Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Youth Battle of FMS.... Fundamental Movement Skills Vs Fine Motor Skills

In today’s VERY competitive world of sports, kids are being pressured at a very young age to be highly skilled. Coaches are pressured to develop athletes at a much faster rate, which can often be detrimental to long-term athletic development.

Either that was a personal record or someone soiled themselves

Istvan Balyi coined the term “Peak by Friday,” meaning that parents and coaches try to prepare young athletes for the upcoming game, rather than teaching them the fundamentals of movement and athletics to succeed long term.

For some reason, a lot of parents these days feel their kid is the next child prodigy ready for an “elite” program that will ensure their kid will play collegiate or professional sports. I do have that program it’s called “Denial for Parents.”

Lets say I am a volleyball coach. You bring me your 7 year old and want to me to teach her to perform a jump serve (probably in under an hour). I then have the young grasshopper perform a regular warm up and see that they have problems skipping, hopping, and throwing, which we would agree are fundamental movements. Now the parents wants me to teach a fine motor skill that involves coordination of multiple limbs, timing power, etc. Meanwhile little Timmy can’t coordinate his legs and arms together to skip correctly.

Kids need to learn these fundamental movement skills like skipping, hopping, throwing, striking, sprinting before we introduce a skill that requires a lot of coordination and focus.

Remember it's harder to do this as we get older

How can you do that? I know what you’re thinking; an intense program ran by a ex world champion. Actually playing on the playground, gymnastics, martial arts, movement games (red light green light), ball games, etc are fine. I know this seems like a far-fetched idea to let kids just play instead of intense training at a young age. But ask yourself if you pressured a kid to solve an algebra equation and they weren’t very good at basic arithmetic, do you think they would enjoy math and want to get better?

Step back and look at the big picture with youth athletics. Make athletics fun for kids by giving them the ability to perform basic coordinated movements, and I promise you they will be better at the fine motor skills in the long run.

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