We have been explaining physical literacy and its benefits in our last few articles. We have touched upon the points of how Physical Literacy helps the kids in becoming healthy individuals. In this piece we will discuss how Physical Literacy is a foundation for sports excellence.
The important part of physical literacy is learning agility, balance, coordination and speed skills. The ABCs of Physical Literacy. All these skills and Object Control skills become the basis for almost all the sports played around the world. Be it football, hockey, Skiing, swimming, basketball, kabaddi, athletics or golf, to play any of these sports you have to use a combination of these skills. In case of children if a child have good Physical Literacy skills of ABCs then it will be far easier for them to take up any sport then other children who do not possess these skills
On the other hand, it is not like that if one kid does not possess these skills inherently then they won’t be able to take up any sports. These skills can still be improved over a period of time. So, it is imperative that instead of focusing on sports training from the very beginning, parents should try to ensure that their children have the opportunity to take part in all of the activities during the critical physical literacy years (6-12).
So, the talent we always talk about (that Ranaldo or Messi are more talented footballers) is nothing more than a child having these skills inherently. So, for example a person who has good Lower body object control, agility, balance & coordination then he has a better chance of excelling in a sport of football. Messi is a prime example of having these skills in abundance inherently (he has worked hard to keep himself at peak of the skill level) while on the other hand Ronaldo might not have been gifted with these skills like Messi but he honed these skills by working really hard on them. The result is for everyone to see. Both of them are still playing the game at the highest level in their late 30’s.
Further, if the child has excellent Upper Body Object control then he has a better chance than others of excelling in sports which require this skill. Cricket, golf, tennis or badminton are the sports that require Upper body object control. Best examples we have are Sachin Tendulkar and Virendra Sehwag. Both of them had very good Object control skill (Hand eye coordination) and were able to excel in sport. Virat Kohli might not be at the same level of the skill as both the veterans but he worked on the skill level and took himself to the peak.
In an ideal world the school’s physical education program plays an important role in developing physical literacy. Our children spend most of their awake time in the school and children have all the resources to achieve the physical literacy goals of all the children. However, our school system’s physical education programs are far from perfect and in most of the cases hardly any physical literacy improvement training is imparted. So, the initiative lies with the parents to either enrol them into a Physical Literacy program or help their child to improve on their own.
Parents should not get into the trap that early specialisation in sports such as football or tennis or swimming will lead to great performance later in life. Till the child gets into the teens, the focus should be in developing all round athletic ability and improving physical literacy. The child should take formal training of multiple sport or at least should be able to play multiple sport informally so that the overall development of physical skills is continuously taking place
At Xdrona, we not only help you do the Physical Literacy Assessment to understand the current level of the child but we also conduct a Physical Literacy Improvement program to help the child in improving their skills to make them sports ready.
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