The Motivation Factor

This multiple award-winning documentary shows the irreplaceable role classical Physical Education plays to develop smart, productive & mentally stable citizens, and the out-of-control consequences we face today with its absence in our society.

The United States made the decision to stop teaching real physical education 100 years ago. JFK tried to bring it back, but the effort ended with his shortened Presidency.

This documentary links the largest problems facing the US today to its current state of physical illiteracy, which comes as a consequence of no longer having educators, business leaders, or citizens understand how exercise (and particularly group exercise) can be used to solve our most pressing issues including how the US spends more on healthcare than any other country in the world, has the highest incidents of mental instability, the highest national debt, incarcerates 25% of the world’s prisoners with only 4% of the population, has the worst productivity since the 1970’s, the worst education rank since the 1970’s and amongst the worst life expectancy of the OECD countries.

This 3.5 year film project interviewed over 200 of the the world’s leading scientists, physicians, educators, and actual students of JFK’s championed example of physical education, La Sierra High. It is the most comprehensive work on this subject ever attempted, and yields highly relevant and actionable insight into effective ways to use something as simple as exercise to address our most pressing challenges today.

The crowdfunding trailer received 50 Million Facebooks views. It ran two separate, sequential crowdfunding campaigns on Indiegogo. (1) projects/la-sierra-high-pe/x/10061593#/ (2) jfkchallenge/x/10061593#/ with a combined 715 backers raising a total of $35,078. Interviews and filming covered 28 US states with over 250 interviews.

The film has captured the interest of the NBA and the largest teacher’s associations. Many medical schools in the US now require PE just because of the crowdfunding trailer, with the Neurosurgery Department of the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) featured in the documentary. It shows how 80% of their doctors and faculty had an undiagnosed medical problem 2 years ago, but after instituting daily Physical Education, all those problems are gone, including depression and quality of life issues.

One section of the film focuses on the famous La Sierra High…the PE program that JFK held up as the model 50 years ago. The real-life, never-before-seen footage of an entire school highly fit, where 99% of the boy’s student body could do at least 10 pullups, and each sported 6 pack abs, all with just a 12 minute calisthenic group exercise and 5 minutes on the bars, inspires educators on what is possible in today’s world where obesity is the norm.

The film tracks a current junior high school, Prescott Middle School located in Modesto, CA that started following the La Sierra Program 45 years ago and has never stopped.

That school today covers the gamut from kids living in the country club to being homeless. It is multicultural school where every race and religion seems represented… yet it has NO BULLYING because of what they lean in PE. The kids are united. They operate with a theme in their PE program of “All for one and one for all”…where they “don’t leave anyone behind.” That experience on the field transfers inside the classroom…every child believes in themselves…they have confidence about their future, and they get excellent grades, independent of their family environment or economic background. The kids in the school share one common trait: their current individual circumstance does not dictate their plans for their future.

When people exercise, their brain chemistry changes. They become smarter, mentally stable, and productive. It’s the old ‘Mind, Body & Spirit’.

Historically, nations built unity by having its citizens exercise together. The best example of that in the world right now is taking place in Modesto, CA in an obscure middle school called Prescott.

The film interviews coaches who noticed “racial tensions melt away when kids participated together on a sports team. “ However, that was only for the elect athletes. What is unique about this PE program is that they had “The Motivation Factor” where they grouped the kids by their ability level into teams, and the kids helped each other progress as a team from one level to the next. Their reward system encouraged both teamwork and individual participation. It was similar to a colored belt system in karate. So the entire school participates and gets the health and social benefit that only elect athletes receive in most schools today.

The film references over 10,000 studies linking the improvement of academic performance, social interest, and mental stability with exercise.



Film Release Information: August 22, 2017:

Exclusive 30-day general public release on September 21, 2017: Available on iTunes, Amazon, Vudu, GooglePlay IMDB:

Official Site:

Copyright: Doug Orchard Films, LLC 2017


50 Million Strong Case Studies

Read how your teaching colleagues are showing their commitment to increasing physical activity and bringing good health to their students! Remember - It begins with US (and that includes physical and health educators everywhere!)  


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