ACPSEM conference: Simple solutions to establish good movement skills spelt out

It is vital to establish a solid movement foundation in children, internationally renowned movement coach and physiotherapist Joanne Elphinston told the conference.


Joanne Elphinston is a former head of performance movement for the British Olympic Association

'You can find the same movement issues when dealing with a nine year old, a 19 year old, or a 29 year old,’ she said.

‘Why? Either the older athletes never developed good movement or they lost it somewhere along the way.’

The solutions to establish good movement skills are simple, but they must be well communicated to children, and they must be portable and adaptable for children to use across all sports and physical activity, Mrs Elphinston said.

A former head of performance movement for the British Olympic Association, Mrs Elphinston has also worked in a range of elite sports, from cross-country skiing to karate, swimming and equestrian. And she regularly trains dancers and musicians as well as working closely with children.

‘Kids love to learn and they are made to move, so there is no reason why you can’t make it fun while you are teaching them well,’ she said.

‘But you must shift your emphasis from what to think in their body, to how to feel,’ she said.

‘You should begin to introduce self-efficacy, or “I can”, and give the children process, which fosters self-efficacy.

‘A loss of self-efficacy is a big reason why kids stop doing sport as teenagers.’

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