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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!



Success Isn’t About Winning

With summer just around the corner, children will be busy competing in many different club tournaments and attending a variety of different camps.  With all this competition, it’s nice to be reminded what really important when it comes to being successful.  I came across this story that’s apropos…

A woman having lunch at a small cafe was seated next to a family celebrating their son’s basketball game. Their conversation was so lively that the woman joined in. “You must have been on the winning team,” she said.
The kid grinned from ear to ear. “No, we lost by 20 points. The other team had a killer defense. We were only able to make one basket.”
“Did you make the basket?” asked the woman.
With his mouth filled with cake and ice cream, the boy shook his head no. His father reached across the table to give him a high five. His mother hugged him and said, “You were awesome.”
The woman at the next table rubbed her chin. The boy looked at the confused woman and said, “At last week’s game I took nine shots, but they all fell short of the basket. This week I took eight shots and three of them hit the rim. Dad says I’m making progress.”

~Adapted from “Ice Cream Party”, Rochelle M. Pennington

Making progress. Every time you practice, every time you play in a game, examine your play and ask yourself; “Did I make progress?” If the answer is yes, then you know that you are getting better. It’s a slow process, but the rewards are great. Start the summer by changing the way you view your play. Don’t base your success on how many baskets you make, how many rebounds you get, or how many games your team wins. Base your success by examining if you’ve made progress in ALL aspects of the game. Before you know it the points you score will increase, and your overall game will become much better.

Register Your School to Host A LMIS Celebration

Moving Schools to Improve Health and Academic Performance

Let’s Move in School (LMIS), a national initiative to increase physical activity before, during, and after school, was introduced by the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD) and its National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) on February 1, 2011.

Take a look at the LMIS Promotional Video!

In support of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign, the initiative helps youth achieve 60 minutes of physical activity before, during, and after school to improve health and academic performance. Let’s Move in School brings together national education and health leaders to redefine school-based physical activity and offer new leadership opportunities for physical education teachers. The Let’s Move in School Web site equips physical education teachers, administrators, school boards, and parents with tools to create an active learning environment.

Get Moving – in 3 Active Steps:

1. REGISTER your school to host a LMIS celebration during National Physical Education and Sport Week. Schools that register by March 28, 2011 will have a chance to win a visit from a member of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition. The first 10,000 schools to register will receive a LMIS poster.

2. SHOW the LMIS Promotional Video to others.

3. VIEW the LMIS Introductory Webinar (February 1) for more details and information.  

 For more i


“I have been fortunate to observe many of the Skillastics® activity kits being used by teachers to promote fitness and skill development. The materials are professional and attractive; children naturally gravitate to the wide variety of activities. The kits offer a positive experience for all students and promote lifetime physical activities. I personally feel Skillastics® should be a part of every school program.”

Developing Volleyball Competency & MVPA

A quality physical education program has curriculum, units, and lessons that are standards based.  One of the important standards for a physical educator is Standard 1 which states that a physically literate person demonstrates competency in a variety of motor skills and movement patterns (SHAPE  America; National Standards & Grade Level Outcomes).  This standard allows physical educators to prepare students to participate in many different physical activities and sports with confidence, which will lead to a life full of activity.

I have taught physical education for 23 years, and every year I always ask my students why they may not like certain sports and physical activities that we do.  Each year, I get the same response:  “I don’t like the activity because I’m not very good at it.”  I then ask them how they could get better at it.  Well, we all know that if they got better at the skills, it would make the game play better, and then more fun will be had when they play the activity/sport.

Along with Standard 1, moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) has become a major focus in our lessons.  However, with this focus on MVPA, some have dropped focusing on Standard 1 because focusing on skills may not get their students’ heart rate up into the appropriate range.  But, this does not have to be the case.  Skills can still be taught effectively while focusing on MVPA as well.

As I have traveled across the country doing presentations at various state and national conferences, my platform and focus has been on infusing fitness into daily lessons.  One of the sports I present on is volleyball, and the teaching of the forearm and overhead pass.  One way I used to teach these skills was with the command style, and they were pretty stationary.  As I went back and looked at my lessons and started asking myself about whether or not they were getting to the appropriate MVPA, I noticed that I needed to change the way I had the students work on their skills.  We all know that if they lack the skills, the game of volleyball is a serve, it hits the ground, and the team scores a point; not much fun for anyone.  So, with a little thinking and creativity, I have been able to increase MVPA and skill development.

