- We cannot separate students from the societies in which they live.
- The general perceptions around them about the importance of fitness activities will necessarily have an effect on their own choice regarding physical activity.
- We should consider "the playground to PlayStation" phenomenon and the rising levels of obesity among Americans negative societal influences on motor development and fitness.
- Psychological influences on motor development and fitness include a student's mental well-being, perceptions of fitness activities, and level of comfort in a fitness-training environment (both alone and within a group).
- Students experiencing psychological difficulties, such as depression, will tend to be apathetic and lack both the energy and inclination to participate in fitness activities.
- As a result, their motor development and fitness levels will suffer.
- Factors like the student's confidence level of popularity within the group and the student's own personal insecurities, are also significant.
- It is noteworthy, though, that in the case of psychological influences on motor development and fitness levels, there is a more reciprocal relationship that with other influences.
- While a student's psychology may negatively affect their fitness levels, proper fitness training has the potential to positively affect the student psychologically, thereby reversing a negative cycle.
- Culture is a significant and sometimes overlooked influence on a student's motor development and fitness, especially in the case of students belonging to minority groups.
- Students may not feel motivated to participate in certain physical activities, either because they are not associated with the student's sense of identity or because the student's culture discourages these activities.
- For example, students from cultures with strict dress codes may not be comfortable with swimming activities.
- On the same note, students (especially older children) may be uncomfortable with physical activities in inter-gender situations.
- Educators must keep such cultural considerations in mind when planning physical education curricula.
- The economic situation of students can affect their motor development and fitness because lack of resources can detract from the ability of parents to provide access to extra-curricular activities that promote development, proper fitness training equipment (ranging from complex exercise machines to team sport uniforms to something as simple as a basketball hoop), and even adequate nutrition.
- Familial factors that can influence motor development and fitness relate to the student's home climate concerning physical activity.
- A student's own feelings toward physical activity often reflect the degree to which caregivers and role models (like older siblings) are athletically inclined and have a positive attitude towards physical activity.
- It isn't necessary for the parents to be athletically inclined, so much as it is important for them to encourage their child to explore fitness activities that could suit them.
Environmental and Health
- Genetic make-up (i.e. age, gender, ethnicity) has a big influence on growth and development.
- Various physical and environmental factors directly affect one's personal health and fitness.
- Poor habits, living conditions, and afflictions such as disease or disability can affect a person in a negative manner.
- A healthy lifestyle with adequate conditions and minimal physical or mental stresses will enable a person to develop towards a positive, healthy existence.
- A highly agreed upon motor development theory is the relationship between one's own heredity and environmental factors.
Rich Learning Situations
- Instructors should place students in rich learning situations, regardless of previous experience or personal factors, which provide plenty of positive opportunities to participate in physical activity.
- For example, prior to playing a game of softball, have students practice throwing by tossing the ball to themselves, progress to the underhand toss, and later to the overhand toss.