SSP’s Performance Enhancement Institute provides additional support for the 21st Century Student-Athlete
What sets Singapore Sports School apart from other schools in Singapore – and, sports schools in the region – is the presence of the Performance Enhancement Institute which supports the development of it student-athletes for high performance.
The School recognises that the 21st Century student-athlete requires additional support beyond that of their teachers and coaches, and from the start of the School in 2004, established a Sport Science Department to provide services in strength and conditioning, physiology, physiotherapy, psychology, nutrition and biomechanics.
In 2009, the Talent Development and Physical Education Department was established to oversee the SportSmart Skills and Talent Identification programmes and GCE “O” Level PE. During 2011, these two departments were merged into the new Performance Enhancement Institute, and two new support services were introduced – Performance Analysis and Sport Technology.
SportSmart Skills is a specially tailored, quality physical education programme aimed at improving the fundamental motor and movement skills of our student-athletes. The programme exposes lower secondary student-athletes to a wide range of sports and equips them with multi-skills for these sports. SportSmart Skills also develops student-athletes’ physical and game literacy, and teaches them how to transfer the skills learnt to their chosen sport.
In the first year, our SportSmart Skills programme comprises of four core modules – Athletics (Run, Jump, Throw), Dance, Gymnastics and Aquatics. Student-athletes are also introduced to the Games Concept components of Target, Striking/Fielding, Net/Wall barrier and Territorial Invasion games, which focusses on the acquisition of understanding of the concepts for effective participation in the different games category.
In the second year, when student-athletes have become familiar with and are able to apply the skills learnt from the four core modules learnt in the preceding year, the Games module is introduced. A sport science education package is also customized for student-athletes so that they are grounded with foundational sport science principles and concepts and understand how these can be applied in their sporting career.
Singapore Sports School believes that “the foundations of a lifetime of physical activity do not simply develop naturally in children. Children need to be offered many opportunities for learning over an extended period of time and by a range of knowledgeable adults” (Sport NI, 2008).
Through SportSmart Skills, our School is taking the first step to allow student-athletes to be “…creative, imaginative, and clear in expressive movement, competent and efficient in utilitarian movement and inventive, versatile, and skilful in objective movement” (Whitehead, 2007), and possess “ …the ability to ‘read’ what is going on around them in an activity setting and react appropriately to those events” (Higgs et al., 2008).
Student-athletes look forward to their SportSmart Skills sessions. Here are two games that student-athletes anticipate participating in:
Goal Frisbee belongs to the games category, “Target Games”. The focus of this activity is accuracy and control. The required movements also assist in sport specific training for the Bowling Academy as it stresses on the snapping of the wrist, which is akin to the wrist action performed during the release of the bowling ball. Goal Frisbee can be transformed into an “Invasion Game” by placing the goals at two ends of a Netball court. The focus then will be on the concepts of passing to an unmarked teammate, receiving, running into space, communication, interception, creating opportunity to score or creating opportunity for a teammate to score, marking and faking.
Parachute Volleyball is a Wall/Net Game. This activity helps student-athletes learn the creation of space for attack, defending of space and defending against an attack. The set-up also encourages the development of teamwork and coordination, as these are essential in order to score a point which is achieved when the ball is sent over the net, such that the opponent is unable to retrieve it and concomitantly send it back over the net. Similarly, the defending of space to prevents the opponent from scoring also involves teamwork and coordination among all the members of the team.
Click here to view the SportSmart Skills brochure.