Sports federations work to combat motor poverty among children

Young soccer players, hockey players, volleyball players and gymnasts should be widely developed in motor skills. To allow children to practice more and more versatility, four sports federations are coming together in the BMO Skill Generation Project.

At least 60 percent of youth affiliated with a club participate in sports organized under the KNVB, KNHB, Nevobo or KNGU flag. When asked what the 600,000 children have in common, Martin Hoffwick does not need much time to think. In short: They are learning a trick, as they’d better grow up to be advanced athletes in general. “They have been trained in a specialized way, which means they are less fun. As a result, they will exercise and do a little exercise at a later age.”

Two-year-old soccer players

The reasons are many. For example, sports scientist Hoofwijk, who works for KNHB, sees the trend that children can join the club at an increasingly younger age. “There are soccer clubs that two-year-olds can actually go to. This trend is now also visible in hockey, where your kids are actually walking around with the stick. By training toddlers and preschoolers in a particular sport at such a young age, the rule is The broad mobility needed for general development is lacking. Johan Cruyff once said he was only allowed to become a member of a local football club at the age of 7. Until then he played a lot on the street, which made a very good foundation.

During training, children are often instructed by under-trained personnel. Well-meaning parents who stand in front of a group at their spare time. Therefore, the four sports federations will not soon release a database containing various forms of movement exercises that these volunteers can benefit from for their exercise materials, but also offer training courses for coaches and assistants.

Hofojek: “We consciously choose not to offer off-the-shelf programs, but offer tools that can serve as inspiration. After all, soccer training is different from volleyball training. We also provide coaches with information about the importance of versatile motor development and advice that they can implement in special exercises. “How do you prevent children from standing still for a long time during training? How can you build the level of difficulty of the exercise material without losing sight of the format of the game? How to make sure that your training models correspond to the children’s perception of the world? Because fun should always come first.”

Exercise certificate

The project, which is funded by funds allocated by the NOC-NSF from the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sports, is also providing car training for young people. In addition to introducing an “APK check” for training forms, KNGU’s Miffy Practice Certification should become the new standard for children up to five years old, Hoofwijk says. In this Gymnastics Association tutorial, toddlers and preschoolers learn basic skills such as balancing, jumping, swinging, catching and throwing.

“What happens when you do these exercises on a soccer field?” Hoffwick still wonders. Time will tell. At least, hope so. “The ideal is to train all coaches who work with the smallest group of children to become experienced coaches.”

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Amber Webster

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