Special Issue "Motor Competence for Health, Exercise and Sports Performance across the Lifespan"

A special issue of Sports (ISSN 2075-4663).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 August 2017).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Michael Duncan
Website
Guest Editor
Professor of Exercise Science, Centre for Applied Biological and Exercise Sciences, Coventry University, Coventry, UK
Interests: physical activity; pediatric exercise science; strength and conditioning; motor skill and motor development; ergogenic aids
Dr. Emma Eyre
Website
Guest Editor
Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Science, Coventry University, Coventry, UK
Interests: Physical activity, fundamental movement skills, obesity, children and adolescents
Prof. Dr. Jorge Mota
Website
Guest Editor
Research Center for Physical Activity, Health and Leisure, University of Porto, 4200-450 Porto, Portuga
Interests: physical activity; exercise; pediatrics; obesity; physical fitness; cardiometabolic risk factors
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Good motor competence is a prerequisite for high level sports performance and also to engage in health enhancing physical activity. Over recent years, there has been an increased focus on the role of motor competence in multiple domains related to sport and exercise. Notably, poor motor competence has been associated with overweight and obesity via reduced habitual physical activity in children, adolescents and young adults. Likewise, emerging data suggest improving motor competence may result in benefits in older adulthood including enhanced movement, quality of life and maintenance of independent living. The importance of functional and fundamental movement patterns for sport performance is well established but understanding of the most effective ways to develop these movement patterns is yet to be elucidated. As a consequence, this Special Issue seeks to draw from all these areas, bringing together important research papers which highlight the role of motor competence in sport, exercise and health across a lifespan.

Prof. Dr. Michael Duncan
Dr. Emma Eyre
Prof. Dr. Jorge Mota
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Fundamental movement
  • Functional movement
  • Developmental Delay
  • Skill proficiency
  • Sport Skills
  • Physical Activity

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
The Age-Related Association of Movement in Irish Adolescent Youth
Sports 2017, 5(4), 77; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports5040077 - 02 Oct 2017
Cited by 8
Abstract
(1) Background: Research has shown that post-primary Irish youth are insufficiently active and fail to reach a level of proficiency across basic movement skills. The purpose of the current research was to gather cross-sectional baseline data on Irish adolescent youth, specifically the prevalence [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Research has shown that post-primary Irish youth are insufficiently active and fail to reach a level of proficiency across basic movement skills. The purpose of the current research was to gather cross-sectional baseline data on Irish adolescent youth, specifically the prevalence of movement skills and patterns, in order to generate an overall perspective of movement within the first three years (Junior Certificate level) of post-primary education. (2) Methods: Data were collected on adolescents (N = 181; mean age: 14.42 ± 0.98 years), attending two, mixed-gender schools. Data collection included 10 fundamental movement skills (FMS) and the seven tests within the Functional Movement Screen (FMS™). The data set was analysed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 20.0 for Windows. (3) Results: Overall, levels of actual mastery within fundamental and functional movement were low. There were statistically significant age-related differences observed, with a progressive decline as age increased in both the object control (p = 0.002) FMS sub-domain, and the in-line lunge (p = 0.048) test of the FMS™. (4) Conclusion: In summary, we found emerging evidence that school year group is significantly associated with mastery of movement skills and patterns. Results from the current study suggest that developing a specifically tailored movement-oriented intervention would be a strategic step towards improving the low levels of adolescent fundamental and functional movement proficiency. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
The Relationship between Actual Fundamental Motor Skill Proficiency, Perceived Motor Skill Confidence and Competence, and Physical Activity in 8–12-Year-Old Irish Female Youth
Sports 2017, 5(4), 74; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports5040074 - 27 Sep 2017
Cited by 17
Abstract
This study examines the relationship between actual fundamental motor skill (FMS) proficiency, perceived motor confidence and competence, and physical activity (PA) among female children (n= 160; mean age = 10.69 ± 1.40 years). The Test of Gross Motor Development-2nd Edition (TGMD-2) [...] Read more.
