Today we are all aware that any sport or physical activity will help to develop good movement skills and physical literacy. If we had to pick one sport that develop most capacities and skill it would have to be football.

The basic levels of developing literacy include a long list of fundamental movement skills, the essentials are jumping, throwing, kicking, skipping, dodging, running, catching, and galloping.  These are known as the ABC’s of movement – agility, balance, coordination, and speed. By throwing these into a mix you will have what makes up physical literacy.

Agility, balance, coordination, and speed are connected to the development of the central nervous system and quick direction changes and diversity movement are intrinsic to football, so playing the game provides the perfect stimuli to develop you children’s capacities.

Football involves a lot of running and provides exactly the kind of running children needs, short distance sprinting followed by short intervals to recover. There are a lot of other football players on the field who also want to run and play the ball, this will require a child to do a lot of dodging and jumping to evade the opponents. Also demanded from a player is hopping, skipping, and even galloping at times as they change their speed and adjust their stride to avoid other players and change direction.

We referred to catching and throwing earlier on and you are wondering why as hands are not used in football – well, for starters, every time the ball passes out of play on the side-lines, play restarts with a throw in, and it is important for each player to learn how to do it.  Then goalkeepers are constantly catching the ball with their hands and passing it to teammates.

Tracking the movement of the ball in flight is when your child’s ability to use her/his eyes to tract movement and estimate distance speed.  The same as with movement skills this needs to be developed with experience and practice, football provide plenty of experience as the game challenges player to gauge speed, distance, and trajectory of the ball.

Decision making is deciding when to pass the ball to a teammate running to open space or shooting at goal when the goalkeeper is out of position. Football constantly creates fresh cognitive challenges when players must gather information from their physical environment, analyse the information and then execute appropriate physical response.

When it comes to kicking there is no need to say much here, as there is a lot of kicking in football and as player develop there is a range of kicking techniques that eventually become remarkably complex. 

In conclusion football is practically a physical literacy wonder drug and your children will thank you for registering them with First Touch.

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