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Motivation And Confidence Are Key Components of Physical Literacy

Read below how motivation and confidence played a factor in educator, author, and physical literacy advocate David Benay’s fitness journey… 

To be physically literate, one must have motivation & confidence, physical competence, knowledge & understanding and to be engaged in physical activities for life. In this blog post, I’ll focus on the motivation & confidence component of physical literacy and I’ll be making links to my current physical literacy journey.

I’ve always considered myself to be an athlete. As a young child, I participated in organized sports such as hockey and soccer. I also participated in school sports such as basketball and volleyball. I took swimming lessons on the side, and I played freely quite a lot. As an adult, I dedicated a big part of my training to half-marathons and marathons. I even ran a half-marathon in 1 hour and 37 minutes.

However, it wasn’t until I started training at Human 2.0 and looked up “movement and mobility training” online that I began to feel motivated and confident to train. I can honestly say, after my first Primal Movement class , my physical literacy journey is completely different. I am now focusing more on movement and mobility as opposed to sports. It’s even changed the way I teach my physical education classes.

Sports and marathon racing used to bring me joy. Unfortunately, I had an anxiety attack a few years back and what I once loved didn’t bring me joy anymore. That’s when I started the Ottawa Gym Critic. I was and still am, searching for ways to be more physically literate and in control of my body. I’ve trained with tons of great trainers, but what I truly love to do now is movement and mobility training. I feel challenged and it gives me a zen-like feeling.

I now feel motivated and confident in my athletic abilities. I am improving everyday and feel more and more capable of doing things I’ve never been able to do in the past (i.e. pistol squats). My movement and mobility training has helped me with self-regulation. I feel better in my skin while working out in a fun new way.

The more motivated I become, the more I train and feel confident. Hopefully, this motivation and confidence will lead to a greater understanding of the human body and I will become even more physically literate.


In order to be a physically literate person, one must engage in physical activities, and in order to engage in physical activities, one must first WANT to do so. As we can see with David, even though he was active as a child, one negative experience in adulthood changed how he felt about the training he as doing at that time.

Now, imagine you are a child who never has any good experiences with physical activity.  Say for example, you are not good at sports, and that’s what they focus on in gym class at school. You are certainly going to shy away from participating – it’s normal for people NOT to like (or want to do) things they are not good at. You might even start hating gym class itself as well. You may see yourself as “unathletic” and start believing that “being active” is just not something that you were made to do. If you carry this sort of notion with your for the rest of your life, this will definitely affect your health and wellness as an adult.

As parents and teachers, it is therefore especially important to encourage and teach our children to participate in as many forms of physical activity as possible – NOT just sports. Sports is only a small part of a human’s physicality. General movement and mobility training is the foundation of good health and injury prevention. It can be taught without judgement, starting with small DOABLE steps to make it easy for ALL students to find success, therefore building their confidence.

PHYSICAL LITERACY: Motivation And Confidence Are Integral Components Of Healthy Living

Once a child is confident, they will become motivated. Set them up for success in the first place, and they will continue to succeed all on their own. A high level of motivation increases the likelihood that a person will stick with the activity even when it becomes challenging, and THAT is really the type of attitude that we want to instil. It is a loop of positive feedback that we owe to our children (and ourselves) to create.