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Cathal Óg O’Sullivan, Melissa Parker, Tom Comyns, and Annmarie Ralph

, McGrane, Powell, & O’Brien, 2019 ). Adolescents who have not mastered fundamental movement skills (FMS) are noticeably less likely to engage in PA or sports consequently ( Cohen, Morgan, Plotnikoff, Barnett, & Lubans, 2015 ; Stodden et al., 2008 ). Fundamental movement skills are the building blocks for

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Wesley O’Brien, Michael J. Duncan, Orlagh Farmer, and Diarmuid Lester

its impact on current and future health ( Stodden et al., 2008 ). A previous systematic review, which identified 21 potentially relevant articles, was undertaken to examine the association between fundamental movement skill (FMS) competency and eight potential benefits in youth, namely global self

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Cecilia Hoi Sze Chan, Amy Sau Ching Ha, and Johan Yau Yin Ng

Elementary physical education (PE) serves as the foundation to develop fundamental movement skills (FMS) ( Holt-Hale & Persse, 2015 ). The acquisition of a solid base of FMS has multiple benefits for health ( Lubans, Morgan, Cliff, Barnett, & Okely, 2010 ). Actual motor competence is defined in

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Marziyeh Arman, Lisa M. Barnett, Steven J. Bowe, Abbas Bahram, and Anoshirvan Kazemnejad

Perceived movement skill competence refers to a child’s perceptions about her/his ability to execute movement skills ( Raudsepp & Liblik, 2002 ). Research over the past decade has suggested that actual and perceived movement skill competence are both important contributing mechanisms to the health

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Vaimanino Rogers, Lisa M. Barnett, and Natalie Lander

Regular participation levels in physical activity (PA) are low among the adolescent population globally, particularly among adolescent girls ( Hallal et al., 2012 ). Fundamental movement skill (FMS) mastery is an important correlate of PA behavior ( Babic et al., 2014 ; Holfelder & Schott, 2014

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Fotini Venetsanou, Irene Kossyva, Nadia Valentini, Anastasia-Evangelia Afthentopoulou, and Lisa Barnett

assess children’s perceived motor competence. The Pictorial Scale of Perceived Movement Skill Competence for Young Children (PMSC; Barnett, Ridgers, Zask, & Salmon, 2015b ) assesses young children’s perceptions of their competence in the Fundamental Movement Skills (FMS) included in the Test of Gross

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Lisa E. Bolger, Linda A. Bolger, Cian O’ Neill, Edward Coughlan, Wesley O’Brien, Seán Lacey, and Con Burns

Fundamental movement skills (FMS) are basic observable patterns of movement; these include running, jumping, hopping, throwing, catching, and striking, among others ( Gallahue & Ozmun, 2006 ). FMS are regarded as the building blocks upon which more complex, sport specific movements are based, and

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Bronagh McGrane, Danielle Powell, Sarahjane Belton, and Johann Issartel

Fundamental movement skills (FMS) are basic skills that are used in everyday life, and as such the mastery of these skills among children and adolescents is an important contributor to future participation in sports and physical activity (PA; Williams et al., 2008 ). Children should achieve FMS

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Nadia C. Valentini, Lisa M. Barnett, Paulo Felipe Ribeiro Bandeira, Glauber Carvalho Nobre, Larissa Wagner Zanella, and Rodrigo Flores Sartori

, Zask, & Salmon, 2015 ), and then extended to include a set of active play (AP) items ( Barnett et al., 2016 ). The pictorial scale of Perceived Movement Skill Competence (PMSC) was based on items from the Test of Gross Motor Development (2nd ed., Urich, 2000 ), with a similar pictorial and structure

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Lisa M. Barnett, David Stodden, Kristen E. Cohen, Jordan J. Smith, David Revalds Lubans, Matthieu Lenoir, Susanna Iivonen, Andrew D. Miller, Arto Laukkanen, Dean Dudley, Natalie J. Lander, Helen Brown, and Philip J. Morgan


Recent international conference presentations have critiqued the promotion of fundamental movement skills (FMS) as a primary pedagogical focus. Presenters have called for a debate about the importance of, and rationale for teaching FMS, and this letter is a response to that call. The authors of this letter are academics who actively engage in FMS research.


We have answered a series of contentions about the promotion of FMS using the peer reviewed literature to support our perspective.


We define what we mean by FMS, discuss the context of what skills can be considered fundamental, discuss how the development of these skills is related to broader developmental health contexts, and recommend the use of different pedagogical approaches when teaching FMS.


We conclude the promotion of FMS is an important focus in Physical Education (PE) and sport and provide future research questions for investigation.