When a coach or gym teacher explains a physical
activity or movement, it is important for students to imagine
a mental picture of that motor activity or movement before trying
to do it. Students must first listen to the verbal instructions,
and then, translate those instructions into a visual picture of
what their muscles need to do. This involves both paying attention
to what the coach is saying and understanding the explanation.
Once a student has created a mental image of what the motor activity
will look like when put into action, she can plan her movements
to match the image in her mind.
- While explaining a physical activity, model
the steps students will need to do.
- Allow the student to practice the steps, for
example, kicking or throwing motions, as they are being modeled.
- Have students explain movement instructions
to another student using their own words.
- Color code in sports activities to provide
directional assistance. For example, use green, blue, and red
mats at the bases on the baseball field.
- Allow a student to say required steps aloud
while doing a motor activity, if it aids his ability to remember
or perform actions.
- You may encourage the student to move from
vocalizations to whispers to sub-vocalizations when comfortable.
- Vary the nature of students’ gross motor
experiences, including traditional gross motor activities (soccer,
basketball, swimming), non-traditional activities (hiking, martial
arts, canoeing, aerobic exercise and dance), and non-athletic
activities (music, art, manual crafts and construction activities,
dramatic arts, gardening).