Participation in multi-skill activities over half-term could improve sporting and academic performance of children
A national newspaper recently published a front-page story about the increase of physically illiterate children in the UK, while the Chairwoman of UK Sport, Baroness Sue Campbell, warned that a growing number of 11 year olds in the UK can’t catch, throw, jump or run.
Meanwhile, in his blog; ‘Too much too soon?’ former England football International, Michael Owen, said:
You can’t be a good footballer and average at everything else. Running, jumping, throwing, catching and general skills that you put little thought into all add up when you take to the field. Coordination and balance are vital tools to possess in most sports and these skills should, sometimes unknowingly, be ingrained into us at an early age.
So, what are multi-skills and why are they so important to child development?
Multi-skills are non-sport specific, fun activities and games which develop essential skills, often without the child even realising it.
They are a starting point for involvement in sport and some studies even suggest that benefits of multi-skill training in children include; increased long term participation in sport with improved performance and improved academic performance. (1)
Multi-sport sessions include a variety of games and activities, all involving the development of skills and attributes that are required by children for a range of sports and physical activities they may go on to participate in.
Multi-skills training can also be used to support the development of children that already enjoy a particular sport but are looking for extra skills and to progress further.
There are five key areas of multi-skills:
Freedom Leisure’s Holiday Club are designed to specifically introduce children to fundamental skills needed for sport and physical activity, supporting children to learn both movement and mental skills that prepare them for school and sport.
There are a wide range of fun multi-skill activities over the half-term holiday, holiday camps, sports clubs and a huge range of facilities for the whole family! See what is going on at your local Freedom leisure centre!
(1) http://www.sportscoachuk.org/blog/10-benefits-multi-skills-coaching-all-coaches-should-know A review of 50 studies that examined the effect of school-based physical activity on academic performance conducted by the Division of Adolescent and School Health(part of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention) in the USA found varied physical activity can improve attention span and concentration, classroom behaviour and achievement test scores.