Positive Physical Education: Teaching Well-Being Skills Through Sport
Positive Physical Education
The prevalence of mental health problems in young people is a serious issue globally. To expand the reach of well-being education within and beyond the school (and the classroom) environment, this capstone poses two big questions: "Can sport teach well-being?" "If so, which sports, and for what skills?" Focusing on the mind-body connection, this capstone leverages the inherent well-being benefits of physical activity and investigates the potential to incorporate explicit teaching of well-being skills through sport. Positive Physical Education (PPE) is introduced, and it aims to teach well-being skills to school-aged children through sport. PPE incorporates sports-based positive psychology interventions, that harness both physiological and psychological benefits, to form an ‘upward spiral’ towards improved well-being. This capstone will spotlight three sports and physical activities - hiking, boxing, and basketball – as vehicles to teach optimism, mindfulness, and empathy. We explore the qualities of sport that make it a great avenue to teach well-being skills, such as handling setbacks and adversities, the presence of coaches and teammates, body awareness, and stress regulation through our nervous systems, to name a few. The goal of this capstone is to inspire schools and sports educators to integrate well-being skills into their sports curriculum.