Be encouraging instead of critical to make a difference in someone’s life

Having empathy for people and being kind, even if it doesn’t seem like a big deal to you, can make a huge difference. We don’t know what’s going on in others’ minds. Older generations like to talk about how our generation has become too sensitive, but it is important that students realize the impact of their words and support, rather than ridicule. This is especially important in performance classes, such as physical education.

  Being older, you would think people would have better sportsmanship, but this is not the case. The most common fear about participating in physical education classes, according to “Parent Tips: Helping Your Child Overcome PE Anxiety” by the Spark staff at, is the lack of physical ability and being picked last for team games.

  Going by my own experience in PE, I would usually get really worked up beforehand, but after actually starting the game for the day or workout, I would be fine. I was never afraid of being picked last, that was never my problem. I was always worried about being made fun of for not having the physical ability even though deep down I knew that I did.

  The last time I had a PE class was freshmen year. Being a freshman and sharing a classroom with a few upperclassmen was absolutely terrifying. I tried to avoid encounters with them, but from observing how they acted it seemed like the fears I had were real. If there was a “weaker link” they became the joke of the class or they would be pushed to the side.

  According to senior Zoe Eledge, who took lifetime sports her sophomore year, the upperclassmen boys were so invested in their own teams that they wouldn’t include the younger girls.

  Now into my senior year of high school, I’m having to complete that last half of my physical education credit. Being the upperclassmen of the group, I try to be as nice as possible and include the underclassmen and not make fun of them if they don’t excel in the activity that we are doing for that day.

  My first week in personal fitness we played games with the freshman PE class. I had noticed there was one student who didn’t dress out, I spoke to this student one day when said student had finally decided to dress out. That student explained that they had extreme anxiety and that’s why he or she had avoided participating for PE. When that student was up, he or she kicked the ball and it didn’t go very far. Another student decided to shout a rude remark and I think it not only discouraged that student who never wanted to participate for that exact reason, but everyone else also.

  It’d be nice to see a change in how students treat each other, not only in PE but everywhere else. Being nicer and encouraging can help create a fun atmosphere that will make everyone want to participate in PE class.