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The Programme

Our training programme is based on observational learning where children are given a unique insight into what a skilled performer can see while carrying out motor skill tasks, such as throwing and catching. If you are interested in learning more, a free copy of our recent research trial is available here and an example training video can be seen below.

As you watch the video you will see what a successful throw and catch looks like. You will also be able to see from the girl’s point of view as she completes the task. Notice how the red cursor directs your attention to what she is focusing on as she performs the task. For the final few attempts we slow the video down so that these points of focus are easier to see.

Have a Go

We suggest you watch the video a couple of times and then have a go at performing the task a few times. Come back and watch the video anytime you feel like you need to remind yourself what you are doing.

If this task is too difficult – don’t panic! We have provided a graded training package, which starts with simpler throw and catching tasks. For example, we have videos for throwing and catching larger and lighter balls (beach balls and sponge balls); for bounce catch examples; and we also show how these techniques can be applied to other sport skills (tennis, kicking a ball, rounders).

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Training Tips

We suggest starting with the simplest versions of the task that you can manage and then build up the complexity.

Some general training points:

  • It is better to start too easy than too hard (build confidence)
  • Set targets – can you catch one out of five; two out of five; three out of five?
  • Once you can complete a task can you make it harder? Stand on one foot/move around while catching.
  • Practice as much as you can – get other children involved too to make it more fun (a key finding from our recent study)

This evidence based training resource was developed by the University of Exeter in conjunction with: