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Table 1 SAAFE principles and recommended strategies

From: Framework for the design and delivery of organized physical activity sessions for children and adolescents: rationale and description of the ‘SAAFE’ teaching principles

Principles Example strategies
Supportive • Provide individual skill specific feedback
• Support feelings of autonomy, competence, and social connection
• Provide praise on student effort and improvement
• Acknowledge and reward good sportspersonship
• Demonstrate empathy toward students who appear frustrated or challenged
Active • Optimize session structure and activity selection (e.g., small-sided games, multiple games/grids and minimal lines)
• Avoid elimination activities
• Include an active warm-up
• Integrate high-intensity ‘bursts’ of activity within typical games and lesson activities
• Employ circuits and rotations
• Complete student registration while students are active
• Reduce transition time by setting up activities while students are active
• Minimize teacher talk and instructions
• Maximize equipment available (e.g., every student with a ball)
Autonomous • Provide students with opportunities for choice
• Include free play at the start of sessions
• Involve students in creation and modification of activities and rules
• Provide a meaningful rationale for the different activities
• Minimize controlling language
Fair • Ensure that students are evenly matched in activities
• Modify activities to maximize students’ opportunities for success
• Encourage self-comparison rather than peer-comparison
• De-emphasize competition (e.g. implement point system that rewards team values and not winning)
• Regularly change teams/partners (if necessary) to ensure everyone experiences success
Enjoyable • Design activities with which students can exhibit choice, feel competent, and also interact with others (e.g., group activities)
• Start and conclude sessions with an enjoyable activity
• Ensure that sessions involve a variety of tasks/activities
• Do not use exercise as punishment
• Use self-selected and motivational music while exercising