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