This study examines the relationship between actual fundamental motor skill (FMS) proficiency, perceived motor confidence and competence, and physical activity (PA) among female children (n= 160; mean age = 10.69 ± 1.40 years). The Test of Gross Motor Development-2nd Edition (TGMD-2) was used to assess seven FMSs (locomotor, object-control, and stability). Motor confidence and competence were assessed using a valid skill-specific scale, and a modified version of the Self-Perception Profile for Children. PA levels were assessed using self-report (PA Questionnaire for Older Children (PAQ-C)) and classified as low, moderate, and high active. One-way and two-way ANOVAs (post-hoc honest significant difference (HSD)) and correlation coefficients were used to analyse the data. Findings indicate that the majority of youth (71.8%) were not meeting the minimum 60 min of daily PA recommended for health, and that 98.1% did not achieve the FMS proficiency expected for their age. While there were high levels of perceived physical self-confidence (PSC) reported within FMS skill-specific tasks, there was no significant correlation observed between actual FMS proficiency and perceived PSC among the cohort. Results show that low, moderately, and highly active female participants differ significantly in terms of their overall FMS (p = 0.03) and locomotor (LOC) control scores (p = 0.03). Results from a two-way between-groups analysis of variance also revealed no statistically significant interaction effect between PA grouping and physical performance self-concept (PPSC) on overall FMS proficiency levels. Results of a multiple linear regression indicate that perceived PSC is a significant predictor (beta = 0.183) of participants’ overall PA levels. Data show a need for targeting low levels of PA, and low FMS proficiency in female youth, and for developing interventions aiming to enhance perceived PSC levels. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
The Utility of the Supine-to-Stand Test as a Measure of Functional Motor Competence in Children Aged 5–9 Years
Sports 2017, 5(3), 67; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports5030067 - 12 Sep 2017
Cited by 4
Abstract
This study examined how supine-to-stand (STS) performance is related to process and product assessment of motor competence (MC) in children. Ninety-one children aged 5–9 years were assessed for process and product MC (10 m running speed and standing long jump) as well as [...] Read more.
This study examined how supine-to-stand (STS) performance is related to process and product assessment of motor competence (MC) in children. Ninety-one children aged 5–9 years were assessed for process and product MC (10 m running speed and standing long jump) as well as process and product measures of STS. Tertiles were created for STS process and STS product scores to create 3 groups reflecting low, medium, and high STS competency. ANCOVA analysis, controlling for age, for process STS, indicated that process MC was significantly higher in children, classified as medium STS (p = 0.048) and high STS (p = 0.011) competence, and that 10 m run speed was slower for low STS compared to medium (p = 0.019) and high STS (p = 0.004). For product STS tertiles, process MC was significantly higher for children in the lowest (fastest) STS tertile compared to those in the medium highest (slowest) tertile (p = 0.01). Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Longitudinal Change in the Relationship between Fundamental Motor Skills and Perceived Competence: Kindergarten to Grade 2
Sports 2017, 5(3), 59; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports5030059 - 10 Aug 2017
Cited by 9
Abstract
As children transition from early to middle childhood, the relationship between motor skill proficiency and perceptions of physical competence should strengthen as skills improve and inflated early childhood perceptions decrease. This study examined change in motor skills and perceptions of physical competence and [...] Read more.
As children transition from early to middle childhood, the relationship between motor skill proficiency and perceptions of physical competence should strengthen as skills improve and inflated early childhood perceptions decrease. This study examined change in motor skills and perceptions of physical competence and the relationship between those variables from kindergarten to grade 2. Participants were 250 boys and girls (Mean age = 5 years 8 months in kindergarten). Motor skills were assessed using the Test of Gross Motor Development-2 and perceptions were assessed using a pictorial scale of perceived competence. Mixed-design analyses of variance revealed there was a significant increase in object-control skills and perceptions from kindergarten to grade 2, but no change in locomotor skills. In kindergarten, linear regression showed that locomotor skills and object-control skills explained 10% and 9% of the variance, respectively, in perceived competence for girls, and 7% and 11%, respectively, for boys. In grade 2, locomotor skills predicted 11% and object-control skills predicted 19% of the variance in perceptions of physical competence, but only among the boys. Furthermore, the relationship between motor skills and perceptions of physical competence strengthened for boys only from early to middle childhood. However, it seems that forces other than motor skill proficiency influenced girls’ perceptions of their abilities in grade 2. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Body Mass Index in the Early Years in Relation to Motor Coordination at the Age of 5–7 Years
Sports 2017, 5(3), 49; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports5030049 - 07 Jul 2017
Cited by 2
Abstract
Physical activity (PA) and body mass index (BMI) are consistently associated with motor coordination (MC) in children. However, we know very little how BMI in early childhood associates with MC later in childhood. This study investigated associations between BMI in early childhood and [...] Read more.
