Tag Team Fitness: A simple tip certain to motivate your students

Keeping students motivated for fitness can be a challenge. I find myself regularly researching and designing new and improved workouts that are not only engaging but also functional and purposeful for each child. Throughout the last two years, I’ve been occasionally implementing what I call, Tag Team Fitness

What is Tag Team Fitness?

Simply stated, Tag Team Fitness is a partner workout where each partner takes turns doing a particular movement. Typically, one partner will do a muscle strengthening or endurance movement while the second partner performs a locomotor movement across the floor. The second partner doubles as the stopwatch. When she returns from performing the locomotor movement, she tags her partner and they switch roles.

How long is each workout?

The length of each Tag Team Fitness routine is determined by several factors.

  • Grade level/age-appropriate
  • Chosen movements – some movements are more exhausting and place more stress on the body than others.  In this case, a Tag Team Fitness workout will be shorter than one with less intense movements.
  • Time constraints – the amount of time with a class can be a factor. For a 30-minute class period, you may have to budget a smaller amount of time for fitness in order to accomplish the rest of your lesson plan.

The combinations of movements are unlimited making this such a versatile fitness format. You can even add movements or skills related to a particular unit as you’ll notice in the workouts below.

Along with the physical benefits of Tag Team Fitness, students are engaged and encouraging to one another. The advantages of working together toward a common goal, while having fun are limitless.

Here are a few examples of Tag Team Fitness workouts from my classes.

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Modify the Tag Team Fitness to increase the challenge

TagTeam Fitness can also be done in groups of three or more with a couple of varying formats:

  1. Assign a number to each of the three students. While student number one is moving across the floor or around the gym, numbers two and three are holding a static pose such as a plank. When number one returns, number two then runs while number one gets into a static pose and number three continues to hold the pose. So each student is holding the pose for twice as long.
  2. You can also assign three different exercises for each of the three students. For example, number one does 10 burpees, number two hold a plank, and number three does a wall sit. When number one completes 10 burpees, the three students rotate exercises.

The combinations for Tag Team Fitness are unlimited. You can customize each workout to fit your students and curriculum. Let us know how Tag Team Fitness works for you and your kids!


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30 Day Challenges – Step outside your comfort zone!

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Below, is a 3-minute TED Talk by Matt Cutts called, Try Something New for 30 Days.  Upon watching this video for the first time, my mind erupted with ideas on personal challenges I could set for myself. Should I cut out certain foods? Challenge me physically? Meditate for 30 days? Read every day?  Walk the dogs twice a day rather than just letting them run around the back yard?  Once I completed my initial brainstorm, I needed to slow down and remember Matt Cutts’ advice.  He simply stated, “small change = sustainable.”  I  realized that setting a reasonable goal would more likely turn into a habit that could last far beyond 30 days.

My 30-day challenge:  I am presently on day 16 of running at least a 5K every day.  Although there are days when I just don’t want to run due to weather, fatigue, or schedule, my competitive nature (along with my wife) keeps me motivated.  During each run, I think about the pathetic excuses I tried to make to not run, celebrate the fact that I can mark another day off the 30-day goal chart, and appreciate the emotional rush (and slight joint pain) I experience after finishing.  I also wonder what I’ll do on day 31…yoga, plyometrics, daily naps?

How about professionally?  How can I apply the 30-day challenge to my job as a physical education teacher?  How can I use this challenge to motivate my students?  How can I take advantage of trying something new for 30 days to help bolster my planning and strengthen my curriculum? How will I answer all of these questions in under 30 days?

For now, I’ll continue plugging along on my first challenge.  With only 14 days left, I’m hoping to discover my next 30-day challenge at the finish line.

I hope this post has inspired YOU to try something new for 30 days either personally or professionally. Tell me all about it.  I could use some ideas.


“Try Something New for 30 Days.” Matt Cutts:. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Jan. 2016.

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“Find It” for Charity Challenge – family time pays

Have you ever found a penny on the ground and thought twice about picking it up? It’s one measly cent and weren’t we going to get rid of the penny anyway? We all know once that copper coin lands in our pocket, it’s destined to be tossed in the junk drawer or left in your pocket only to be heard clanging in the washer or dryer eventually getting lodged in that covert appliance crevice. Here we go again youtube: “How to dislodge coins from my washing machine.”

This was my thought process prior to 2010.

FIND IT FOR CHARITY CHALLENGE

On December 9, 2009, after finding $0.11 while out running, I had an idea. Why not save every coin I find for one full year? Better yet, why not get my wife and three children in on the action?

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So my wife pulled out a mason jar and slapped a sticker with the words FOUND MONEY on its side. I dropped the dime and penny into the jar and as they jingled to the bottom, our new tradition was underway. We agreed to collect and save all the money we found for one full year, and count our 365 day total on December 8, 2011. Suddenly the once burdensome penny had a whole new meaning, to all of us.

For organization’s sake, we decided to keep an old Sucrets tin in each of the cars and if we found any money while running errands, we placed it in the tin. Otherwise, every cent found while running, at school, under vending machines (our kids use their Ninja Warrior skills to hunt down those coins) or anywhere was saved in our found money jar at home.

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On December 8, 2010, we sat down around our kitchen table and sorted the money. Our kids worked together by grouping and stacking the coins and calculated our first year total as a modest $7.25. 

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“What should we do with the money?”

We were staring at our accomplishment when my daughter asked, “What should we do with the money?” As a team, we decided that each year we would donate the money to a charity of our choice. My wife suggested matching the total. Therefore, our first-year total of $7.25 would increase to $14.50.

December 8 is our “FOUND MONEY DAY.”

December 8 has become a family holiday called “Found Money Day”. This is the day we drape newspaper over our enamel kitchen table and count the money found throughout the year. We then take time to discuss and decide which charity will receive our donation. This year we gave to Sheltering Grace Ministries.

It’s been 10 years since we began the Find It for Charity Challenge, and it still offers the same excitement for each one of us as it did in the beginning. Whether we find a penny or a five-dollar bill, we can’t wait to drop it into the tin or the “Found Money” jar.

Throughout the decade, we’ve averaged around $18.00 per year with our lowest total coming in at $7.25 in 2010. This year was incredible. We reached our record high with a whopping $55.00!

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*For an added challenge, each family member guesses the annual total prior to counting the money. Each guess is written down and placed into the empty found money jar. Once the total is revealed, we see who was closest to the total. The winner has bragging rights for the year.

More importantly, “Found Money Day” prompts all of us to take a break from studying, working and planning and FINALLY stop and take a moment to be together. We recall our most memorable where we found it stories – (one year during spring break at Orange Beach, our son found $15.00(!) in a parking lot during a rainstorm) and decide where to donate the money.

Our Find it for Charity Challenge continues to be a daily reminder of how coins inadvertently dropped by one person can literally pay it forward for another. Join us in our challenge, and start saving for others today. Note: remember to watch for traffic!

Here’s how you can take part in the Find it for Charity Challenge:

  1. Keep a container (we use old Sucrets tins) in your cars along with hand sanitizer.
  2. If you find any money while running errands, place it in the tin of your choice.
  3. Designate one container at your home as the found money jar.
  4. Place every cent found while running, at school, or anywhere into the found money jar. 
  5. Save all found treasures for one year (you’ll be amazed at what you find).
  6. For an added challenge, have each family member guess the year’s total prior to counting the money.
  7. As a family, decide where you will donate the money.
  8. Donate.
  9. Celebrate the joy of sharing.
  10. Repeat.

Remember, we can all help each other in small ways, even if it’s just one penny at a time.

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