Quote of the week: "My armpits are getting really warm!" - Will S.
We continue our first month of EP4Kids by progressing our little athletes with a segment on hand-eye coordination development. Good hand-eye coordination is demonstrated early by picking up objects and progresses to the ability to write or catch a ball. In nearly all sports the athlete with solid hand-eye coordination will have the most success. Connecting the bat to the ball, catching a football, or throwing a pass all rely on the skill. Although there is a ton of physiology behind hand-eye coordination, practicing and developing it is relatively easy and a ton of fun! We began the segment this week by working on catching. We learned to track the ball all the way to our hands. We played catch with friends using both hands, our dominate hand, and some exceptional little ones were even proficient with their non dominate hand as well. You would think these seemingly simple skills may bore a child but when we connect the dots of motor skills and athletic performance the kids become fully engaged and some take on a whole new persona as if already training for the pros!
A Little Science
Just like our discussion on balance last week the visual system plays an immensely important role in this week's skill as well. The information perceived by the eyes are interpreted by nearly all aspects of the brain including the cerebral cortex, more specifically the parieto-occiptial junction, and cerebellum as we plan and execute the reacting movement. This physiology is termed the visuomotor control system. For example, when we play catch our eyes see the ball while our brains simultaneously interpret the size, shape and vector of the ball while also planning our movement to react and catch it! All of that fun set aside, all I have to say to the kids is "Who thinks they can catch?" and their brains take care of all the science with a big smile on their faces.