Physical activity (PA) and body mass index (BMI) are consistently associated with motor coordination (MC) in children. However, we know very little how BMI in early childhood associates with MC later in childhood. This study investigated associations between BMI in early childhood and BMI, PA, and MC in middle childhood. Children aged 5 to 7 years (n = 64, 32 girls) were measured for MC using Körperkoordinationstest für Kinder (KTK) and for moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA) using triaxial accelerometers. Prevailing body weight and height were measured, and information on weight and height in early years was based on parental report of child health care report cards. Age-adjusted BMIz scores were calculated on the basis of international growth curve references. Associations and the explained variability of MC were investigated by Pearson correlations and a hierarchical multiple regression analysis. Age and MVPA were found to be significantly associated with MC at middle childhood, in general. BMIz at middle childhood and at ages 4 and 5 years inversely explained 12% (p < 0.05), 6% (p > 0.05), and 7% (p > 0.05) of the variation in MC in girls after adjusting for covariates, respectively. In boys, BMIz scores did not show any trend of association with MC. This study suggests sex-specific mechanisms in the interplay between BMI and motor development in childhood. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Development of a Digital-Based Instrument to Assess Perceived Motor Competence in Children: Face Validity, Test-Retest Reliability, and Internal Consistency
Sports 2017, 5(3), 48; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports5030048 - 04 Jul 2017
Cited by 5
Abstract
Assessing children’s perceptions of their movement abilities (i.e., perceived competence) is traditionally done using picture scales—Pictorial Scale of Perceived Competence and Acceptance for Young Children or Pictorial Scale of Perceived Movement Skill Competence. Pictures fail to capture the temporal components of movement. To [...] Read more.
Assessing children’s perceptions of their movement abilities (i.e., perceived competence) is traditionally done using picture scales—Pictorial Scale of Perceived Competence and Acceptance for Young Children or Pictorial Scale of Perceived Movement Skill Competence. Pictures fail to capture the temporal components of movement. To address this limitation, we created a digital-based instrument to assess perceived motor competence: the Digital Scale of Perceived Motor Competence. The purpose of this study was to determine the validity, reliability, and internal consistency of the Digital-based Scale of Perceived Motor Skill Competence. The Digital-based Scale of Perceived Motor Skill Competence is based on the twelve fundamental motor skills from the Test of Gross Motor Development-2nd Edition with a similar layout and item structure as the Pictorial Scale of Perceived Movement Skill Competence. Face Validity of the instrument was examined in Phase I (n = 56; Mage = 8.6 ± 0.7 years, 26 girls). Test-retest reliability and internal consistency were assessed in Phase II (n = 54, Mage = 8.7 years ± 0.5 years, 26 girls). Intra-class correlations (ICC) and Cronbach’s alpha were conducted to determine test-retest reliability and internal consistency for all twelve skills along with locomotor and object control subscales. The Digital Scale of Perceived Motor Competence demonstrates excellent test-retest reliability (ICC = 0.83, total; ICC = 0.77, locomotor; ICC = 0.79, object control) and acceptable/good internal consistency (α = 0.62, total; α = 0.57, locomotor; α = 0.49, object control). Findings provide evidence of the reliability of the three level digital-based instrument of perceived motor competence for older children. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Link between Motor Competence and Health Related Fitness in Children and Adolescents
Sports 2017, 5(2), 41; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports5020041 - 15 Jun 2017
Cited by 2
Abstract
This study examined motor competence (MC) behavior in 6- to 14-year-old children, and investigated the differences in health-related fitness (HRF) between high and low MC groups, according to sex and age. A sample of 564 children (288 males) participated in this study, divided [...] Read more.
