Category Archives for Afterschool

Custom Card Download for STEM

Custom Card Download for STEM

How would you like to integrate classroom teachers lessons into your program? Our STEM Custom Card Download makes it easy. Here is how it works. 

1) Ask a classroom teacher if they wouldn’t mind including questions on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math in your program.

2) Provide them the STEM Custom Card Download Template

3) The classroom teacher would type his/her questions into the template and email it back to you when completed.

4) You would print the template, laminate it, and add the cards to the already existing question cards that are included with STEM Skillastics®.

5) You have now included real-time questions that classroom teachers are reviewing in the classroom into PE. The classroom teacher will be thrilled and you will love seamlessly integrating more academics into your program.

For more information, contact Jess Wadleigh at or at (310) 431-8205.

Purchase Speed Stacks Skillastics® TODAY!

Skillastics® & Speed Stacks have joined forces to provide the perfect compliment to your Sport Stacking program!

​The Speed Stacks Skillastics® Activity Kit System lets you teach Sport Stacking using the proven and celebrated Skillastics® method.

The 26 Speed Stack activities reinforce all the skills and knowledge your students need to particpate in this amazing sport while enhancing physical activity, brain development and FUN!

Speed Stacks Skillastics® is NOW available for purchase as a pre-release special price sale!

Take advantage of this amazing price today, and then be one of the first to introduce Speed Stacks Skillastics® into your program in the Fall!



Light the Olympic Torch! Winter Olympic Theme Resources Guaranteed to Inspire Your Students

Can you believe it, the Winter Olympics begin early next month! Even though opening ceremonies are less than a month away, you still have time to knock out some amazing Olympic theme lessons. Here are some ideas;

1) An amazing winter Olympic resource is Bfit4 Winter Skillastics®. This Skillastics® Activity Kit focuses on specific movements that Olympic athletes need to develop in winter sports such as snowboarding, skiing, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

With your guidance, students can imagine themselves in the role while they are downhill skiing as they perform lateral jumps, or pretend balancing on a snowboard or holding plank position on their sled as they race down the hill. (All activities included in Bfit4 Winter Skillastics®). The skills will enhance many components of the physically fit student by building strength, flexibility, endurance and balance needed for these winter activities.
It can be played with a fun twist to the traditional game as well by adding a lap of popular winter activities around your gym in between rolls of the die. For example, students might simulate snow shoeing or ice skating (shoe boxes), as well as cross country skiing (old rags), or sledding and the luge run (scooters).

BFit4 Winter Skillastics® is a fun, easy, active and an innovative way to celebrate the Winter Olympics and bring the outdoor world of winter activities into your existing program.
CLICK HERE to share the Bfit4 Winter Skillastics® Experience with your students today! In honor of the Olympics, we are offering a 15% discount. Use code BF418 at our storefront checkout or mention code on purchase order. Offer Expires February 4, 2018.

2) In addition, CLICK HERE for great ideas to recreate Winter Olympic events

5 Reasons Why Skillastics® Will Make Your Program Great


Can you imagine your job getting easier, and more productive?  What if you could maximize participation without wasting the limited time you have?  Wouldn’t it be great to have a resource at your disposal guaranteeing a glowing administrative review?

With Skillastics® you can.

The Skillastics® Activity Kit System is a powerful resource that will transform your program. Not Convinced? Following are 5 key reasons why Skillastics® will undeniably make your program great.

1) Increase Academic Learning
A requirement you are constantly hearing from your administration. Skillastics® bridges the gap between physical activity and academics by seamlessly incorporating vocabulary, literacy, math and STEM learning. Skillastics® is an innovative way of including more academic integration.

2) Connecting with Classroom Teachers
What makes Skillastics® stand out beyond any other physical activity resource is its ability to connect directly with classroom teachers through the Skillastics® Custom Question Card Templates for nutrition, STEM and math. Simply share these templates with classroom teachers and ask them to create questions that are relevant to the lessons that they are currently teaching. You would then take these questions and add them to your program while your students are playing Skillastics®. Instant connection!

