How to add the ABCs of Fundamental Movement Skills to your Practices
The ABCs – agility, balance, and coordination – of the Fundamental Movement Skills are essential components of physical literacy. They are required in all sports, and in order to stay active for life. Whether they are trained in isolation, used as part of a warm-up or cool-down, or as the basis for more complex sport skills, knowing how to train the ABCs is a critical part of coaching at all levels.
To get started, consider how you can include the following basic activities into your practices in an effort to boost Fundamental Movement Skills training and improve physical literacy. Be creative and try to incorporate your sport-specific environment into these drills by using sports equipment, your field of play, and the rules of your sport.
AGILITY: The ability to change the body’s position quickly and efficiently, and being able to do so in a wide range of situations. It’s about being quick and nimble.
Follow the Leader: The group leader moves quickly from side to side and back to front, runs, hops, and stops using any combination of skills. Participants follow the leader and copy his or her actions.
Double Tag: Non-elimination tag games. One person is chosen as “It” and has to tag the other players. When tagged, a player also becomes “It” and can tag others. To make the stopping, starting, and dodging more intense, reduce the space for the game. Avoid spaces where players can run into walls or other obstacles.
BALANCE: The ability to maintain body equilibrium. There are two types of balance: static and dynamic (moving) balance. Here are some suggestions on how to improve static balance and dynamic balance.
Static: Stand on one foot for 3 seconds, then for 5 seconds. Do the same on the other foot. Run, hop, or skip around the playing space, then on a signal from the leader, instantly stop and balance on one foot.
Dynamic: Small mats (carpet squares work well) are laid out on the floor. Jump from one mat to the next, landing and staying on the feet without taking a step. Increase the distance between mats
Static: Balance on other body parts: Knees, the rear end with the feet in the air, on the shoulders or upper back with the feet in the air, on one side of the body, etc.
Dynamic: Walk along a line drawn on the floor (badminton court lines in a gymnasium, for example). Start with 10 points, and lose one point every time you step off the line. Increase the speed of movement, or stop and start. Try with taped or drawn zigzag lines.
CO-ORDINATION: The ability to build up more and more complicated movements, and perform them in a smooth and efficient manner. Here are some suggestions for activities to develop co-ordination.
Star Jump: Children jump and perform an action in the air — clap their hands, make a star shape, or tuck into a ball. Jump backward or sideways.
Mirror Game: Two people face each other; one is the leader, the other the follower. The leader performs any action, and the follower has to do perform exactly the same action, but as if the follower was the leader’s image in the mirror.
Balloon Toss: Use balloons (synthetic not latex in case children have a latex allergy). Try to keep one balloon in the air. Then add a second or even a third balloon. At first, use only the hands to keep the balloon in the air, but then use either the hands or the feet.
Want more information on all 7 Fundamental Movement Skills? The Fundamental Movement Skills module, part of the National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) Multi-sport module series for coaches, will provide you with additional knowledge! Contact your Provincial or Territorial Coaching Representative for more details!