Strategies November December 2022 cover
November / December 2022



Strategies: A Journal for Physical and Sport Educators

Member subscribers click below to view this current issue

  November/December 2022 (Volume 35, Issue 6)

Not a member? Become one now!

Table of Contents

Free Access Article
USTA and Tennis Canada learning to play tennis initiatives: Applying Ecological dynamics, Enactivism and Participatory sense-making
– Timothy Hopper and Jesse Rhoades 

In this series of two papers, we connect complexity theoretical frameworks of ecological dynamics and enactivism to initiatives for learning to play tennis advocated by USTA and Tennis Canada. These initiatives were inspired by the International Tennis Federation commitment to reduce the complexity of learning tennis by rescaling the game for children and novice players. This paper suggests that tennis teaching is shifting from a skill and drill approach to one embracing a play-practice-play idea in line with Ecological Dynamics. Considering players as dynamic and adaptive sense-making beings, this paper outlines how these initiatives create the conditions to embrace insights from motor learning in relation to a constraints-led approach, and enactivism from embodied cognition. Paper one concludes with applying an enactivist teaching strategy called modification by adaptation to these tennis initiatives, showing how players of diverse ability can challenge each other, promoting more game-based dynamic learning.  

Become a member and subscribe to Strategies for access to these articles below:


Enactivism and learning to play tennis: Modification-by-adaptation enabling action spaces and nonconscious behavioral mimicry
Timothy Hopper and Jesse Rhoades 

Paper two builds on the theoretical and contextual foundation developed in paper one by exploring in more depth how to teach tennis based on the use of USTA modified equipment and Tennis Canada’s play-practice-play program. Drawing on the enactivist cognitive approach to teaching tennis, this paper shows how tennis players, through participatory sense making processes and non-conscious behavioral mimicry, self-organize their action spaces in relation to affordances in the game environment, including their opponent. Using modification by adaptation games this paper highlights specific examples associated with common tactical concepts of time, space, risk and force that can be used to maximize players' game-based learning. 

Why Informal Professional Development Matters: Six Tips to Developing Professionally in the Physical Education Profession
Cathy McKay and Hayden Bartley

The focus of this article is to offer tips for PETs to develop and grow professionally. The following tips are not listed in order of importance, nor are they meant to be an exhaustive list. Instead, tips for enhancing PD practices within the physical education profession are categorized based on associations with knowledge, practice, and student achievement. 

Increasing Physical Education & Physical Activity time in school: Strategies that Worked
Catherine Egan, Meghan Slagle, and Helen Brown

Students at a K-8 magnet school drastically lacked opportunities for physical activity throughout their school day. The authors (physical education teacher and graduate advisors) describe how the physical education teacher advocated and made positive change in her school. The physical education teacher conducted a physical activity needs assessment focusing on existing programs within the school and the assessment results revealed that only one-fourth of all K-8 students were currently scheduled for either a physical activity or physical education option each quarter. The physical education teacher shared results with the school principal and received immediate support to increase PE and PA options. Upon conducting a document review of a school-wide program called Fridays in Freemont (FIF; name changed for anonymity), and using the Comprehensive School Physical Activity Program model as a guide, the physical education teacher was able to create the following changes: (1) amend the master schedule to allow for all K-3 students to participate in physical education twice a week, (2) create a user-friendly guide for school staff to use to increase PA opportunities for 4-8 grade during FIF, and (3) make progress implementing a quarterly program called Families in Freemont to include families and students in PA events, in order to support the healthy futures of students on a broader scale. 

A Coach’s Role in Fostering Mental Toughness
Bradford Strand, Amanda Anderson, Jackson Kreuser, and Jared Samuelson

Mental toughness in athletes is a difficult concept to explain but essential for long-term success in sport. Fostering mental toughness requires both physical and mental challenges. In sport, this is most often executed during practice sessions. This article defines the concept of mental toughness and provides ideas on the role of coaches in establishing mental toughness in their athletes. 


Effective Icebreakers for Secondary Physical Education Classes
Nancy Piedra and Jiling Liu

Physical education is an important venue to develop children’s motor competencies and healthy lifestyles. It is concerning that participation rates in secondary physical education classes have been declining in recent years. The decline is often associated with a decreased level of motivation. While many physical educators are struggling with finding effective ways to motivate their students, we recommend incorporating effective icebreakers to approach the challenge. In this article, we will discuss the benefits of using icebreakers and describe a set of three icebreakers that are easy to implement in physical education classes.

A Message to Share With Your Future Athletes
Lynn Pantuosco-Hensch

This article is a compilation of advice for young athletes. This guidance is based on years of research by experts in sports medicine, and strength and conditioning, as well as Olympic and NCAA professionals. By studying athletes who compete at advanced levels, experts can better identify what it takes to become a successful athlete. Since there are many factors that go into long-term athletic success, focus on the factors you can control.  

Engaging Quality Assessment in Physical Education: Concepts, Examples, and Recommendations
Eric Shea and Brent Heidorn

Assessing student learning is important in education, particularly in K-12 schools. Quality assessment includes collecting, synthesizing, and interpreting information so that educators can make more informed decisions for continued teaching and student learning. With quality assessment, teachers can better evaluate the learning that has taken place among their students. The purpose of this article is to provide a brief overview of assessment concepts, and highlight examples and recommendations for quality assessment in physical education. 

Talking the Talk, Walking the Walk: Six Simple Strategies for Enacting Student Voice in Physical Education
Donal Howley

Student voice is frequently advocated for in Physical Education (PE). Yet, often when student voice is presented and described, what is found are strategies and methodologies that capture or give voice, where teachers work on rather than with students. This article presents six simple strategies I have successfully utilized to enact student voice in high school PE settings.