Associations between Fundamental Movement Skills, Gymnastics and Movement Specific Reinvestment

Term 1 2019 Marie collected data for a Masters Thesis in Health, Sport & Human Performance at the university of Waikato. In week 1 of the gymnastic course Waikato based students started their class by filling out a questionnaire that consisted of two questions about what they think about their movements. For class warm ups the students performed four fundamental movement skills. Two object control skills (under arm throw a tennis ball against a wall from 15 feet & bounce a basket ball three times with one hand and catch it). Two locomotor skills (side glide & horizontal jump). Then in week two our students performed two gymnastic skills (forward roll & handstand). Again in week 9 Marie re-testing the students gymnastic skills & asked them to re-do the questionnaire from week 1.

Recreational gymnastic activities incorporate all three fundamental movement categories of locomotor skills, stability skills & object control skills. Previous research has found evidence of a strong association between fundamental movement skills and gymnastics, supporting the view that gymnastic programmes can accelerate the learning of fundamental movement skills. Basically, we were interested in exploring how your children think and what effect it has on their learning of fundamental movement skills and gymnastic performance. The study has shown that children who participate in gymnastic courses show high levels of fundamental movement skills and that conscious motor processing was associated with improvement in gymnastic performance. Results also indicated that childrens thought processes increased significantly from week 1 to week 9 of gymnastic training, suggesting that post training children tended to consciously engage in movement processing more than pre-training. Training instruction appears to impact conscious engagement.

The benefit of this research for your child is that as they participate in gymnastic courses and improve their movement proficiency they increase their probability of lifelong physical activity and a healthy lifestyle and gain a clear pathway towards excellence in sport.