Frederick L. de Guzman
Teacher I, COBNHS
We are very much aware of the vital roles physical activities play in the development of one’s health. Regardless of what aspect is considered, it cannot be denied that it contributes a lot in the well-being of an individual. Childhood experiences of physical activities especially playing are surely unforgettable. The playing years continue in primary grades where simple games are introduced. This is where movement explorations begin. The child becomes aware of how one moves in space, and how to manipulate body parts in sports. Learners are slowly exposed to different levels of competitions until college where importance of winning is emphasized. As an athlete, I appreciate how my coaches motivated me to compete with all my heart.
Time passed and I took up Secondary Education major in Physical Education. I still remember one of my mentors, Mr. David C. Santos, the former Sports Director of Bataan Peninsula State University (formerly BPSC) who told me to take up my graduate studies in Manila. He said that most of the knowledge that I will acquire, other than my professors, will come from my classmates who come from different places with different experiences. Fervently, I took his advice.
Now as a teacher, coach and trainer for more than a decade, I realized how my experiences has helped me find a way of still looking for the “missing link”. We have dreamed of winning a gold medal in the Olympics. We have tried all that we can to catch that elusive pride. But we always end up a failure. We are a well-spirited nation though fighting for our honor but unfortunately, we often times bring home empty handed bringing only our hearts.
It is very important to fathom why we have missed a lot of opportunities. We are trying our best to produce quality athletes. Others are sent abroad for their training and some are self-supported. The government cannot be blamed alone. They are actually trying and doing their best to hone the finest future athletes of the country hoping to produce a gold-medal performance in the Olympics. But personally, it seems impossible to produce such athlete without looking at the very foundation of how each of us learned how to move.
I have observed common scenarios involving teaching sports or movement in particular. Teaching the foundation of movement is taught at a very low quality and that is where the problem begins. Teachers should consider that our body is capable of adapting any repeated movements that we do. No wonder, if movements are repeatedly done wrong, our brain will get used to it and consequently, poor quality is produced.
Training programs aren’t even monitored efficiently if it is based on science. Also, one of the most important things that we neglect is to maximize the contributions and use of science. One cannot deny the fact of its position in the field of sports. The eligibility of the coach or trainer is another concern. Yes, they know how to handle or train athletes, but if we take a look at their “coaching toolbox”, very few erudition can be seen from it. The only consolation is that they know a little bit of everything without any mastery and virtuosity at all.
Our mentality of achieving the results that we want is far from reality if we will not put in the core the importance of teaching the proper foundation of movement. Continuity of effective programs are indispensable. A highly competent, educated, experienced and effective coach or trainer is needed in our sports program. Technology is outpouring with information. Utilizing it to our advantage is one of the most important things that we can do. Just like other countries, more sports scientists are needed to man our athletes.
We still have a long way to go. Yet, our hidden talents are out there waiting to be discovered.
If that’s the case, are you the missing link?
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