Fundamental movement and sport skills are the basic building blocks of physical literacy. Running, jumping, throwing, catching – these are some of the fundamental skills that help children to move with confidence, enjoy physical activity, and succeed in sport.
Many kids seem awkward when they move, and they don’t look like they could ever succeed in any sport. Other children seem “natural born” and they move like athletes and dancers from a young age. What’s the difference?
The “natural born” have almost always learned to move well at a young age. They had an active start at an early age, while the children who move less well were not active in their early years.
Children need to learn and practice fundamental movement and sport skills throughout the time they are developing as infants and toddlers. That’s how their bodies learn to move and develop physical literacy.
If a child is “starved” of fundamental movement and sport skills during the early years, the neurological networks and muscular structures that guide their movement and coordination may be stunted in development.
How much of this stunted development can be recouped at older ages is still open to debate. But one thing that seems clear: if you want a child to move well and move often later in life, you need to get them moving correctly when they’re very young!
Part of this learning includes development of the ABCs of movement – Agility, Balance, Coordination and Speed.
Fundamental movement skills before sport skills
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