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How Important are Fundamental Movement Skills

by | Nov 1, 2022 | Movement

Fundamental Movement Skills (FMS) are the basic movements traditionally associated with human physical activity. The most common FMS include skills such as walking, running, jumping, throwing, catching, skipping, and hopping. 

Fundamental sports skills are the basic sports skills which are the foundations that are essential to becoming an elite athlete in all sports. They include throwing, catching, kicking, and striking.

What is Physical Literacy?

Physical literacy, similar to reading and arithmetic, develops a “movement vocabulary” and is a term used for having the competence, confidence and motivation to apply your fundamental movement skills and fundamental sports skills in all situations. 

Why is FMS development so important for your child?

We all know that a house needs to be built on a solid foundation, well, this is exactly why your child needs to develop their fundamental movement and sports skills from a young age. Over time, as children develop proficiency in basic FMS, they start to “sequence” their skills into more sophisticated movement patterns, including fundamental sports skills. Their movements become more efficient and as a result, they can master the same task much faster and with the correct technique, as a result, they can run faster, throw a ball more accurately, and kick a ball with more power! 

FMS only represents one component of your child’s sports coaching and development pathway. Children still need to develop confidence, have the motivation to train and stay active and be knowledgeable about the importance of being physically active and healthy. There are also so many other life skills that are taught through sports; leadership, teamwork, Discipline and RESPECT to name a few. The key characteristics to ensure your child becomes a successful adult! The ultimate goal of all parents!

Is my child’s fundamental movement and sports skills on point for their age? 

This is a major concern for all parents with young children. Is my child coordinated? Can they do the basic tasks that their friends can? Will they be picked on the school team?

There are many stresses to raising a child, and unfortunately, this is another one! But don’t worry too much, children all develop differently and at different stages and this is the same for sports and movement. Children who have a growth spurt will suffer in the short term as their muscle growth catches up to their bone growth. Also girls will be able to focus better on tasks than boys and can master them faster. 

My advice is to get your child involved in a multi-sports or gymnastics class from a young age that has a major emphasis on developing fundamental movement skills. Make sure the coaches are well trained and have experience working with young children. Your child’s first experience in a group class is so vital to setting them up for the future!

You, the parent, can also play a major role in developing your child’s FMS skills at home or in the park! 

How to teach your child FMS skills at home?

There is so much content online, especially on youtube, to give you ideas of games and activities that you and your child can enjoy together. Make sure you choose age appropriate activities for your child or this will become a frustrating task for both of you. It is meant to be FUN!

Also if your child is doing a sports class, then you can take some of the drills and games from the class and practice them at home! You don’t need all the sports equipment either. You can use basic household items with the same effect!
Children develop their FMS skills through active play with you and their friends. You need to set an example for your child by being an active role model and encourage them to try different sports and activities.

As your child gets older you should enroll them in a sport/activity that matches their personal interest. Not yours!

There are so many options for children now, that you will be surprised what might perk your child’s interest.

What are the FMS skills that parents should expect to see in their children at different ages and stages of development!

  • 0 – 2 years – Grasping, Roll over, Sitting, Crawling, Cruising, Walking
  • 2 – 4 years – Running, Throwing, Catching, Kicking, Swimming, Skating
  • 4 – 6 years – Running, Throw & Catch, Fall & tumbling, Hopping & Jumping, Skipping, Cycling
  • 6 – 9 years – Striking, Dribbling, Gymnastics, Swimming, Skating

It’s never too early for your child to start learning their fundamental movement skills! Developing FMS are the key to being able to enjoy any sport or physical activity.

Let your child take their first step to a happier, healthier, more active and enjoyable life. Take advantage of our free trial class offer at Prodigy for the whole month of November! Open for kids aged 2 – 8 years. Learn more.

Will Murray
Will Murray

Will is one of the founders of Sport4Kids (now ProActiv Sports) in Hong Kong and was the driving force behind bringing it to Singapore in 2014. Will obtained a degree in Sports Science and Health, from Dublin City University and has vast experience coaching children and adults of all level and abilities. Will is experienced at coaching in a wide variety of sports with a particular interest in Soccer, Basketball and Gaelic Football. He is also a very keen sportsman having represented Ireland in underage basketball and Gaelic Football.

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