Give Your Everything: Be a Champion for Life
Duration: 30 to 45 minutes
Astronauts and Olympic athletes have a lot in common. They train for years to accomplish their goals. They put their bodies through a lot of conditioning in order to succeed. However, astronauts and athletes both know that you can't just be physically fit - you have to be mentally fit as well. Astronauts must be prepared for any scenario. They must think clearly under pressure, and they must prepare for the isolation of long-duration space missions. Olympic athletes, too, train to be mentally fit. In this activity from the Canadian Olympic School Program (COSP), learn how teamwork, communication, positive thinking, and cooperation can help improve your mental fitness on Earth or in space!
Since its launch over 30 years ago, COSP has been used in thousands of classrooms nationwide. With resources developed by teachers, for teachers, the program encourages physical activity and healthy lifestyle, helps to promote safer and more inclusive sport environments, and inspires the application of Olympic values.
Youth are not born with negative thoughts, self-doubt, and angry feelings. These are learned behaviours, feelings and emotions that are developed over time and are influenced by environment.
Imagine the real possibility of young people living more fulfilling lives, as they feel appreciated for their strengths and positive qualities, feel connected to their school and surrounding communities, and are respected by one another. Every young person has the capacity to find simple highlights, embrace possibilities and opportunities, and connect in more positive ways every day at school, at home and within their communities. Youth, through conditions that are created for them to be at their best, can bring out these feelings and accomplishments both within themselves and in others. Now, imagine young people embracing the simple joys every day, while truly being themselves as they pursue their passions and interests and celebrate the successes along their academic and personal development: they will be Champions for Life.
The Give Your Everything: Be a Champion for Life resources give educators the opportunity to bring the topics of mental fitness and psychological well-being to the teaching space in an easy, inspiring and fun approach. Participants will learn about mental fitness and its connection to Olympic values through group discussions, athlete stories, and cooperative games.
The Teachers' Guide provides in-depth information on mental fitness, its components and its contributors. The link between Olympic values and mental fitness is established, and activities focused on understanding and improving mental fitness are provided.
Topics in the lesson include:
- What is meant by mental fitness?
- Traditional versus positive psychology approaches
- The relationship between high engagement and high performance
- Olympic values and positive psychology approaches
- Tips on fostering mental fitness in schools
- Promoting mental fitness in others
- Focusing on "
I can" versus "
In addition, participants will play cooperative games that foster psychological well-being.
Mental fitness lesson
Be a Champion for Life group discussion
||5 minutes per game|
With a focus on mental fitness needs (competence, relatedness and autonomy) and the Olympic values (excellence, friendship and respect), participants will explore their passions, interests and skills with an emphasis on inclusion and diversity. Participants will be introduced to the incredible story of an Olympian that highlights the challenges he faced and how he overcame them.
By the end of this mission, participants will be able to:
- Have a better understanding of the concept of mental fitness
- Apply strategies to foster psychological well-being and self-determined behaviour in a school environment
- Confidently cooperate with their peers to pursue a common goal and to overcome challenges together
The online or print version of the Give Your Everything: Be a Champion for Life: Teachers' Guide (registration required).
Read the material ahead of scheduled lesson.
Educators explain what mental fitness is and use athlete stories to help participants understand the concept. Educators share tips on fostering mental well-being in school and then ask the prepared questions to generate discussion. After that, educators lead cooperative games to give participants the opportunity to practise the skills learnt. These games are a fun way to show youth how to overcome emotions such as frustration and fear, how to give support and constructive feedback, and how to look out for one another's best interests.
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