Self-regulation in physical education

Students teaching themselves to trick bike or frisbee well by using programs and apps 

Self-regulation can help young people to exercise more and adopt a healthier lifestyle. The Hanze University of Applied Sciences in Groningen investigates how young people learn self-regulation in physical education classes.

Students taking part in the research project decide for themselves the sport they will choose and the skills they wish to learn at today’s lessons PE. This unusual approach was inspired by the student’s rejection of the more common, competition-oriented PE lessons. They preferred teaching themselves to trick bike or frisbee well by using programs and apps in which their own individual progress played a central role.

Setting your own, visible goals

The research on independently engaging in sports in preparatory vocational education (VMBO) responds to two needs: the PE sector wants to reform the curriculum so that it will meet the needs of pupils and VMBO-pupils in general lag behind in comparison with other children on health issues. Self-regulation might stimulate them to work on their goals more motivated because progress can be made very visible in PE lessons.

Researchers hope that self-regulation training in a sporting context will also help children to adopt healthier lifestyles in general. PE teachers are also enthusiastic about the project till so far, although it requires a different didactic approach. Teachers no longer assign activities but coach processes.

Other research projects on self-regulation in physical education

  • Every child has athletic talent: esearch on form and content of guidance that ensures that children develop sufficient sports skills, experience and self-regulation to meet the demands of the current and future sports culture.
  • Fit for life, Self-regulation and motivation in higher vocational education. A study conducted using a field lab approach in which students, teachers, and researchers work together to build up an effective healthy environment for every individual demand.


Would you like to know more about our research projects? Please contact us.

Professorship School of Sport Studies
Hanze University of Applied Sciences, Groningen
Professor Remo Mombarg
Telephone: +31 (0)50 595 44 18