In most American school systems coaches are also physical education teachers, and physical education teachers are also coaches. Historically speaking most physical educators don’t choose to go into the field because of their love for gym class, but because of their love for football, basketball, baseball… sports of some kind. And for a high percentage of these folks coaching (their first love) occupies 90% of their attention, while physical education class (their job) occupies 10% of their attention.
In other words the games, and practices for those games is where the coach’s heart is, while PE class is an afterthought, a stepchild, a second class citizen that’s tolerated because it’s the means to a highly regarded, highly valued, and often highly publicized (it’s also the most potent PR vehicle in the world for most schools systems) end – the games, the sports, and the 5 to 10% of students who actively participate.
Physical Educators and Pink Slips
Under these conditions is it any wonder why Physical Education has inadvertently climbed all way to the bottom of the academic ladder in most school systems? The people who are in charge of the classes don’t even value them.