Let's surf!;Reviews;Subject of the week;Sport and PE;Websites

26th February 1999 at 00:00
Surfing the Net or surfing the waves? Most people would probably far rather try the latter. Computers and sport make an unlikely couple and you may be wondering what could possibly be out there on the Web for PE teachers, besides the usual plethora of football and cricket sites with all the lastest scores, statistics, news and views.

There are, for instance, a number of excellent sites that give tips for coaching athletes. Check out Sports Coach at www.brianmac. demon.co.uk, where a British Athletic Fed-eration coach with 20 years' experience offers advice on everything from motivating athletes, nutrition and teaching new skills, to plyometrics (short intense bursts of activity). This is a comprehensive, practical guide that could be easily transferred to the school sports field.

Alternatively, explore the National Coaching Foundation's website (www.ncf.org.uk index.htm), which includes information on Coaching for Teachers - a national programme for improving the coaching skills of sports teachers. Order a book on Improving Concentration or participate in one of the numerous workshops such as Coaching Disabled Performers.

If you're looking for some-thing more specific than general coaching tips, do a simple Net search and you can find websites on every sport, from underwater hockey to snowshoeing and broomball. Broomball? According to some enthusiasts across the Atlantic it is the "sport that's sweeping the nation". Ha ha. But then, what other sport can lay claim to using an inflated ball and rubber-headed brooms...

For more of the bizarre, check out the PDGA's website at www.pdga.com. No, it's not a little-known teaching body or an obscure teaching qualification. It's the Professional Disc Golf Association and, according to this informative site, courses already exist in the UK where you can play this cross between discus throwing and golf.

But back to the reality of PE teaching. If netball is your thing, then take a look at Andy Dawson's Netball Resources site at www.ucl.ac.ukuczcw11 netball.htm. Andy says: "Why does a rotund, middle-aged guy have a site about netball?" Well, basically he loves the sport, plays it himself, and disputes the notion that it is for "women only".

The site contains useful links to national and international netball organisations, the latest changes to the rules book, links to online ordering facilities and ideas for drills submitted by readers of the website. For something more off the wall, have a go at Lab Netball.

It's not easy to find PE teacher-friendly websites, but they are there. The US-based Volleyball Drill Archive (www.emporia.eduvballdrillsindex.html) boasts 65 drills for coaches to use on their volleyball proteges. Feel like trying out the "Over the Net Pepper"; "Kill the Setter" or "Octopus" on your unsuspecting pupils? This site will give you a diagram and step-by-step instructions.

On the other hand, you may be dithering about whether to take your pupils skiing or abseiling this year. If so, just click on www.baha.org.uk for the British Activity Holiday Association's website, which lists contact details for the best activity centres for schools.

So, don't be lazy. Exercise your fingers over that keyboard and get surfing (the British Surfing Association is at www.britsurf.demon.co.uk).

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