3) Organized Chaos
The best large group resource available! You will not find a better large group resource out there. Period. Any instructor that is using Skillastics® properly will tell you that the Skillastics® Activity Kit System exceeds their expectations and reinforces all the reasons why they decided to add Skillastics® to their program.

4) Steller Assessment
It is crucial to assess students to make sure they are really learning. If you, your students, parents, and administration truly want to see fitness progression in your class, the Skillastics® Activity Kit System is the most effective resource to measure movement in a variety of ways.

Fully Engaged
Students are full engaged, which frees you up to conduct formative assessment,    measuring all students progress and mastery of skill without interruption.

Effective Feedback
With students fully engaged, Skillastics® provides a more relaxed atmosphere for feedback and individual instruction when needed.

Summative Assessment with Technology
Skillastics® is the most effective resource to measure student outcomes using heart rate monitors or other technology based devices.

5) The Skillastics® Activity Kit System Saves Time
Do you see your student’s once a week? Twice a week if you’re lucky? How many times do you see a new lesson activity that looks like fun, but takes much too long to set up? The innovative Skillastics® technique takes less than a minute to set up and allows for maximum participation while increasing fitness levels.

Introducing the Skillastics® Activity Kit System into your program will exceed your expectations and fulfill all your objectives. Visit or email us at to transform your program today.

Basketball Tips and Ideas – Focus on the Present

I remember the first time I performed at the halftime of a Boston Celtics game. What a thrill it was to perform on a court with so much history associated with it! When I started the dribbling routine of my performance, my mind started to wander – here I was standing on the Leprechaun, thinking about all the historical games that were started with a jump ball right here. I was thinking completely about something else other than thinking about what I was doing in front of 20,000 people at that moment! I made a slight mistake, which shocked me back into focusing on the present and then I finished the performance successfully.

Have you ever felt your mind wander during an important moment in a game? We’ve all experienced this at one time or another in our lives, and it’s easier said than done to “snap out of it” and get back to focusing on the task at hand. Below are 7 Keys to Staying Focused in the Present:

  1. Refocus – Become aware of the slip of attention, and then choose another focal point or direction of attention to turn your mind to.
  2. Use Task Goals – Concentrate on the specific challenges of the event. This may include technique or strategy points, executing plays, or simply being involved in the game.
  3. Keep it Simple – Do not become overly analytic in your desire to take an “active mind” approach to performance. Do not fill your mind up with so many thoughts.
  4. Plan for the Competition – Planning well in advance of the event involves working out where to focus at different parts of an event. By preparing mental plans in advance, you are free to carry out the plan during performance.
  5. Make Back up Plans – These are developed by preparing responses, or refocusing strategies, to use in adverse competitive situations. Of course, you can’t plan for all possible scenarios, but working out in advance how you would respond can facilitate an appropriate response being made when the “heat is on.”
  6. Practice Concentration – Here is a meditation exercise. Sit in a comfortable position. Take a note of the time on your watch. Close your eyes and focus on one thing (for instance your breathing). Pay attention to your breaths in and out. Do this for as long as you maintain this focus. Open your eyes when your focus moves and note the time on your watch. Continue to try to increase your focus time.
  7. Direct your attention – Dissociate the emotional content from the noise of the crowd. Know that the crowd is there, but don’t let it affect your feelings.

Some information in this tip comes from: Flow in Sports: The Keys to Optimal Experiences and Performances.

Skillastics Soars in After School

Skillastics® Soars in After School

Did you know Skillastics® is the #1 physical resource in After School?  After School sites love its simplicity, versatility, and its alignment with the 5 Core Competencies in Social & Emotional Learning. 

CLICK HERE to Learn how Skillastics® Aligns with the SEL 5 Core Competencies.

