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Tip 1 - Fundamental movement skills

The importance of a strong base of fundamental movement skills for lifelong participation and performance in sport

Possessing a well-rounded repertoire of fundamental movement skill competencies lays an ideal platform for future skill development, potentially to elite levels. Other benefits include greater confidence, adaptability and resilience aligned to better physical competence, injury minimisation and greater sporting potential.

Early school-aged children should ideally possess the following fundamental movement skills:

Object Control

  • Kicking
  • Throwing
  • Catching
  • Hitting

Locomotive skills

  • Running
  • Hopping
  • Jumping
  • Skipping
  • Using a wheelchair
  • Using a prosthetic limb

Body control

  • Balancing
  • Tumbling
  • Climbing

Aquatic skills

  • Floating
  • Early swimming strokes
  • Paddling
  • Standing on a surfboard

Competency in these fundamental and foundational movement skills are a recognised pre-cursor or ‘building blocks’ to these later sport-specific skills:

  • Cricket
  • Rugby
  • Soccer
  • Hockey
  • Tennis
  • Basketball
  • Badminton
  • Softball
  • Baseball
  • Volleyball
  • Water polo
  • Athletics
  • Cross country
  • Orienteering
  • Rugby
  • Soccer
  • Hockey
  • Softball
  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Wheelchair sports
  • Gymnastics
  • Diving
  • Aerial skiing
  • Surfing
  • Snow and ski-board
  • Cycling
  • Kayaking
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Water polo
  • Surfing

Pin icon TIP: Foster your child’s fundamental movement competencies

Check that your child’s activities address most of these fundamental movement skills: locomotive, object control, body control and aquatic.  Below are some activities to help develop these skills:

Unorganised activities at or close to home:

  • stopping and kicking a ball
  • hitting a stationary and later a moving ball with a small light cricket bat
  • running (in a straight line, zigzag, backward)
  • jumping (one and two leg)
  • skipping (with and without a rope)
  • climbing and tumbling, at home or at a local park or trampoline park
  • experimenting with different swim strokes
  • paddling and standing on a surfboard at the beach.  

Organised early movement programs, such as:

  • Gymnastic Australia’s LaunchPad programmes
  • BMX Australia’s BMX Mini Wheelers programme
  • swimming lessons like those run by an AUSTSWIM recognised programme

Check out these great websites for more information:

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Did you know?

Gold Coast 2018 is the 5th Commonwealth Games to be hosted by Australia.

Quick numbers

11.6 million Australian adults participate in sport or physical activity three or more times per week.
3.2 million Australian children participate in organised sport or physical activity outside of school.
$10 billion is spent annually by Australians on fees for participation in sport or physical activity.
17 million Australian adults participate in a sport or physical activity every year.
650 thousand Australians either coach, teach or instruct sport.