Sunday, May 6, 2018

An Overview of the Libero Position in Volleyball

Kevin Pratte has extensive experience as a K-12 physical educator and as an athletic director at Langston Hughes Academy. Kevin Pratte has also worked as a men’s and women’s volleyball coach at the collegiate level.

One of the most unique positions in the sport of volleyball is that of the libero, so much so that liberos are required to wear jerseys of a different color than those belonging to teammates. Defensive specialists, liberos can replace any back row player during dead ball situations without the need to notify an official. Furthermore, liberos can enter and exit the game without impacting a team’s total number of available substitutions. However, liberos cannot enter or exit the game as part of a normal round of substitutions.

In fact, the libero position is subject to several restrictions. For example, a libero cannot block shots, serve, or attack the ball above the height of the net. In tournament play, any player who replaces an injured libero is required to adhere to all libero rules for the duration of the match and tournament until the original libero is healthy enough to resume play.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Poor Physical Education Experiences Linked with Reduced Activity

An experienced physical education teacher, Kevin Pratte worked with children from kindergarten through fifth grade at Port City Academy in Stockton, California. Kevin Pratte has also taught at the middle and high school levels at Langston Hughes Academy, where he also held the role of athletic director.

In 2014, researchers from Brigham Young University released findings that adverse social experiences in physical education classes may lead children to become less physically active and can even lead to a reduced quality of life.

The study centered on fourth and fifth-grade students from six Midwestern elementary schools. Each student completed three surveys. The first assessed emotional and social wellness and the second screened for experiences with teasing in the context of athletic activities, while the third evaluated whether a child had been the subject of bullying during physical activity, while also assessed the emotional fallout of bullying. Researchers evaluated each child at the outset of the study and again a year later.

The questions to which students responded included whether other students made fun of them or called them names while exercising or playing a sport, as well as how other children reacted to their placement on a team. Results showed that students who were overweight and had experienced teasing displayed lower levels of functional ability in social, physical, and academic contexts. Researchers further noticed that when non-overweight children were bullied while engaging in physical activity, they reported lower levels of physical activity the following year.

Researchers believe that these results may arise because teasing lowers a student's perception of his or her own social and physical ability. Lead author Chad Jensen stated that the study results should encourage schools to implement bullying prevention initiatives in all activities that involve physical activity, while also developing policies that prohibit targeting of a student based on his or her athletic or physical skills.