Negative Experiences in Physical Education and Sport: How Much do They Affect Physical Activity Participation Later in Life?

Document Type

Article - Merrimack Access Only

Publication Title

Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance


SHAPE America

Publication Date


Abstract/ Summary

People's feelings toward physical activity are often influenced by memories of their childhood experiences in physical education and sport. Unfortunately, many adults remember negative experiences, which may affect their desire to maintain a physically active lifestyle. A survey that asked 293 students about recollections from their childhood or youth physical education and sport experiences revealed that participants who had been picked or chosen last for a team had a significant reduction in physical activity later in life. Long recognized as an “inappropriate” instructional practice by NASPE, “captains picking teams” still occurs in some physical education and sport settings. With the increase in sedentary lifestyles and related health problems, teachers and coaches must consider the long-term effects of their use of potentially negative practices with children and youths in physical education and sport settings.