Monday, April 4, 2011

More of the National AAHPERD Conference!

Day 2 of the National AAHPERD Conference was an all day experience! I woke up extra early to get down to the Convention Center early enough to catch a session on how to get unmotivated students motivated. I was a little disappointed because this session was more of a sales pitch but the idea discussed I believe has some real potential. The product was called a Zamzee.

visit for more information
The Zamzee is an online rewards program for teens that helps promote physical activity. You wear the "Zamzee" which is like a high tech pedometer and it records how much you've moved around. You can walk your dog, jump, run, dance because it all can be recorded. Next you connect your Zamzee to your computer where you can track your activity, which powers your online account. You can convert your activityto currency that you can spend online at the Zamzee store. I feel this has great potential to get teens active but I still would need to more information and do more research on the product.

After this session I quickly moved to see John Ratey speak. For those of you who don't know who John Ratey is he is a MD, an Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, a Research Synthesizer, Speaker and a Author. John Ratey wrote SPARK: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain. In Spark he guides the reader to an understanding of neurobiology and tries to help the reader reach their full potential and embrace exercise because it is crucial for the brain and body to operate at peak performance!

During his speech at the conference he discussed many things from his book but talked about how we are the agents of change and that we need to understand the correlation between exercise and the brain along with the body. We placed emphasis on the need for fitness and how we as physical educators should not teach skills but fitness because fitness is what children need. I do believe what Mr. Ratey says but I believe in balance and that skills along with fitness should be taught to students because it is the combination of these two things that will help keep students healthy for a lifetime.

After this I ran over to the Hilton Bayfront Hotel to see Drew Brees speak! Our very own Lynn Couturier was the speaker for this event and allowed all of SUNY Cortland students to come up on stage and be recognized. Drew Brees talked about his various foundations and organizations like Play60 and The President's Challenge.

For more information on the President's Challenge click here.

For more information on Play 60 and the NFL click here.

After this session, I made my way back over to the convention center to a session on ABL (Adventure Based Learning) for elementary students. This session was very much like the Adventure Activities course offered here at SUNY Cortland. We played many games that I had played before but many different games I've never played before. After about 2-4 games we would all sit down and "debrief". We talked about how the activities made us feel and from people's responses the coordinators would ask specific questions based on ideas like success, teamwork and patience. I learned many different ways to debrief with elementary students which I feel will be beneficial to me because I can incorporate adventure education into my classroom curriculum.

The final session I attended was a coaching philosophy session which really helped me gain insight on aspects of coaching I over looked and aspects I forgot being an athlete.

Needless to say it was a long day! I came back to the hotel and took a nap in the beautiful sunshine! It's okay to be jealous!

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