Motor coordination is the ability we have to use and control our muscles to perform a certain physical activity or movement, such as crawling, dancing, skipping, writing, painting, drawing, etc.
It’s the ability that our body has to perform articulated movements as a result of the interaction of the muscular, skeletal, nervous and sensory systems.
Motor coordination has been present in all of us since we were babies, but it has evolved and improved over the years. Training and sports practice substantially improve our coordination and agility through a structural physical-cognitive reorganization of the human organism. Motor coordination in turn is divided into two aspects: gross and fine motor coordination.
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The first is related to the use of large muscle groups and involves activities such as walking, running, jumping, dancing, crawling, etc. Fine motor coordination is more specific and is related to more delicate movements such as painting, drawing, cutting, writing on the computer, etc. This type of coordination mainly exercises small muscles in our body.
Agility is the physical ability that translates into the ability to perform quick and light movements in which changes in direction may also be associated. Agility, then, reflects the ability of the human being (child, youth or adult) to perform fast, fluid movements, synchronized in time and space, revealing dexterity in their performance. They may be daily movements or movements directly associated with sports activities / modalities. This dexterity is directly related to the type and alignment of muscle fibres that a given individual has.
Agility is different from coordination, but they are interconnected (they are called coordinating capacities) and complement each other to originate human movement together with other physical capacities, such as speed, strength and flexibility (conditional capacities).
In children and young people, the training of motor coordination and agility is strongly related to the increase in physical / coordinative capacities fundamental to the success and sports performance of athletes / players and teams. The training of these skills at early ages (sensitive phases) in children, allows the improvement of other skills and, consequently, the improvement of motor and sports performance as young people.
In this context, it’s essential to train these skills together with complementary ones, in order to achieve a harmonious development of young people (in physical and mental terms). The technical aspects are also fundamental and will have to be directed to the modality in question.
By Hugo Ferreira, PT at Academia Bodylab
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