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The Sport Education Model. Created by: Daryl Siedentop. 1. Features of Sport Education. Basic Premise: Instruction is carried out in a way which simulates an athletic team and season. Timing – this model is utilized at both the middle and high school level. West Hartford, SSW

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the sport education model

The Sport Education Model

Created by: Daryl Siedentop


features of sport education
Features of Sport Education
  • Basic Premise:
    • Instruction is carried out in a way which simulates an athletic team and season.
  • Timing – this model is utilized at both the middle and high school level.
    • West Hartford, SSW
  • Middle school sport ed mostly focuses on traditional team sports which are less lifetime oriented. Lifetime activities are typically taught in high school.
    • What are some examples of non-lifetime activities, focusing on team sports?
possible activities middle school
Possible Activities – Middle School
  • Basketball
  • Field Hockey
  • Fitness
  • Football
  • Hockey
  • Lacrosse
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Tennis
  • Track & Field
  • Volleyball
  • Weight Training
  • Wrestling
features of sport education1
Features of Sport Education
  • Seasons (not units)
    • Seasons typically last a minimum of 12 lessons. This promotes more in-depth understanding of the material (more depth, less breadth).
    • Teacher selects sport/activity. May also have students vote on choices.
  • Affiliation
    • Students quickly become members of teams, the rosters for which are constant throughout a season.
  • Formal Competition
    • Sports seasons include formal schedules. Typically, competitions are interspersed with practices.
features of sport education2
Features of Sport Education
  • Culminating Event
    • A competitive event highlights the season and provides goals for players to work towards.
  • Keeping Records
    • Records are publicized that provide feedback, define standards, and establish goals for players and teams.
  • Festivity
    • The festive atmosphere of sport enhances its meaning and adds an important social element for participants.
roles of student
Roles of Student
  • Students are increasingly responsible for leadership, instruction, assessing, and performing.
  • Potential student roles (all students practice and play in competitions)
    • Captain – functions as coach, runs practice/games
    • Statistician – record and post team and individual results on bulletin boards
    • Fitness Instructor – leads warm-up and possibly cool down (should be specific to the activity)
    • Manager – distributes and collects equipment, sets up playing field/court, arranges substitute for absent players
    • Referee – Referees games and is acquainted with rules and etiquette of the sport/activity.
      • Several team members are assigned the role of referee which trades-off throughout the season.
    • Player – no assigned role, participating member of team.
    • Scorekeeper – may designate to unprepared students
    • Other roles: assistant captain, reporter…
teacher role
Teacher Role
  • Teachers shift from teacher-centered to student-centered instruction.
  • Teacher must establish strong managerial system with rules and routines.
  • Teacher then has time to instruct, facilitate, and assess student learning more effectively.
    • Model works especially well in a team-teaching scenario
timeline of a sample unit

Day 1

Awarding of the captain’s position

Festive – announce with clapping

Team roster is announced for each captain

Captains and team members are selected in advance by teacher. May also have captains select in private.

Class breaks into teams and fills out captain’s packet

Instruct/remind students of behavioral expectations and responsibilities for each role.

Discussion of sport’s rules, etiquette, etc by teacher(s)

Day 2 – 5 (5 is used for this example, may be > or < days)

Each team practices separately (teacher checks off each skill once it has been satisfactorily completed)

Who leads practice? – two choices

Timeline of a Unit: Day 2 – 5 (Practice Only Days)


  • Explains practice sequence and activities at start of class which captains them implement.
    • It is suggested that teacher provide all directions at start instead of providing direction prior to each practice activity.
    • Teacher rotates helping each team’s practice.


  • Captains develop practice plan at home. Plans are reviewed by teacher prior to each class.
    • Teacher should provide materials (books, internet addresses, handouts of suggested activities).
    • May provide a reward/incentive for captains (bonus points, free PE t-shirt, release time to prepare, letter home)
      • Other incentives?
    • Teacher picks captain for each team

***May do a combination of the two – some portions of practice are teacher led, others are captain led

Day 6

Written assessment of rules, etiquette, and strategies (may include other elements)

Formal competition

Competition schedule is set by teacher

Day 7


Captains focus on deficiencies identified by the 1st day of competition.

Day 8

Formal competition

Day 9


Day 10

Formal competition

Day 11


Day 12, 13

Formal competition

Timeline of a Unit: Day 6-11

Day 14

Culminating Event

Should be festive and fun. Announce the championship over the school PA, Ss can bring in food/drinks, teacher distributes awards (most improved, coach of the unit…)

May include rewards such as a T-shirt

May invite students from around school to attend


Three options:

Round-robin where all teams play one another in a tournament format.

May need two days to complete

All teams are assigned an opponent with the top two teams playing one another in the championship.

Just the top 2 teams play one another while the other teams watch.

May need to give assignment to spectators.

Timeline of a Unit: Day 14

  • Teams with most points play in the championship (depending on how you structure the culminating event). Points are based upon the following:
    • Motor skill performance of team members
      • Based upon psychomotor assessments of students
      • Great model for authentic assessment (more time for assessment in this model)
    • Competition performance (wins v. losses)
    • Sportsmanship
    • Attendance
    • Proper warm-up
captain s packet

Important Points

  • Distributed the first day
  • Teams cannot move to the next skill without being checked off by the teacher.
  • Includes an advice sheet for captains


  • Within individual classes (just your class)
  • Within a class period (classes from multiple teachers)
  • Across classes (your classes, different periods)
    • Can only compete outside of class during lunch, intramurals, before/after school. The usual scenario is to have a competition between the champions from each class.


  • Competition/sport rules may be modified to promote participation. You do not need to play the “full” sport using all rules and regulations. Some modifications include:
    • 6 vs. 6 soccer
    • 3 vs. 3 volleyball
    • 3 vs. 3 basketball
    • Team tennis
setting up the model

Teach students about the roles prior to start of each season.

Can invite guest speakers such as a “real” coach, AT, referee, etc.

Address handling conflicts between students

Teacher should conduct mini-workshops for jobs needed during team practices or another appropriate time

Trainings might include rules for referees, field/court set-up for managers, score keeping for statisticians

Amount of teacher direct instruction will vary depending on grade level (older students may get more autonomy)

The more ownership students have in the season’s success, the more they will be motivated to achieve their goals.

setting up the model1

Make necessary modifications to rules and competition format

Teacher may want to write a “job description” for each role

Equity – all team members get to play the same amount of time.

Balance make-up of teams by gender, ability, behavior, & others

May preview teams with captains and allow for limited “trading”

Identify what skills each team must check off.

  • Allows students to be a part of a team (makes team membership more likely as adults)
  • Captains get to develop leadership skills and experience the role of being a coach.
  • Inclusive learning environment (everyone participates, not just highly skilled)
  • More student centered, utilizes different “voice” besides the teacher.
  • Better avenue for monitoring and promoting personal growth among all players.
  • Teachers and student enjoy this model
limitations and cautions
Limitations and Cautions
  • Introducing the sport ed model for the 1st time -
    • Start with a highly popular sport/activity to get the model rolling
    • Start with one class instead of all classes to get your feet wet
  • Class management skills needed
    • Use caution when implementing with a “difficult” class.
  • Interpersonal conflict
    • Conflict among students is the greatest

danger to effective implementation.

  • Don’t allow students to focus on what they lack,

focus on each team’s unique abilities.