Competition! Help maintain and develop your children and learners’ fundamental movement skills whilst at home

What are fundamental movement skills and why are they so important for physical activity, especially swimming?

Fundamental movement skills are a specific set of skills that involve different parts of the body, including feet, legs, torso, head, arms and hands. They are the building blocks for more complex and specialised physicality that children will need throughout their lives to competently participate in different games, sports and recreational activities.

They can be split into four different categories:

  • Agility, balance, coordination and speed
  • Running, jumping and throwing
  • Kinesthetics, gliding, buoyancy and striking with an object
  • Catching, passing, kicking, striking with a part of the body

Fundamental movement skills need to be taught and practised in everyday life. By encouraging these movements at a young age during play – at home, in the garden, in the park or the pool, we are supporting children to take part in sport and progressing their general development and their overall health and wellbeing. Children will usually start to learn these from an early age and continue to develop them through primary school.

Why are they so important in swimming?

The fundamental movement skills may seem separate from what we teach in the swimming pool. For example, jumping has several important uses if developed at an early age on land, but why do you need to be able to jump for swimming? Children will be able to apply this to jumping into the water, picking a sinker off the bottom of the pool, push and glides from the pool edge and, as they develop swim skills, also diving and tumble turns.

Swimming requires a range of core aquatic skills, which underpin all aspects of swimming and are the stepping stones to the complex skills and strokes. If we don’t have a good base and understanding of our fundamental movement skills, we won’t be able to master the core aquatic skills and therefore the strokes and complex skills will take much longer to learn.

What can you do to help your children and swimming lesson learners continue with their fundamental movement skills development at home?

It’s more important than ever to find opportunities for physical activity during lockdown. This will help your children and learners return to ‘normal life’ fit, healthy and engaged with learning.

Here are some examples of what can be done at home and in the garden:

  • Hopping from paving stone to paving stone, standing on one leg for five seconds before moving to the next stone (agility and balance)
  • A few rounds of catching and passing a ball from different angles (catching and passing)
  • Running loops around the garden or in different patterns (running and agility). You could also add some short sprints in as they progress (speed)
  • Throwing a bean bag or ball into a bucket or hoop from different distances (throwing). As they progress, see if they can do this with one eye closed or standing on one leg (balance)
  • Kicking a ball in and out of a slalom course (kicking)
  • Get creative with everyday objects around the home to set up an obstacle course, including over, under, around and through (agility balance and coordination)

Competition time!

What fun activities are you doing that incorporate fundamental movement skills?

Jumping into a paddling pool! A skipping rope competition! Longest handstand or the furthest standing jump!

Win a free place on one of our upcoming SEQ Level 1 Swimming Assistant (Teaching) – Blended Learning courses.

To enter all you need to do is capture your activities or ideas and share them with us on Facebook (@InstituteofSwimming), Instagram (@instituteofswimming) or Twitter (@InstituteofSwim) tagging our social channels and using the hashtag #FunMovementSkills to inspire others.

Terms and Conditions:

  1. The competition is open to residents of England aged 16 years or over except employees of the Institute of Swimming and their close relatives and anyone otherwise connected with the organisation or judging of the competition.
  2. There is no entry fee and no purchase necessary to enter this competition.
  3. By entering this competition, an entrant is indicating his/her agreement to be bound by these terms and conditions.
  4. The competition running across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
  5. Only one entry will be accepted per person.
  6. Closing date for entry will be 29 April 2020. After this date, the no further entries to the competition will be permitted.
  7. No responsibility can be accepted for entries not received for whatever reason.
  8. The prize is as follows: one space on one of our upcoming SEQ Level 1 Swimming Assistant (Teaching) – Blended Learning courses:
    1. 5 May 2020 – SEQ Level 1 Swimming Assistant (Teaching) – Blended Learning
    2. 11 May 2020 – SEQ Level 1 Swimming Assistant (Teaching) – Blended Learning
    3. 19 May 2020 – SEQ Level 1 Swimming Assistant (Teaching) – Blended Learning
  9. The prize is as stated and no cash or other alternatives will be offered. The prizes are not transferable. Prizes are subject to availability and we reserve the right to substitute any prize with another of equivalent value without giving notice.
  10. Winner will be chosen from all entries received and verified by a judging panel from the Institute of Swimming.
  11. The winner will be notified by DM on Facebook, Instagram or  Twitter within 7 days of the closing date. If the winner cannot be contacted or do not claim the prize within 7 days of notification, we reserve the right to withdraw the prize from the winner and pick a replacement winner.
  12. The promoter will notify the winner when the prize can be delivered.
  13. The winner agrees to the use of his/her name and image in any publicity material, as well as their entry. Any personal data relating to the winner or any other entrants will be used solely in accordance with current UK data protection legislation and will not be disclosed to a third party without the entrant’s prior consent.
  14. Entry into the competition will be deemed as acceptance of these terms and conditions.
  15. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. You are providing your information to the Institute of Swimming and not to any other party. The information provided will be used in conjunction with the following Privacy Policy found at