This study examined motor competence (MC) behavior in 6- to 14-year-old children, and investigated the differences in health-related fitness (HRF) between high and low MC groups, according to sex and age. A sample of 564 children (288 males) participated in this study, divided into three age groups (6–8 years; 9–11 years; 12–14 years). Total MC and its three components (stability, locomotor, and manipulative) were assessed with a quantitative instrument. HRF was evaluated using a maximal multistage 20-m shuttle-run test and the handgrip test. Participants were divided into tertiles according to their MC level and high and low MC groups were analyzed. Overall, MC increased across age groups for both sexes, but boys presented better results than girls. The high MC group outperformed their low MC peers in all HRF variables, independent of their age group. Although cardiovascular fitness increased with age for both the high and low MC groups, the differences between these groups were greater in older children compared to younger children, within the study age range. The findings suggest that MC interventions should be considered as an important strategy to enhance HRF, and girls at a young age should be a priority target. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
What is Trained Develops! Theoretical Perspective on Skill Learning
Sports 2017, 5(2), 38; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports5020038 - 15 Jun 2017
Cited by 16
Abstract
Knowledge about developmental theories is important for experts or specialists working with children following normal development and children who have various kinds of dysfunction, in order to better understand what happens with processes associated with motor behavior. In this article, we have explored [...] Read more.
Knowledge about developmental theories is important for experts or specialists working with children following normal development and children who have various kinds of dysfunction, in order to better understand what happens with processes associated with motor behavior. In this article, we have explored how theories of development and learning can be used to understand processes associated with motor behavior. A probabilistic perspective emphasizes that the changes taking place in the development is a result of interaction: structural changes in the nervous system leading to changes in function and behavior and opposite, functional changes resulting in changes in structure. This bidirectional interaction between biological and experiential aspects is a continuous process which cannot be reduced to either organism or environment. Dynamical systems theory (DST) emphasizes that it is the interaction between the person, the environment, and the task that changes how our movements are, also in terms of how we develop and learn new movements. The interplay between these factors will, over time, lead to changes in motor development. The importance of experience is central to Edelman's theory of neuronal group selection (NGST). Activation of the nervous system increases the connections between certain areas of the brain, and the selection processes in the brain are a result of enhancement of neural connections involved in a "successful" motion. The central nervous system adapts its structure and function in response to internal and external influences, and hence neural plasticity is a prerequisite for learning and development. We argue that Edelman´s approach supports the theory of specificity of learning. From the perspectives of probabilistic epigenesis, DST, and NGST, we can see that being physically active and having the opportunity to get different movement experiences are of great significance for promoting motor development and learning. A variation of purposeful or rewarding physical activity in a variety of contexts will provide individual opportunities for changes of behavior in terms of both quantitative and qualitative changes in motor development. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Muscular Power during a Lifting Task Increases after Three Months of Resistance Training in Overweight and Obese Individuals
Sports 2017, 5(2), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports5020035 - 08 Jun 2017
Cited by 3
Abstract
Background: This study evaluates the effect on power produced during a modified lifting task in the overweight and obese after three months of either resistance or aerobic training. Methods: Seventeen male subjects divided randomly into two groups performed deadlift and deadlift high pull, [...] Read more.
Background: This study evaluates the effect on power produced during a modified lifting task in the overweight and obese after three months of either resistance or aerobic training. Methods: Seventeen male subjects divided randomly into two groups performed deadlift and deadlift high pull, both with increasing weights up to maximal power, prior to and after the training programs (three sessions per week). Results: Their mean power increased significantly during the deadlift at 20 kg (14.3%, p = 0.026), 30 kg (17.7%, p = 0.008), 40 kg (16.5%, p = 0.011), 50 kg (14.5%, p = 0.020), and 60 kg (14.3%, p = 0.021) and during the deadlift high pull at 30 kg (9.9%, p = 0.037), 40 kg (10.1%, p = 0.035), and 50 kg (8.2%, p = 0.044) after the resistance training. However, the group that participated in the aerobic training failed to show any significant changes in power performance during either the deadlift or deadlift high pull. Conclusion: Three months of resistance training enhances power outputs during a lifting task with weights from 30 to 50 kg (~40%–60% of 1-repetition maximum) in the overweight and obese. Because this test was sensitive in revealing pre-post training changes in lifting performance, it should be implemented in the functional diagnostics for overweight and obese individuals and also complement existing testing methods. Full article
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