More Time Engaging in the Skillastics® System Improves Physical Activity Levels

Spending more time developing fitness skills in physical education classes pays off with more active students at Central Elementary School in Albemarle, N.C. according to research from Pfeiffer University.  Students in Krista Scronce’s physical education classes were able to use the nationally recognized Skillastics®™ system to significantly improve physical activity levels during physical education class time. Physical activity was measured using piezoelectric devices specific to each student. The classes using Skillastics®™ were able to add about two-hundred more steps and spend more than an extra minute in moderate to vigorous activity (MVPA) when compared to other 4th grade physical education classes. Incredibly, this improvement was observed after using Skillastics®™ for a very small portion of the class time. Physical activity is a dependent variable in overall quality of life and positively associated with academic performance (Gill DL et al.2013, Rasberry, CN et al 2011). Meaning, these steps improve student’s health and ability to succeed academically.

All 4th grade students receive fifty minutes of physical education per week in physical education classes at Central Elementary School. The Skillastics®™ system was used for the first ten minutes in half of the 4th grade classes over eight class meetings. All fourth-grade classes received the same instruction taught by Ms. Scronce, except for the ten minutes of Skillastics®. The Skillastics®™ classes were then compared to the other fourth grade classes. Following the eighth class meeting the amount of MVPA significantly increased in the Skillastics®™ groups. “Using the Skillastics® System was easier than I expected and the students appeared to enjoy the short focus on skills” Krista reported. The research is part of an ongoing partnership with the Health and Physical Education Department at Pfeiffer University.

Rasberry, C. N., Lee, S. M., Robin, L., Laris, B., Russell, L. A., Coyle, K. K., & Nihiser, A. J. (2011, 06). The association between school-based physical activity, including physical education, and academic performance: A systematic review of the literature. Preventive Medicine, 52. doi:10.1016/j.ypmed.2011.01.027

Gill, D.L., Hammond, C.C., Reifsteck E.J., Jehu, C.M., Williams R.A., Adams, M.M., Lange, E.H., Becofsky, K., Rodriguez, E. & Shang Y.T. (2013). Physical activity and quality of life. Journal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, Suppl 1:S28-34. doi: 10.3961/jpmph.2013.46.S.S28. Epub 2013 Jan 30

Confidence or Arrogance?

There is a distinct difference between confidence and arrogance out on the basketball court.  Confidence is defined as an athlete who is sure of his/her abilities and gets the job done.  She or he knows that basketball is a team game and praises his/her teammates – giving credit where credit is due.  Arrogance is defined as an athlete who is sure of his/her abilities, however taking it one step further.  He or she knows they’re good and makes sure everyone around them knows it too. They are never at fault if the ball is turned over, or the ref makes a call — it’s always someone else’s fault.

I found a poem, by Tom Krause that talks about arrogance and coming to the realization that no matter how good we are, we always have room for improvement.

Just Me
by Tom Krause

From the time I was little, I knew I was great
’cause the people would tell me, “You’ll make it – just wait.”
But they never did tell me how great I would be
If I ever played someone who was greater than me.

When I’m in the back yard, I’m king with the ball
To swish all those baskets is no sweat at all.
But all of a sudden there’s a defender in my face
Who doesn’t seem to realize that I’m king of this place.

So the pressure gets to me; I rush with the ball.
My passes to teammates could go through the wall.
My jumper’s not falling, my dribbles not sure.
My hand is not steady; my eye is not pure.

The fault is my teammates – they don’t understand.
The fault is my coaches – what a terrible plan.
The fault is the call by the blind referee.
But the fault is not mine; I’m the greatest, you see.

Then finally it hit me when I started to see
That the face in the mirror looked exactly like me.
It wasn’t my teammates who were dropping the ball,
and it wasn’t my coach shooting bricks at the wall.

That face in the mirror that was always so great
Had some room for improvement instead of just hate.
So I stopped blaming others and I started to grow.
My play got much better and it started to show.

And all of my teammates didn’t seem quite so bad.
I learned to depend on the good friends I had.
Now I like myself better since I started to see
That I was lousy being great – I’m much better being me.

In the Midst of Unspeakable Tragedy Lies Some Solace

After the horrific  shooting that took place at North Park Elementary this past month, San Bernardino Unified School District closed that school for the remainder of that week so that the students and staff could start to heal.  My  district then opened classrooms at another district school to offer enrichment activities for students that needed to return to school due to childcare issues.  We were asked to provide PE activities for them so that the students could move around  and enjoy some fun physical activity time.  My team went in and taught Fitness and Basketball Skillastics® to these students and they were a huge hit.  I was so happy I had these Skillastics® Activity Kits because we needed to be prepared for large numbers of students and a variety of age-groups/grade levels and Skillastics® worked perfect for this challenging situation.

