- Fundamental Perceptual Motor Skill development (FPMS) means the sport sampling stage is fun
- If the sport sampling stage is fun and children feel some competence they will want more
- Fundamental Perceptual Motor Skill development gives children a valuable head start when it comes to their first sporting experiences
Sport sampling is the time when kids start to try various sports. This will take place as early as the age 4-5 through to about 9-10 years and it will vary on the individual and the complexity of the sport. During this stage, kids may start to take a liking to sport in general but also a sport in particular.
The main aim of the sport sampling stage is for kids to enjoy it. So that leads to the question - how can we get kids to enjoy introduction to sport so they want to continue sampling other sports and furthermore become excited about further participation in practice and competition?
The key lies in the kids feeling like they can do it. If a young girl starts to learn football, she will enjoy it more if she can kick the ball and if a young boy starts to learn basketball he will enjoy it more if he can dribble, catch and shoot. Now many people think that the young girl will learn how to kick at football or the young boy will learn how to dribble, catch and shoot at basketball. But this isn’t always the case. In reality, many kids drop out of a sport very quickly. Mostly it’s because they can’t do it, so they don’t enjoy it and often they won’t feel as though they fit in. If the young girl can already kick, then when she samples the sport she will be more likely to enjoy it and from there her kicking will improve. Just as the young boy will enjoy his first experience of basketball if he can dribble, catch and shoot and these skills will then improve.
A head start
Parents, grandparents, childcare workers and teachers are in a position to influence the skill and physical development of children. Children can be given a head start if they develop some fundamental perceptual motor skills (FPMS) before they start sampling sport. The development of FPMS will then allow the kids to start playing the sport with general co-ordination and some of the basics of the sport.
If a child starts football, for example, as the best or one of the best in the group, they will most likely be able to place themselves in a position to get the ball more often, have success when they try and use the ball and then get the ball passed to them more. This will result in more experiences, more opportunities to learn and faster skill development. One of the most important points to mention here is confidence. If children start with some confidence they will seek to be more involved and be willing to try without as much fear of failing.
You can make a difference
FPMS’ development comes through children being exposed to a range of gradually more challenging physical experiences from a young age. Parents, grandparents, childcare workers and teachers can all influence FPMS development on a daily basis. Children who are lucky enough to develop FPMS’ will have a huge head start when they enter the sport sampling stage. This head start will make a lasting difference in their sporting and physical life.
Skillforkids.com is full of information on fundamental perceptual motor skill development both in the form of articles and video based practical play ideas.