While athletics may come naturally to some kids, others may hate gym class—and, in their minds, for good reason. Competition and feeling behind the rest of their peers can lead to an ultimately negative experience, especially if they are somehow singled out or if everything feels beyond their ability level.

It’s your district’s job to make school gym classes fun for everyone so that the entire student body can reap the mental and physical benefits exercise brings—not to mention the academic improvements, as this book published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information details.

Below, SportsGraphics describes some innovative ways that you can make gym class something that every student looks forward to.

Brand the Space

We’ve spoken about the importance of school branding previously on our blog, and its relevance to morale applies here too. Branded spaces make all students feel like a part of something bigger than themselves. They thus foster teamwork, school pride, and inclusion—all things that can make for a healthier gym class environment.

Not sure where to start? Branded wall pads are a must-have for any athletic area. In addition to providing decoration, they keep students safe as they play, which can mitigate potentially embarrassing trips to the nurse’s office—not to mention more serious injury concerns. Gym wall graphics can also help brighten up an otherwise bland swath of space.

Aim For Quality

As PE Blog states, when it comes to gym class, “fun is associated with success.” Not every student will be able to do a predetermined amount of repetitions—so focus more on coaching their technique and praising their effort instead of giving them a predetermined amount of exercises. Making everyone feel successful when they give their best efforts makes gym class a positive experience.

Don’t Shy Away From Games

From the youngest kindergartners to high school seniors, age-appropriate games are a great way to make fitness fun while also providing opportunities for healthy competition. If you’re out of ideas, don’t fret; elementary schoolers in particular are pros at making up playground games, so don’t be afraid to let them choose activities, so long as you keep things fair and safe. Old standbys like Kickball, Dodgeball, and Capture the Flag are also generally universal hits.

Deck Out Your Gym Space With SportsGraphics

From column padding to stair graphics, we’ve got everything you need for your school’s dream gym space. Reach our Clarion office today at 1-800-257-6405.