what does it do and what is it for

The sports pedagogy it is the academic field of study that lies somewhere between sports education and childhood education/education.

Sports pedagogy is the discipline that analyzes thelearningl’teaching and theinstruction in sportl’physical education and all similar areas related to physical activity.

Although sports pedagogy is mostly considered a sub-discipline of sports science (or kinesiology), it includes a wide range of notions belonging to science dell’general education.

As promiscuous scientific sub-disciplinesports pedagogy is therefore pertinent and useful to both sports sciences and educational sciences.

Etymology and context

In its original meaning, the word “pedagogy” – and therefore also sports pedagogy – refers to the theoretical, psychological and didactic processes involved in the development of children and young people.

The word pedagogy comes from the Greek (pais = “bambino”; agogein = “to drive”; “instruct”) and involves the intentional art of leading, educating, or teaching young people.

Based on the concept that human beings “never stop learning”, and that they are permanently engaged in physical activity, current definitions of sports pedagogy favor a broader view of the context in which sports pedagogy is placed today.

The use of the term “sports pedagogy” has taken on a more significant meaning holisticwhich includes sciences related to adult learning, participation in sport and physical activity across all age ranges.

Historical background

Historically, the roots of sports pedagogy as an academic sub-discipline of sports science can be traced to the systematic study of physical education as a subject.

Explicitly recognized as an academic discipline in the late 60s in continental Europe, it was born with the intention of providing a theoretical framework on the planning and teaching of physical education in schools.

In Germany, for example, the publication of OMMO Grupe’s book “Grundlagen der Sportpädagogik” (Foundations of Sport Pedagogy) defined the concepts of sport pedagogy as an academic subject, providing the basis for further research in this field. By the late 1970s, professorships in sports pedagogy were already well established in the various sports and exercise science departments at German universities.

In the Anglo-Saxon world, the recognition of sports pedagogy as a discipline is more recent.

Indeed, in 1989, the German researcher Herbert Haag observed that the meaning of the term “sports pedagogy” was not yet fully established in the English literature. He nonetheless confirmed the rise and utility of the term “sports pedagogy” in the pursuit of learning and teaching in physical education and sport to international academic audiences.

The relatively late adoption of the term ‘sports pedagogy’ in the English academic literature was also noted by the distinguished Australian researcher Richard Tinning (2008, p. 405) who observed the following:

although our European colleagues have been using the terms pedagogy and sports pedagogy for many years, the world of kinesiology has only recently embraced these terms“.

In Italy, in the last twenty years (1989-2009) clinical psychology studies of sport have gained ground thanks to the works of Carlo Ravasini and Giovanni Lodetti.

Sports pedagogy as a discipline and field of study

While the research on sports pedagogy and in the field of physical education continue to intersect, sports pedagogy is now considered one general academic disciplinestudying learning, teaching and instruction in a range of sport, physical activity and exercise contexts.

At the center of the studies there is l’pedagogical meeting between teacher/coach/instructor and student/participant/pupil.

The purpose of sports pedagogy is support the needs of the students in sports and other forms of physical activity wherever and whenever they try to learn throughout their lives.

To achieve this, sports pedagogy researchers should engage in jobs predominantly interdisciplinarywith the aim of transcending the academic “divisions” that sometimes arise between the various sub-disciplines in sports science.


  1. Roethig, P. and Prohl, R. (Eds.)(2003) Sport Science EncyclopediaSchorndorf.
  2. Armour, K. (Ed.)(2011). Sport Pedagogy: An introduction for coaching and teaching. London: Pearson.
  3. Tinning, R. (2008) Pedagogy, Sport Pedagogy, and the Field of Kinesiology, Quest60 (3), 405-424.
  4. Roethig, P. and Prohl, R. (Eds.)(2003) Sport Science EncyclopediaSchorndorf, p.527.
  5. Haag, H. (1989). Research in ‘sport pedagogy’: One field of theoretical study in the science of sport. International Review of Education35(1), 5–16
  6. Grupe, O. (1969)Basics of sports pedagogyMünchen : J. A. Barth.
  7. Roethig, P. and Prohl, R. (Eds.)(2003) Sport Science EncyclopediaSchorndorf
  8. Silverman, D. (2007). Mingling with our friends: The kinesiology student and pedagogy knowledge. Quest59(1), 92–99
  9. Kirk, D., Macdonald, D., and O’Sullivan, M. (Eds.)(2006). The handbook of physical education. London: Sage.
  10. Association Internationale des Ecoles Superieures d’Education Physique (International Association for Physical Education in Higher Education) (AIESEP) AIESEP-Bham 2012 Position Statement: Sport (and Exercise) Pedagogy, Specialist Research Seminar, ‘Sport (& Exercise) Pedagogy’: (Re)Defining the Field’, p.2., Thursday 29 March – Saturday 31 March 2012, University of Birmingham, UK.
  11. Giovanni Lodetti, Twenty years of research in clinical psychology of sport. The guiding sport of fencing (PDF), in The clinical psychology of sport and fencing: Research and application models for athletes, Milan, AIPPS (International Association of Sport Psychology and Psychoanalysis) / Order of Psychologists Lombardy – CONI of Milan, 6 October 2012.

Source: www.my-personaltrainer.it

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