The Importance Of Developing Movement Skills For Children

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The Importance Of Developing Movement Skills For Children

Failure to develop and refine fundamental and specialized movement skills such as hopping, leaping, running, striking, and throwing during the crucial preschool and elementary school years often leads children to frustration and failure during adolescence and adulthood. Failure to develop mature patterns of throwing, catching, and jumping, for instance, makes it difficult for children to succeed in and enjoy even a recreational game of basketball. Children fail to participate, with success, in an activity if they have not been taught and given the opportunity to practice and master the essential movement skills contained within that activity.

Saying all this, it does not mean that if you don’t learn all the fundamental movement skills during childhood you cannot develop them later in life. But it is often easiest to develop these skills during childhood. It is highly possible that if a person does not develop the skills early, they too often remain unlearned.

There are several factors which contribute to this situation. One is an accumulation of poor habits from improper learning. It is much more difficult to “unlearn” faulty movements than to learn to do them correctly in the first place. Self-consciousness and embarrassment are a second factor. “I have no sense of direction”. “I can’t do it”, and “my hands and legs are not coordinating” are some of the common self-derogatory sentences that children may use to comment on their poor performance which lead to their reluctance and resistance to become active participants in sports. The third factor is fear where they have fear and anxiety about getting injured and of being ridiculed by their friends are very psychological factors that often contribute significantly to difficulty in learning movement skills later in life. This will also increase their chances of leading a sedentary lifestyle when they reach adulthood. Thus, it is vital for children to fully develop their fundamental movement abilities and a variety of basic sport skills as early as possible (Gallahue, David L. and Frances Cleland Donnelly, 2003).

Using Wushu As A Sport To Develop Fundamental Movement Skills

While there are many sports available to developing fundamental movement skills, Wushu remains a very unique and effective exercise to train the different movement skills for children since it focus on mind and body exercise that also focus on character building that instill self-discipline.

The Wushu exercise helps to develop the coordination, synchronization of the whole body movements in all direction which is very useful and help in enhancing quality of daily physical activities. Building a strong foundation in fundamental movement skills and correct posture alignment also reduces the chances for musculoskeletal problems such as low back pain and scoliosis in their later stage of life.

Keeping It Fun

Making the Wushu classes fun by using creative game-based concept doesn’t mean it is easier and less intensive. In fact, the reverse is true as fun and enjoyment often prove to be a more intrinsic motivating factor which pushes the children wanting to do their best in a positive learning environment.

“In order to engage children to be more actively participating in Wushu as a sport, we have modified our training program by including more game-based circuit training to replace the traditional Wushu drills which often seem boring into something which is more fun and challenging” comments Diana Ng, senior Wushu coach who has years of experience in coaching with thousands of children.

Understanding what the children like to play in their leisure time is also important in considering the various games which to be implemented into our Wushu games play, where we have seen an increase in having more children who continue learning Wushu for a longer duration and able to sustain their interest.

“The children often look forward to coming for every Wushu classes. Many of our Wushu students who just started with us were not very well coordinated with their movements, but after 6 months of Wushu training, there is a vast improvement in their overall body movement coordinations”, added Coach Diana

Lastly, words of encouragement and positive affirmation such as “well done”, “keep it up”, “that was a very good kick”, “powerful punches” often keeps the children motivated and feel good about themselves, which in turn boost their self-confidence.


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Brown. S. P, (2001) Introduction to Exercise Science Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

Fred Foxon, (1999) Improving Practices and Skill (Illustrated Ed) Coachwise 1st4sport

Gallahue, D.L. and F.C. Donnelly (2003) Developmental Physical Education for All Children.

Gerry Carr, (2004) Sport Mechanics for Coaches (2nd Ed) Human Kinetics United States

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Coach Yip is currently NROC registered with the Singapore Sports Council under Wushu/Tai Chi with a National Coaching Accreditation Programme (NCAP) Level 3, a Tai Chi master with almost 20 years of experience is a well known Tai Chi coach in Singapore. Coach Yip approaches Tai Chi in a very scientific research based and systematically training system. He is also an experienced Sports Massage Therapist certified by the Singapore Sports Council.

Besides giving personal and small group coaching, he also specializes in Wushu/Tai Chi coaching for Kids in schools and has previously conducted Mass Wushu Workout for Kids, ranging from primary to junior college level. To date, more than 8,000 students had benefited from his Sports Scientific Wushu & Tai Chi coaching.

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