Why learning Ball skills early makes children more confident


boy-catching-350x435Catch-a-balls has an article in this months Families Upon Thames magazine.  Here is it or alternatively you can go to Families website to see it in all it’s glory.


Research shows that children who develop good sporting skills enjoy sport more and are more active than those who don’t acquire these skills.

This is key to their long term physical and mental health, as well as helping them develop life skills (like sportsmanship, and controlling aggression) and reducing adolescent social problems. However, is there good justification for pre-school children to be taught ball-handling and movement skills? Does it help their confidence in sport later in life?

Children can learn most of the fundamental movement skills, including running, jumping, hopping, skipping, kicking, catching and throwing by the age of 8.

So the ‘window of opportunity’ for developing these skills occurs prior to this age. These fundamental movement skills lay the foundation for many sports techniques. For example, learning to throw overarm forms the basis for bowling a cricket ball or serving in tennis. These basic skills are the foundation for future enjoyment of sport and without them, there is a barrier.

Many of us can remember with dread not being able to catch balls consistently and the resultant fear that school team sports instilled. However, if children can reach middle primary school age armed with good fundamental movement skills, they are far less likely to suffer confidence problems.

They are also less likely to abandon sport during the confidence-challenging period of adolescence and more likely to achieve a higher fitness level and go on to lead a more active lifestyle.

The development of high level fundamental movement skills is not innate. Children need early instruction using appropriate activities and equipment, plenty of encouragement and regular practice in a fun environment.

Local ball skills classes such as Catch-a-Balls offer the perfect opportunity and are designed to develop critical movement, racquet and ball-handling skills in young children and enable them to go on to enjoy the sport of their choice.

Classes are for children ages 18 months to school age and are held in Twickenham, Richmond, Hampton, Teddington, Kingston, Claygate, Surbiton and Thames Ditton.

For further information, and to book a FREE TRIAL by visit www.catch-a-balls.co.uk



Fundamental movement skill competence among 10-11 year old children: Year 2 PEPASS Physical Activity Project, August 2010, Dr Lawrence Foweather Physical Activity Research Officer Liverpool John Moores University

The effect of interventions on fundamental movement skills, physical activity and psychological well-being among children, 2010. Dr Lawrence Foweather.

Does weight status influence associations between children’s fundamental movement skills and physical activity? 2008. Hume, C., Okely, A., Bagley, S., Telford, A., Booth, M., Crawford, D., et al.

The relationship between motor proficiency and physical activity in children, 2006. Wrotniak, B. H., Epstein, L. H., Dorn, J. M., Jones, K. E., & Kondilis, V. A.

Why learning Ball skills early makes children more confident - Catch A Balls