Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Merit Badge of the Week: Athletics

One of the strongest American passions is sports. Exercise, games, magazines, blogs, websites, television and more feed this driving need.

And when that isn't enough, we invent sports like "professional" wrestling and roller-derby.

We are also a nation growing a bit hefty about the middle. [I'm raising my hand. How about you?]

How do we tie these two facts together? Surprisingly, only 5959 of these were earned in 2007. (BSA Fact Sheet)

Let me challenge you this month, both Scout and Scouter--let's begin to earn this merit badge today.

I know, Scouters can't earn merit badges, but no one said you couldn't fulfill all the requirements anyway. Then, maybe pick up an extra to tuck away in your memorabilia...

The latest Athletics merit badge requirements from the BSA:

1. Show that you know first aid for injuries or illnesses that could occur while participating in athletic events, including sprains, strains, contusions, abrasions, blisters, dehydration, and heat reactions.

2. Explain the following:
a. The importance of the physical exam
b. The importance of maintaining good health habits, especially during training
c. The importance of maintaining a healthy diet

3. Select an athletic activity to participate in for one season (or four months). Then do the following:
a. With guidance from your counselor, establish a personal training program suited to the activity you have chosen.
b. Organize a chart for this activity and monitor your progress during this time.
c. Explain to your counselor the equipment necessary to participate in this activity, and the appropriate clothing for the season and the locale.
d. At the end of the season, discuss with your counselor the progress you have made during training and competition and how your development has affected you mentally and physically.

4. Do the following:
a. Give the rules for two athletic activities, one of which is the activity you chose for requirement 3.
b. Discuss the importance of warming up and cooling down.
c. Explain to your counselor what an amateur athlete is and the differences between an amateur and a professional athlete.
d. Discuss the traits and importance of good sportsmanship. Tell what role sportsmanship plays in both individual and group athletic activities.

5. Complete the activities in FOUR of the following groups and show improvement over a three-month period:

Group 1: Sprinting
a. 100-meter dash
b. 200-meter dash
Group 2: Long-Distance Running
c. 3k run
d. 5k run
Group 3: Long Jump OR High Jump
e. Running long jump OR running high jump (best of three tries)
f. Standing long jump OR standing high jump (best of three tries)
Group 4: Swimming
g. 100-meter swim
h. 200-meter swim
Group 5: Pull-Ups AND Push-Ups
i. Pull-ups in two minutes
j. Push-ups in two minutes
Group 6: Baseball Throw
k. Baseball throw for accuracy, 10 throws
l. Baseball throw for distance, five throws (total distance)
Group 7: Basketball Shooting
m. Basketball shot for accuracy, 10 free-throw shots
n. Basketball throw for skill and agility, the following shots as shown on the diagram:

1. Left-side layup
2. Right-side layup
3. Left side of hoop, along the key line
4. Right side of hoop, along the key line
5. Where key line and free-throw line meet, left side
6. Where key line and free-throw line meet, right side
7. Top of the key
8. Anywhere along the three-point line
Group 8: Football Kick OR Soccer Kick
i. Goals from the 10-yard line, eight kicks
j. Football kick or soccer kick for distance, five kicks (total distance)
Group 9: Weight Training
k. Chest/bench press, two sets of 15 repetitions each
l. Leg curls, two sets of 15 repetitions each

6. Do the following:
a. Prepare plans for conducting a sports meet or field day that includes 10 activities, at least five of which must come from the groups mentioned in requirement 5. Outline the duties of each official needed and list the equipment the meet will require.
b. With your parent's and counselor's approval, serve as an official or volunteer at a sports meet to observe officials in action. Tell your counselor about your responsibilities at the meet and discuss what you learned.

Resource List:

  1. Always start with Introduction to Merit Badges for the steps to a successful merit badge.
  2. Worksheet on Athletics from This is a great tool to organize your work, projects and thoughts.
  3. Basic first aid from BSA videos (use your manual, too).
  4. Start with the basics--walking. 10 weeks to better health by walking, via email. (The program is via email--you have to do the actual walking!)
  5. Try the "100 Pushups Training Program"--can you do it? You will in 6 weeks.
  6. Get Fit Slowly--good advice and a good blog.
  7. Participate in the President's Challenge: kids, teens, and adults--it isn't just for kids any more. Earn the awards, too!
  8. BL Gym videos (as in Boys' Life)--16 videos to help with basic weight training on the BL Get Fit Workout. Workout log, too.
  9. Education World has a great section on planning field days, including 15 different relay races and 20 other activities you can use.
  10. After you do the other 9 resource items, you've earned this.

Related BSA merit badges: Archery, Backpacking, Canoeing, Climbing, Cycling, Fishing, Fly-Fishing, Gardening, Golf, Hiking, Horsemanship, Lifesaving, Personal Fitness, Rifle Shooting, Rowing, Shotgun Shooting, Skating, Small-Boat Sailing, Snow Sports, Sports, Swimming, Water Sports, and Whitewater.

Do you have a resource for the Athletics merit badge? Please let me know via email or the comments below.

1 comment:

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