How to assess Motor Fitness?
How to Assess Motor Fitness in Gymnasts with the 4 x 10m Shuttle Run Test
Assess your gymnasts' potential by testing their motor fitness (speed of movement, agility and coordination)
Motor fitness is an important health-related physical fitness component, and it plays a vital role in the gymnasts' development. Improvements in speed and agility are linked with positive effect on skeletal health in children.
Assessing Motor Fitness
Assessing motor fitness is a simple yet effective way to track your child's progress and tailor their training accordingly. Here's how you can do it:
- Mark your surface: Find a clean, non-slip floor space and measure a distance of 10 meters. Create two parallel lines 10 meters apart using tape, marking the starting and finish lines.
- Gather your tools: Grab a stopwatch, three colorful sponges (let's call them blue, green, and yellow), and four cones (optional).
- Stage the scene: Place the blue sponge behind the starting line. At the opposite line, arrange the green and yellow sponges side-by-side. You can use cones to mark their positions if needed.
- Ready, set, go!: Instruct your gymnast to stand one foot behind the starting line without a sponge. When the signal is given, the gymnasts sprints as fast as they can to the opposite line.
- Grab and switch: The gymnast must quickly pick up the green sponge and return to the starting line, ensuring both feet cross both lines completely.
- Hand-off and repeat: The gymnast drops the green sponge and grabs the blue sponge. Without wasting a beat, they sprint back to the other line.
- Final swap and dash: The gymnast swaps the blue sponge for the yellow one and race back to the starting line, crossing both lines as before. They've completed one round!
- Do it again!: Ask the gymnast to repeat this sequence for two full rounds, giving their maximum effort each time. Time each round with the stopwatch to track their progress and challenge them to improve.
Tips for mastery:
- Form is key: Instruct your gymnast to run tall and maintain good posture throughout. They should bend their knees and pump their arms for powerful strides.
- Sharp turns: Encourage them to practice quick and agile turns at the end of each line to minimise time loss.
- Smooth exchanges: Encourage them to pre-plan their hand-offs or sponge placements for seamless swaps between rounds.
- Safety first: Make sure the floor is non-slip to avoid accidents.
The best time out of the two attempts will be the final score. Record it to the nearest tenth of a second (e.g., 21.6 seconds becomes 21.6).
Comparing with norms: Click here to compare your child's motor fitness results with international norms for their age and gender. This will provide valuable insights into their progress and help you tailor their training program. This activity is a fantastic way to work on your gymnasts' speed, agility, coordination, and reaction time. Have fun and see how their performance improves over time!
Incorporating motor fitness tests into the gymnastics training sessions will not only enhance your children's performance but also contribute to their overall physical development. Let's work together to help children build a solid foundation for a lifetime of fitness and success!
Kolimechkov, S., Petrov, L., & Alexandrova, A. (2019). Alpha-fit test battery norms for children and adolescents from 5 to 18 years of age obtained by a linear interpolation of existing European physical fitness references. European Journal of Physical Education and Sport Science, 5(4), 1-14.
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