John has tutored algebra and SAT Prep and has a B.A. degree with a major in psychology and a minor in mathematics from Christopher Newport University.
3 Types of Movement
Who doesn't love watching a great athlete or gifted dancer move with style and grace across their relevant arena of performance? Movement is one of the most fascinating aspects of the human experience.
Movement skills can be placed into three broad categories, which are:
- Locomotor - these involve moving the human body from Point A to Point B in a given fashion:
- Even rhythm - various activities for developing these include hopping, walking, and running.
- Uneven rhythm - various activities for developing these include sliding, skipping, and galloping.
- Non-locomotor (Stability) - these involve standing with the feet planted in place, and then moving the body in various directions. Furthermore, non-locomotor skills can be developed in these separate movements, but are more commonly performed in the context of calisthenics, stretching or yoga routine. Eight activities that develop non-locomotor skills include:
- Bending - this merely entails flexing a body part, such as the elbow or knee, at the joint.
- Shaking - this entails vibrating a body part or the whole body.
- Stretching - this involves extending the entire body or a body part.
- Swaying (rocking) - this entails moving the body, or a body part, forward and then backward, or from one side to another.
- Swinging - like a sway, this also entails moving the body, or a body part, forward and then backward, or from one side to another. However, a sway tends to involve a more circular movement, while a swing tends to involve a more pendular movement.
- Turning - this involves a rotation, or coiling and uncoiling, of the body.
- Twisting - like a turn, this involves a rotation, or coiling and uncoiling, of the body. However, a turn tends to be a fuller movement, while a twist tends to be a partial movement.
- Wiggling - this involves moving the body or a body part in a curving, as opposed to a straight line, fashion.
- Object Control (manipulative) - these involve the application of force to objects, or conversely, the reception of force from objects. For instance, have the students gently toss a dodgeball back and forth to each other, or have them gently kick a soccer ball back and forth. They could also use tennis racquets and hit a tennis ball across the net to one another.
- Combination - these involve pairing together a non-locomotor movement (such as swinging the arms) with a locomotor movement (such as running). Thus, the full combination movement would be running while swinging the arms. It is even possible to combine all three of the non-locomotor, locomotor, and object control movements together. For example, a lacrosse player will run (locomotor), while swinging her arms as she holds a stick (non-locomotor), and control the ball in the net at the end of the stick (object control).
When teaching movement skills to students, it may first be helpful for the coach or parents to convey the different types of movement concepts. They are:
- Body awareness - this involves the children understanding how body parts move when playing sports and exercising, and which body parts move.
- Effort Awareness - this entails the pupils having a grasp of how the body moves.
- Relationship - this involves the students understanding with what the body makes movements, or with whom the body makes movements.
- Spatial Awareness - this entails the children understanding where the body moves.
Movement Before Fourth Grade
Movement skills that carry over into adulthood are developed in the first seven to eight years of a person's life. Therefore, it is crucial that teachers and parents provide plenty of opportunities for children to be mentally creative and physically active.
For example, chasing games, such as freeze tag, encourage children to move in different directions. Playground equipment is now much safer than it used to be in olden days, and children can utilize slides, ropes, and bars to climb upon and move across. Games such as T-ball and kickball are suitable for younger students as well.
Initially, at the younger ages gross motor skills tend to be emphasized over fine motor skills. The former entail movements such as running and jumping, while the latter involves movements such as writing and drawing. However, children will need to develop both the larger muscles for gross motor skills and the smaller muscles for fine motor skills.
Strategies and Tactics
Have you ever heard it said that sports are roughly 90% mental, and roughly only 10% physical? In addition to movement skills, students must think creatively about movement, understand movement concepts, and apply movement strategies and movement tactics. For example, when playing kickball, one team may devise a plan (a strategy) of only kicking short shots to get on base, instead of trying to kick home runs that may pop up in the air and be caught. Then they would employ those movements (tactics) by actually kicking low balls through the infield and just running to first base or second base.
Movement skills can be placed into three broad categories: locomotor skills involve moving the body from Point A to Point B and include walking, jogging, and running. They may be even rhythm or uneven rhythm in nature. Eight types of non-locomotor skills include bending, shaking, stretching, swaying (rocking), swinging, turning, twisting, and wiggling. Object control skills involve applying force to or receiving force from balls or other objects.
Combination skills involve two or three of these movements at the same time, such as a lacrosse player running while swinging her arms and controlling the ball. Four movement concepts which a student can learn are body awareness, effort awareness, relationship, and spatial awareness. Children learn many of their movement skills, including fine motor skills and gross motor skills, by the end of third grade. Finally, students can employ movement strategies and movement tactics to mentally prepare for physical activities.
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