Computational Thinking in Sport and Physical Education
Through Rob-Bot Resources, one of my aims is to promote awareness of how the skill of computational thinking can be applied across the whole curriculum and beyond! Firstly, let’s look at Physical Education! Weather your coaching, training or competing, physical education is a great subject to develop and apply your computational thinking skills! Take a look at the examples below:
Decomposition, the breaking down of a problem into smaller parts is a very important skill to be able to perform within PE. For example, as a coach you may identify a fault within an athlete’s technique. You want to isolate and correct the skill before building the correct technique back into the whole performance. You may want to train a specific component of fitness or as a competitive athlete you will want to know when the key competitions or games are so you can prepare your training and make sure you peak ready for them.
Abstraction, the selection of the important parts of a problem, can certainly help you focus on your sporting performance. For example, as a coach, you want to know what the key phases of a competitive season, so that training sessions can be tailored accordingly, building up fitness in the pre season and allowing athletes to peak ready for competition. Athletes can set their main goals for the season which, in turn will focus their training and help motivate them.
Pattern recognition is arguably one of the key computational thinking skills that can be developed within physical education. A coach with years of experience will be able to identify faults in technique or tactical weaknesses in an opposing team after comparing examples of excellent technique or tactical positioning through prior experience. Athletes may get used to playing alongside team mates, or against opposition and be able to predict what they are going to do, giving them an advantage. Performance analysis is a huge area of sport today, where athletes and coaches will sit down and analyse sport footage in an attempt to identify patterns in play or where technique can be improved.
The algorithm design phase involves creation of a clear set of instructions on how to solve a given problem. Within physical education the creation of training sessions, including warm up activities, drills and tactical work is done in order to ensure athletes are in the best condition they can be in to compete. Algorithm design can also be seen within a team’s playbook, a choreographed dance routine or within the tactics employed by a marathon runner in order to hydrate, refuel and adjust pace at key times in order to win a race.
There are loads of examples of how computational thinking can be applied within sport and physical education! For more ideas, check out my poster below!