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Physical education: a gold mine for the development of future successful athletes? 

PhD ceremony:Mr S.W.J. (Sebastiaan) Platvoet
When:October 26, 2020
Start:18:00
Supervisor:C. (Chris) Visscher
Co-supervisor:dr. M.T. (Marije) Elferink-Gemser
Where:Academy building RUG
Faculty:Medical Sciences / UMCG

Children> 10 years old with the capacity to become successful in sport are, according to teachers in physical education (PE), regardless of the type of sport, characterized in particular by their work attitude and sport learning capacity . This argues in favor of offering children sport-wide programs at an early age in which development is central. Our research at a professional football organization shows that the current system in sport is, however, characterized by selection. As a result, at young ages many children are excluded and their potential is not used.In the first developmental phase, children need to improve their fundamental movement skills. Children who develop these skills well are more physically active and more likely to have sport success. By merging two motor skills tests, we have developed a test that measures the full spectrum of fundamental movement skills. A valid and reliable test that can be applied in an applied setting makes it possible to respond more to the individual capabilities of each child. We have shown that if children are given goal-directed instruction, goal-directed exercises and goal-directed individual learning, they significantly improve within a limited time (4x8 minutes of practice) their skills. The degree to which children improve differs: especially those 7-year-old children who score low on sports learning capacity develop their fundamental movement skills significantly less in of 28 weeks. If, instead of selection, the development of working attitude and sporting learning ability are central, we could well tap into a goldmine of future elite players.