Examples of Instructional Cues: Acronyms

Acronyms help students associate the first letter of a word with a key instructional idea. the association is even stronger when an acronym is an acrostic, i.e. when it spells a word. The more familiar acronyms become, the more associations can be retained while cueing students with the acronym only. In other words, students may initially learn to shoot a basketball with the cues, "Bend knees, Elbow out, Eyes on target, Follow through"; then later the cue can be trimmed back to, "Bend, Elbow, Eyes, Follow", and finally, "BEEF."

Specific Sport Cues


Aim shoulder, Align knuckles, Bend knees, Cock bat (batting preparation)

Attack ball, Brace body, Contact ball (swinging bat)

Anticipate ball, Bend knees, Come toward batter (fielding preparation)

Against ground, Between legs, Catch with two hands (fielding grounder)

Above head, Behind ball, Catch with two hands (fielding pop-up)

Aim shoulder, Big step, Cross body throw (throwing)

Across seams, Aft step, Balance on one leg, Big step, Cross body throw (pitching)


Below waist, Away from defender, Low body, Look ahead (dribbling)

Bend knees, Elbow out, Eyes on target, Follow through (shooting)


Laces, Arm cock, Step with opposite foot, Snap wrist (throwing)


British Open, US Open, Masters, PGA


Look straight ahead, Arms waist high, Under previous ball, Grip underhand, Hands shoulder width (hints for juggling balls)

Look straight ahead, Arms shoulder high, Under previous scarf, Grip overhand, Hands shoulder width (hints for juggling scarves)


Keep eyes on ball, Inside of foot, Contact lower half of ball, Keep following through (kick)


Spread fingers, Arms up 90 degrees, Pike (block)

Watch ball, Arms/forearms, Shrug shoulders, Power from legs (forearm pass)

Spread fingers, Elbows in, Look through window, Leg leverage (set)

Size Of Steps, Speed Of Steps, Sit On Sofa (spiking approach)

Activity-related Cues


Attitude Creates Everlasting Success

Fitness elements:

Frequency, Intensity, Time

Game elements:

Goals, Alignment, Movements, Equipment, Social structure (Henkel, 1997; 1995)


All Children Exercising Simultaneously (Project ACES)

Setting goals:

Challenging, Attainable, Measureable, Specific

Team play:

Pass Before Shooting

Together Everyone Achieves More

Henkel, S. (1997). Monitoring competition for success. Journal of Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, 68 (2), 21-28.

Henkel, S. (1995). Games for success: Developing children's character through recreational play. Lanham, MD: University Press of America.

Instructional cues