Within my research of trying to find ways to increase skills and MVPA, I came across the Skillastics® program.  The first one I used, was the basketball program.  Then, the volleyball kit came out, and I knew I had to have it.  Skillastics® fits with everything I believe in and want to accomplish in my class.  The one nice thing about it, I didn’t have to come up with the fitness activities and there would be a lot of variation in my lessons.  Throughout my volleyball unit, I use the task cards to help with the skill development.  It allows the students to work independently, but yet stay focused on the skills but yet get in a good workout.  Once they have learned the tasks from the kit, we use the entire kit to play Volleyball Skillastics®.  While they are doing this, I know they are working on the skills, increasing MVPA, and having fun.

Skill development is crucial in giving the students confidence they can participate competently in the sport or activity.  However, just because you work on skills, doesn’t mean that MVPA must be lost.  All you need to do is think, be creative, or use a program that already focuses on both.

CLICK HERE To Learn More About Volleyball Skillastics®!

A Spinsational Life

There are moments in life that are so significant, that the experience will remain clearly in your mind for the rest of your life.  I experienced this unforgettable  moment late last month.

My High School alma mater named its gym after me.  The  Sandy Spin Slade Gymnasium  dedication ceremony took place on January 27, 2017.  It had to be one of the most humbling experiences of my life.  To be recognized in this way in the company of family, friends, classmates, former teachers and members of the community was so remarkable.

It’s quite surreal to me to be honored like this, especially when all I’ve done is passionately pursue what I loved.  In my speech, I took a moment to reflect on what that new sign, which hangs  in the gym, truly represents for the students.  It signifies that life has no limitations, and every student has the same opportunities to pursue his/her passion.  It also symbolizes endless possibilities and taking chances in life.  This can be echoed at every school throughout this country.  Students have to believe that there are so many opportunities before them and if they work hard to pursue their passion, amazing things can happen.  If it can happen to a girl from a small, northwestern Wisconsin town, it can happen to any child!

I want to thank all of the people in Solon Springs, WI who created an evening that I will never forget.

I also want to thank all of you – for I gain my strength and inspiration from your tireless dedication in providing an environment where all children have a positive experience being physically active.  Your endless enthusiasm and passion that you display in my workshops, as well as the positive comments about Skillastics® you share mean more to me then you’ll ever know.

Definitely a Spinsational Life…

CDC and SHAPE America Help Schools Make the Most of This Critical Part of the School Day

Schools across the country will now have step-by-step guidance and evidence-based strategies to support school recess for all K-12 students and enhance active school environments.  The two new guidance documents, Strategies for Recess in Schools and Recess Planning in Schools: A Guide to Putting Strategies for Recess Into Practice, were recently released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and SHAPE America – Society of Health and Physical Educators, and can be downloaded free of charge at:

“This is a milestone in our quest to increase children’s physical activity levels.  Daily recess, monitored by well-trained staff or volunteers, can optimize a child’s social, emotional, physical, and cognitive development,” says SHAPE America Chief Executive Officer E. Paul Roetert, Ph.D. “Recess contributes to the recommended 60 minutes of daily physical activity for students and helps them apply the knowledge and skills they learn in an effective health and physical education program. In addition, recess supports 50 Million Strong, SHAPE America’s commitment to empower all kids to lead active and healthy lives.”

The guidance documents provide a blueprint for schools to use in implementing successful recess programs for their students. They are designed for state and school district leaders who provide technical assistance and professional development on recess, as well as classroom teachers, recess and playground supervisors, support staff, school administrators, parent-teacher organizations, school health coordinators, advisory councils, parents and anyone interested in supporting recess in schools.

Strategies for Recess in Schools defines recess and identifies 19 evidence-based strategies schools can implement that increase student physical activity and academic achievement. Although most of the evidence and expert opinion for these strategies came from elementary schools, many of the strategies are also applicable to secondary schools.  The intent is for school staff or groups working with schools to identify what is currently happening or not happening with recess in their school, and then use this information to develop a recess plan that serves all students.

