Never heard of physical literacy? No problem! Physical literacy can be described as the motivation, confidence and physical competence to value and take responsibility for engagement in physical activities. Physical Literacy promotes a lifelong love and appreciation for a healthy active lifestyle.
When Should Kids Learn Physical Literacy?
In order to get the most benefits from physical literacy, it’s best to expose children to physical activity and movement as soon as possible. With that in mind, children and youth need to learn the right skills at the right time to develop in sport or activity. The Long-Term Athlete Development (LTAD) model describes seven basic stages of development in sport as kids grow from toddlers to seniors. These stages are based on the science of human physical, cognitive, and emotional development. The Physical Literacy stages are further structured into Active Start, FUNdamentals and Learn to Train (L2T). Youthletics programs focus on the FUNdamentals and L2T stages. Habits, especially physical ones, set in early and grow deep roots, and we help kids plant the right seeds for a future of success and activity!
In FUNdamentals, development of fundamental movement skills is rooted in structured and unstructured environments of play. We emphasize the overall development of each child’s physical capacities, fundamental movement skills and the ABCs of athleticism: agility, balance, coordination and speed. These experiences will result in each child’s development of a wide range of movement skills as well as the confidence and desire to participate in games and physical activities.
Once Fundamental Movement Skills have been acquired, participants progress into the L2T leading to understanding basic rules, tactics and strategy in game situations and refinement of sport-specific skills. Games and activities are fun, inclusive and skill based. After youth have mastered the L2T stage, they follow the natural progression towards either sports excellence (Train to Train) or being Active for Life (Competitive for Life or Fit for Life).
What Are the Benefits of Being Physically Literate?
Physical literacy has been identified by experts in physical education, sport and even cognitive science as a key ingredient in raising healthy, happy and successful children. It provides the foundation for kids to enjoy physical activity and sports, but it also has far-reaching implications for their brain development, scholastic performance and well-being in general.
Physically literate children demonstrate more poise and confidence and are not afraid to take calculated risks, to launch themselves into something new! The knowledge and skills acquired by children at Youthletics, will benefit them throughout their lives and enable them to thrive in a dynamic and constantly changing world.
Your physically literate child understands different forms of movement. They can appreciate the effort and skill on display at the ballet, at a basketball game, in a boxing match, or watching gymnastics.
Learning to be physically literate teaches kids to be better communicators, as sports require learning and communicating at even the earliest age. It builds compassion and empathy, super valuable skills for the next generation of global citizens.
How Do We Teach These Skills?
Youthletics focuses on the first two pillars of learning: fun and brevity.
Children learn quickly in challenging, fun, activity-rich environments. In essence, they learn better when they don’t even realize they’re learning! We teach fundamental movement and sports skills through the oldest method of all – experience.
Because they’re in a safe, supervised environment surrounded by coaches and staff, they’re taught how to safely play with the equipment and with other children.
Kids learn better in small, exciting chunks. We focus on keeping our games and activities short and bursting with fun
OPHEA's Introduction to Physical Literacy
Ophea is a not-for-profit organization and is led by the vision that all children and youth value and enjoy the lifelong benefits of healthy, active living. Watch their video on the importance of physical and health literacy.