fundamental movement pic
A common but important question is: What is the difference between fundamental movement skills and physical literacy? The distinction between them guides the education process

Fundamental movement skills are generally seperated into three major categories...

1. transport or locomotor skils

2. object manipulation skills

3. balance and stability skills

The development of these fundamental skills forms the foundation for participation in physically active leisure time pursuits including sports and recreational activities.

Assessment of Proficiency

Most curriculums set the developmentally mature form of the movement to be the standard for proficiency- entry level competence. Most schools have charts listing the key criterion that are essential to observe in the mature form of fundamental movement skills, such as running, throwing and catching. There is an expectation that the child should exhibit the mature form of behaviour by a specific age. Certainly, achieving this milestone is important in the identification of children that may exhibit physical (neural or muscular) impairment of function. However, children that achieve the same milestone of mature based upon criteria for a movement such as running do not have equal ablities. Physical literacy goes beyond the mature form by assessing profiency level in reference to the expert level.

Fundamental Movement Skills (FMS) and General Movement Skills (GMS)

Fundamental movement skills (FMS) are largely prerequisite skills for performance in sporting and recreation activities, However, the traditional series of skills identified in the FMS setting is a subset of the skills needed for performance, participation and injury prevention across all the sectors. General movement skills (GMS) could be a term we employ that covers all the requisite movement skills. The FMS series would be subset of the very large set in the GMS bank. For example, the GMS set would include skills such as the ability to perform a cutting maneuver with both the right leg and the left leg. Also, FMS is largely a land-based skill set. So the GMS set would include all the skills needed for performance in the other key environments (air, water, snow and ice), as well as skills specific to activities with vehicles and animals. Physically literacy is much more than just competence in fundamental movement skills.

Physical Literacy across Sectors

The development of physical literacy in childhood is a gateway to participation in anything that is physical in this world. Being proficient at a diverse set of movement skills provides opportunities for a child to participate in all forms of play, in structured recreation activities and sports. Further, being physically literate is important for optimal performance in one’s chosen vocation and activities of daily living, ranging from painting your house, to being employed as a police officer or being an electrician. Finally, being physically literate is strongly implicated in the prevention of injury in many settings; from back injuries during lifting at the workplace, knee injuries on the soccer field, to slipping on ice and fracturing a hip or wrist on your sidewalk. Physical literacy is important in all the following sectors:

  • recreation and sport
  • education
  • vocation
  • activities of daily living
  • health

Source: Steve Nash Youth Basketball Coaches' Blog
Subscribe to Email Newsletter
Share this article to...