A guide to Fundamental Movement Skills

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‘The development of fundamental movement skills is absolutely essential to the Healthy development of children. Children given a strong movement foundation will have a skill set and confidence to be physically active on their own, their families and their peers’ Hailbach, Reed, Collier 2011
At Healthy Heroes we are little obsessed with Fundamental Movement Skills (FMS). But what are they and why are they so important for child development?
Fundamental Movement Skills are the building blocks required to form more generalised, specific sports skills. They are the physical equivalent of spelling and grammar in English, or multiplication and division in Maths. Without mastery of the basic fundamental skills, children will have little to link together to form more complex movement patterns.
For instance, a child who can’t execute an over arm throw with confidence will be unable to perform a host of more sports specific patterns such as playing cricket and overhead shots in tennis or badminton.
But even for a child who has no interest in sport FMS are still critical. Children who are competent movers will grow up with a love of movement and physical activity and develop healthful living through regular exercise.

FMS basics

Fundamental Movement Skills can be broken down into three categories.

Body Management Skills

These skills involve balancing the body in stillness and in motion. Skills include, balancing, climbing, and rolling.They are predominantly developed in gymnastic type activities and form the basis for most other FMS. Without a sound grounding in body management skills children will find the development of other motor patterns difficult.

Locomotor Skills.

Locomotor skills involve transporting the body from A to B in a given direction. Examples of locomotor skills include, walking, running, skipping and jumping.

Manipulative Skills.

Manipulative skills are skills that involve imparting force with or on an external object. A good foundation in these skills are required for most team games.These skills can be further divided into propulsive skills such as kicking and throwing and absorptive skills, such as catching and trapping
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