Evaluation of Gross Motor Coordination and Physical Fitness in Children: Comparison between Soccer and Multisport Activities

The early detection and continuous monitoring of children’s motor competence levels and physical fitness is very important. The purpose of this study was to determine the differences in motor coordination of children enrolled in soccer and multisport activities. The participants of this study includ...

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Bibliographic Details
Main Authors: Boris Popović, Marko Gušić, Danilo Radanović, Slobodan Andrašić, Dejan M. Madić, Draženka Mačak, Dušan Stupar, Goran Đukić, Dragan Grujičić, Nebojša Trajković
Format: Article
Language:English
Published: MDPI AG 2020-08-01
Series:International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
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Online Access:https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/17/16/5902
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Summary:The early detection and continuous monitoring of children’s motor competence levels and physical fitness is very important. The purpose of this study was to determine the differences in motor coordination of children enrolled in soccer and multisport activities. The participants of this study included 147 boys and girls (mean age 7.60 ± 0.85 years). The total sample of subjects was composed of two subgroups: children who were enrolled in organized exercise programs—multisports (<i>n</i> = 77), and children who were engaged in soccer training (<i>n</i> = 70). Motor coordination was evaluated with the Kiphard–Schilling body coordination test (KTK). Physical fitness was assessed with a 20 m shuttle run test, 4 × 10 m shuttle run test, standing long jump, and handgrip strength. The ANCOVA showed significant differences (<i>p</i> < 0.05) with large effect size between groups for tests hopping for height (d = 0.93), total motor quotient (d = 1.31), jumping sideways (d = 1.32), and moving sideways (d = 1.59), after adjusting for age and gender. There were no significant differences between groups in the physical fitness tests. It can be concluded that children enrolled in multisport activities have higher levels of motor coordination than children who are enrolled only in soccer. Therefore, multiple sport training programs should be considered and encouraged by parents, educators, and other training professionals.
ISSN:1661-7827
1660-4601