Recess Planning in Schools: A Guide to Putting Strategies for Recess Into Practice complements the strategies document by guiding schools through the process of developing a written recess plan that incorporates the identified strategies. In addition, CDC and SHAPE America developed a customizable Recess Planning Template, which enables schools to record details of how they will organize and implement recess at school.

The new recess documents will be featured at a program session called “Strategies for Recess in Schools” at the organization’s National Convention in Boston on Tuesday, March 14 from 9:00 am to 12:30 pm. Attendees will learn how recess can help students increase their daily physical activity and contribute to achieving the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity each day.  The new resources will help schools develop a comprehensive plan for recess to increase students’ participation in physical activity and improve their academic achievement.

By diving into each of the five broad categories included in the Strategies for Recess in Schools document, school staff or committees will be able to answer specific questions which will help them examine and enhance an existing recess program, or develop a new recess plan for a school.

Download the two new guidance documents, Strategies for Recess in Schools and Recess Planning in Schools: A Guide to Putting Strategies for Recess Into Practice, free of charge at:

Follow the conversation using #SHAPErecess and #recess.

Playground Benefits

Playground Benefits

Playgrounds provide more to our young children than just a place to run and play.  The benefits of playgrounds for children ages 2-5 target emotional, social, physical, and cognitive develop.  That’s right!  Playing on a playground increases brain development.  It was once said by Mr. Rogers that, “Play is real learning.”

Below are some highlights of the benefits of playground structures:

  1. Climbing– when children climb, they are pursuing their innate nature to explore, see, and experience adventure. They are born to do this!  Climbing benefits memory, problem solving and imagery for children.  Other benefits to climbing are gross motor strength of the arms, legs and core (stomach area).  When the body uses its arms and legs in opposition and then crosses over the middle of the body, the entire brain is used increasing brain development. Within safe reason, allow those children to climb away!
  2. Monkey Bars and other Overhead Equipment– Children love to be able to hang and climb with the arms but most children, especially girls ages 0-5 are very weak in the upper body. Climbing with the hands increases core strength, grip strength, hand-eye coordination and sideways weight shifts.  Some children may need assistance at the early stages to not fall.  Be sure the “drop zone” is not too far as broken arms and collar bones are typical when the wood chips are spread too thin and/or the apparatus is too high.
  3. Swings and slides– who doesn’t love time on the swings or a trip down the slide? Children seek out swinging type rides for various reasons. For a child who needs to be motivated, the swings and slides add adventure.  For the over-stimulated child, the swings and slides meet the needs of the excited child providing that exciting feeling of “flying through the air.”  Benefits of swinging type apparatus include gross motor benefits of swinging, swaying, turning, twisting, chest, arm, core, and grip strength.  Swinging and sliding also stimulates the vestibular system that our bodies use to balance ourselves when we move through space. Be sure to caution children not to jump off swings as this provides a danger to both the swinger as well as the passer-by.  In regard to slides, remember to use them safely; slides are for going down and ladders are for going up.  Always slide DOWN the slide feet first.

Don’t live near a playground?  Have no concerns.  Keep those kids active in the yard, at a nearby park or by limited screen time when at home.  There is plenty one can do inside the home provided there is a safe space.  Remember that the suggested minimum guideline is 60 minutes of physical activity a day.  Healthy, active kids make better learners!

Starting the New Year off Right!

Happy New Year! It’s time for new beginnings. Everyone feels happy at the beginning of a new year. Our minds are full of positive thoughts for a wonderful and prosperous New Year.  Now is the perfect time to encourage your young athletes to set individual goals.

Ask them to take the time and answer these questions.

  1. What do you want to accomplish this year?
  2. Do you want to make the varsity?
  3. How many points do you want to average?
  4. How about steals or rebounds?
  5. How about setting a goal to jog at least three times a week?
  6. How about lifting weights?

There are endless possibilities for setting realistic goals. Have them write them down and display it in their room where they can see it often. It’s important that they keep that positive energy throughout the whole year and have a template to refer to when challenges appear.

Let’s all have a fantastic 2017!!!


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