Physical Education gets makeover

PE photo
From the Hollywood stereotype of climbing ropes and running laps to basketball in the gym with coach Fitz, P.E. class is in the midst of a new change.

Recently St. Thomas has lowered the requirements students have to fulfill in P.E. and are moving towards a more diverse field of electives and conforming to the new State of Texas laws.

Physical Education is imperative to the healthy high school student, and most agree that it is just as fun as it is informative. Although this move isn’t a direct hit on the P.E. class just the requirements, the change should definitely make the classes smaller. Before you start crying for the salvation of dodge ball Friday’s, most coaches are saying that this move has potential to heal a wounded Physical Education class.

By wounded, coaches really mean there is a lack of focus on actual physical education, and more on using the class as a study hall or basketball practice. Most of the concern is on the seniors who rarely dress out or participate in the activities like weightlifting. Coaches realize and understand why seniors would take the class as an opportunity to relax and take a break from class, but are annoyed when that lack of focus resonates to the underclassmen.

The change coming to PE curriculum has pros and cons based on the coach’s idea of a true class on physical education. Now that credit obligations can be filled in just two semesters, the amount of students taking PE will drastically downsize especially with seniors.

The cons of the change is that now students who want to take PE and learn about physical education who are in a sport, or have already fulfilled their credits, are going to be funneled into other electives by means of class size requirements.

The pros of the change are that the newly downsized PE classes will be much easier to manage, especially with less seniors, so that coaches can now teach freely without lack of focus. Coach Fitzpatrick showed his approval of his change in an interview because he believes the underclassmen PE class is a crucial part of a growing student’s life,

“Underclassmen PE is great because it allows them to form some good work habits. Particularly getting kids who have never been in the weight room, getting them in there, and teaching them to do what they can do because that’s a lifetime tool.”

-Coach Fitzpatrick

The coaches are in need of a boost to save one of the last great memories of high school, and they believe this change in curriculum is that boost. But they also hope to change the tone of PE from annoying exercises that make us sweat before class; it is not a one way road, the coaches can’t do it alone, they need the focus of students who want to go out at PE and make themselves better athletes and healthier students.


John Culwell is a senior at St. Thomas who is currently winning his fantasy football league. He is a Scorpio and loves getting brunch with his mother on weekend mornings. Among the elite Eagle and Aquin editors at St. Thomas John is a preferred walk on starter and has verbally committed to play running back for Louisiana State University.