Amy Gazzaniga, – Physical Education District Coordinator, San Bernardino Unified School District, San Bernardino, CA

SHAPE America Asks Moms & Dads: “Will Your Children Be Ready”

Parents may be surprised to know that the majority of children in the United States are LESS active during the summer than during the school year and therefore are at risk for unhealthy weight gains,” warns SHAPE America Hall of Famer Chuck Corbin, professor emeritus at Arizona State University. Citing statistics from Active Living Research (ALR), Dr. Corbin recommends parents monitor their children’s physical activity levels and eating habits during the summer so that when they return to school they will be healthy, fit and ready to learn.

The ALR report suggests that today’s youth have “fewer of the freedoms many adults may remember from their childhood summers.” For example, many adults remember “riding bikes to the corner store, walking to the local swimming hole, playing active games with neighborhood friends, but this has become less common among today’s youth.” In 1969 41 percent of American youth walked or rode a bicycle to school, but now only about 13 percent do so. Without structured activities many children’s activity levels may not reach the recommended standards.

National guidelines recommend 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity each day for children and teens. Yet the majority of youth do not meet this standard. For example, only 41 percent of children 6 to 11 meet the standard and only 27 percent of high school students are active 60 minutes a day on a regular basis.

According to research published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, school based physical activity programs, such as those promoted by SHAPE America, provide much of the activity necessary to meet national activity guidelines. During the school year physical education can account for more than a third of the activity necessary to meet national guidelines. Physical education combined with recess, classroom activity breaks, and walking to and from school add up to 58 minutes of activity each day. These types of activities are not available during the summer. 

Other reasons for the decrease in physical activity and the increase in weight gain over the summer, include greater screen time (e.g., TV, video games, social media) and the availability of food not typically available during the school year. According to the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition, children “now spend more than seven and a half hours a day in front of a screen (e.g., TV, videogames, computer).” This is almost four times the amount of screen time as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (two hours or less per day). Because youth are not in school five plus hours a day in the summer, they have more free time to spend sitting in front of a screen.

During the summer kids also have access to snacks at home that are not available during the typical school day. The ALR report also notes that summer camps, especially day camps, often promote poor dietary habits. For example, 50 percent of children bring sugar-sweetened beverages and chips to summer day camps. Only 33 percent bring fruit.

SHAPE America President Fran Cleland of West Chester University suggests families work together to create daily/weekly activity and meal plans. “Children and adolescents need structure, but also choice,” says Dr. Cleland. “Activities need to be age-appropriate and relevant to their interests. Regarding nutrition and eating habits, I would suggest having children/adolescents learn to make their own healthy meals starting with grocery shopping together. That helps to keep ‘healthy’ in the forefront as well as choice and individual needs.”

To maintain and/or improve your children’s fitness and nutrition this summer, Dr. Corbin has these suggestions: 

Staying Active

  • Plan home recess and physical activity periods to simulate school activity programs.
  • Encourage outdoor activity.
  • Find ways to be active on hot days (e.g., swimming, morning or evening activities).
  • Include some vigorous activity each day.
  • Be active with your kids (e.g., family walk, biking, roller skate, ice skate).
  • Arrange active play dates. ″Take active vacations.
  • Walk or ride a bike as opposed to driving.
  • Find an active camp, sports team, or kid’s activity program.
  • Have kids walk in grocery stores rather than ride in a cart.
  • Avoiding Unnecessary Calorie Intake
  • Limit the availability of “empty calorie” foods that are easily accessible (e.g., candy, sweetened drinks, chips) both at home and at camps.
  • Have a quota if high calorie snacks are available.
  • Make healthy foods available and promote consumption.
  • Limiting Screen Time
  • Limit screen time and encourage active computer games.

For additional ways to stay active as a family, check out SHAPE America’s “101 Tips for Family Fitness Fun Activities.”

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