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Celebrate learning . . . Olympics-Style Training

I’ll say it again. I love the Olympics!  I love watching the athletes’ concentration, performance, and emotions. I’m fascinated by how the human body adapts to different sports. I wonder at that commitment and training it takes to become an Olympic athlete. I’ve also thought about all of the positive learning attributes are associated with the Olympics and considered what we could do in our training centers to build off the energy, excitement, and excellence of the games. How can we bring Olympics-Inspired Learning into our training rooms and classrooms?

NOTE: The Tokyo 2021 Summer Games have inspired me to update the post!

To me,  the Olympic spirit symbolizes these winning (and classroom-appropriate) qualities:

  • Hard work
  • Persistence
  • Determination
  • Mental and Physical health

So the question is, how can we bring the Olympic spirit into the classroom?

Olympics-Inspired Learning — Get in the spirit!

Go ahead and play the Olympic Fanfare to energize your group.

Olympics-Inspired Icebreaker Questions

  • If you could do one Olympic sport, which would it be and why?
  • If you could view any Olympic event live, which would it be?
  • What would be the best thing and worst thing about training for the Olympics?
  • If you could invent an Olympic event (sport) that doesn’t yet exist, what would it be?

Olympics-Inspired Training Activities

  • Go for the Gold – Create a series of questions. Start off with “Olympic Trials” and slowly graduate to the final event. Award your Gold, Silver, and Bronze medalists.
  • The Olympics Commentator – Challenge teams to come up with an Olympic-style Commentary on their interaction with your course content. They can discuss how they got started with the material; where they ran into adversity; how they overcame it; what led to their success.
  • Leadership and Coaching – Discuss what makes Olympic coaches effective. How do they respond to their athletes when they succeed? Do coaches respond differently when the athletes don’t perform at their best? How do they prepare them for adversity?
  • Team Excellence – Ask the group to reflect on high-performing Olympic teams. What makes them successful. The Google Project Aristotle study, suggests that team performance is more about “psychological safety” than having the top-performing individuals on the team? Is the same true in the Olympics? How did gymnast Simone Biles’ decision to withdraw from certain events affect the success of the team?

 

Please share your thoughts!

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