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Playing for Life Resources


Sporting Schools is based on the Playing for Life philosophy, which encourages children to have fun and get active by focusing on skills not drills. By focusing on having fun, having a go and getting active, Sporting Schools aims to provide children with positive sporting experiences to help develop a lifelong interest in sport.

It is based on the Game Sense approach, with the objective to develop in school-aged children a love of physical activity that will encourage them to play for life. All activities are game-based and generate a safe, inclusive and challenging environment.

Sport Australia has developed free resources to assist teachers to deliver Playing for Life style sessions.

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The Playing for Life Activity Cards are a variety of games designed to develop the skills of a range of sports. These cards have been re-developed with needs of teachers in mind and are aligned to Australian Curriculum outcomes. Each activity card provides the following information about the activity:

  • Bands of learning (F-2, 3-4, 5-6)
  • Content descriptions
  • Skill focus (Fundamental Movement Skills)
  • Activity focus
  • Learning intention
  • Equipment required
  • What to do
  • Tips to change the game (to make it easier or harder)
  • Tips for safety

whats on a card

Included in this resource are activity cards to teach children skills for net and court games, invasion games, target games, striking and fielding games and movement exploration games. There are also activities for warm-up, energisers, group management and finish up. The following table shows how the Playing for Life activities link to different sports.

P4L Sports categories


The Playing for Life activity cards adopt a game sense approach to teaching about games and sports. Game sense uses a player-centred approach to coaching, where players have the opportunity to answer questions through activity, solve problems and contribute to what is done in a session. This approach allows children to determine the best way to achieve success.

If the session is well constructed you won’t hear ‘When can we play the game?’ That’s because players will have a chance to get into the game related activities early and often. Playing for Life emphasises:

  • Games before drills & skills
  • High-activity levels that are disguised within fun and challenging activities
  • The CHANGE IT approach to modifying the activity for inclusion, challenge and skill development.

Learn more about the game sense approach


A key feature of the Playing for Life philosophy is changing games to make sure all children can play and learn, regardless of their skill or sporting background. The CHANGE IT acronym focuses on the elements of a game that can be changed to make it easier or harder, to appeal to all players.

The tool is a memory jogger to remind you that changes to the rules, player roles, the playing area, equipment and the way you coach can all contribute to inclusion.

Read our simple guide on how to apply CHANGE IT principles when assessing a game or activity, and to see examples of CHANGE IT at work in games see the link below.


Read more tips on conducting fun, challenging lessons that maximise participation. 


Promoting good behaviour and knowing simple ways to deal with misbehaviour are essential to carrying out a coaching session. Strategies aimed at running enjoyable and safe sessions go a long way to preventing misbehaviour. 

Read more tips for managing behaviour including working with children that are highly competitive, domineering or don’t like to participate.


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