6 Winter Olympic Sports Skills You Can Incorporate into Your Lesson Plans


Kids play field hockey outside

The Olympics is an exciting occasion for aspiring athletes around the world, who are in awe of the incredible feats of agility, strength, and grace they see on screen. Fortunately, the training that goes into developing gold-medal athletes can easily translate into simple, yet effective PE lessons.

Though you may not have icy conditions and Olympic-standard facilities at your school, with a little bit of creativity you can design lessons that teach your students to embrace the mindset of an athlete. Here, we’ll look at just some of the Winter Olympic skills you can incorporate into your PE classes this semester.

1. Balance and Focus (Freestyle Skiing)

Freestyle skiing is a sport that combines incredible acrobatics with alpine skiing. This event was only introduced to the Olympics in the 1990s, but includes a now highly anticipated combination of moguls, aerials, ski cross, slopestyle, and half-pipe techniques.

You may not be able to take your PE students to a slope for professional lessons, but you can still teach the value of balance, flexibility, and control. In freestyle skiing, athletes need to use their reflexes to maintain balance and perform the jumps they do in the air. Using lesson plans that encourage balance are the perfect training option.

2. Precision and Flexibility (Curling)

Curling became a part of the Winter Olympics in 1998. The game is over five centuries old and involves skimming large stones over an icy floor towards a specific target. This task requires excellent flexibility and precision – two skills that you can also teach students in your PE classes.

Have children kick balls with the aim of hitting another to improve their “curling” skills. Not only will this strengthen their lower body, but it will also teach them how to control their strength and use strategy to achieve better results.

3. Agility and Teamwork (Hockey)

High-intensity sports like ice hockey require athletes to think fast and respond quickly to problems on the field. These professionals don’t just have outstanding physical skills; they have excellent mental acuity, too.

Using field hockey instead of ice hockey, you can teach children the value of agility and strategy in sports. Since hockey is a team sport, your students will also begin to learn the value of cooperation and sportsmanship with regular lessons.

4. Timing and Grace (Figure Skating)

Figure skating has been a part of the Olympics for many years – in fact, it first appeared at the Summer Olympics in 1908. This sport requires the careful use of balance and elegance to perform excellence on the ice.

Your students can learn grace and balance through lesson plans focused on gymnastics and dance, which also provide a valuable opportunity for them to express themselves creatively and emotionally.

5. Courage and Commitment (Ski Jumping)

Like many winter sports, ski jumping requires a great deal of balance, strength, and precision, but it also calls for serious courage and commitment. It comes as no surprise that standing at the top of an Olympic ski jump can be a terrifying experience.

You can encourage your age appropriate students to develop a strong core through weight-lifting exercises and cardio, which is how many ski jumpers train. At the same time, you should focus on building self-confidence and courage among your students. Think about setting goals for each individual child that could help them overcome a sporting fear by the end of the semester.

6. Strength and Endurance (Snowboarding/Skiing)

Winter Olympic sports often require athletes to perform extreme acrobatics at top speed, which demands a high level of strength and endurance. These two important skills can also be taught to your PE students.

Fitness challenges in the form of mini-marathons and long-distance races can introduce children to the importance of committing to a goal and making strategic choices about speed. A process of using basic weight-lifting techniques and body-strength lessons, on the other hand, can help students discover the power of their muscles and the role of strength.

Explore SPARK’s innovative lesson plans today to find more inspiration for your PE curriculum and turn your students into potential olympians.

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