Fine Motor Skills

Last Updated on January 10, 2023 by Andrew Pirie

Table of Contents

Sports and Exercise Fine Motor Skills Sports

What are fine motor skills?

“Fine motor skills are skills that involve a refined use of the small muscles controlling the hand, fingers, and thumb. The development of these skills allows one to be able to complete tasks such as writing, drawing, and buttoning.”

This is the scientific meaning. In simple terms, fine motor skills are what we all take for granted such as writing, reading, and doing art. Hope this helps.


What are the applied fine motor skills sports?

By the age of five, most children have advanced beyond the preschool age’s fine motor skills and sports development.


  • They can draw recognizably human figures with facial features and legs connected to a distinct trunk.
  • Besides drawing, five-year-olds can also cut, paste, and trace shapes.
  • They can fasten visible buttons (instead of those at the back of clothing)
  • tie bows, including shoelace bows.


Their right- or left-handedness is well established, and they use the preferred hand for writing and drawing.

Fine Motor Skills
Fine Motor Skills

School-age children six to 12 years old should have mastered hand and eye coordination in Fine Motor Skills. Early school-age children should be able to use


  • eating utensils
  • and other tools to help with household chores
  • such as sweeping
  • mopping
  • dusting
  • care for pets
  • draw
  • paint
  • and engage in making crafts;
  • and begin developing writing skills.


Children will continue to fine-tune their fine motor skills through adolescence with such activities as sports.

Almost all sports need fine motor skills sports.

All sports that I can think of require some kind of hand-eye coordination.

(ok, well soccer(Football) foot-eye coordination).

The whole purpose of sports can control your body in a certain matter to achieve a purpose, no matter how brute(a jab in boxing)the action may seem to be.

Many small muscle control techniques are mastered to get the maximized effect of your action.


What is best to develop gross, fine motor skills in sports in young children?

Fine Motor Skills
Fine Motor Skills

How young are we talking about Fine Motor Skills?

<5 years old?



I’d argue that ‘organized’ sport is pretty lost on kids under the age of 9.

Even at the age of 10–13, learning the ins and outs of a sport isn’t as important as the fine motor skills that kids may learn simply by participating.


However, exposure is critical.

Don’t get me wrong; you’re not a bad parent for signing your kid up for soccer or skiing under the age of 5. So long as your kid enjoys themselves and the people organizing it are relaxed about the rules.

I like to see that sports participation at younger ages is more mini-games that fit any sport’s technical or skill elements.

Kids need the opportunity for free play at a young age, so letting and involving them in the design of these mini-games is also really useful.

Strict rules tend to be lost on young kids, so they will not get much out of a complicated sport like soccer until they can comprehend. Small games with only one or two rules tend to do better at this age. Better yet, let the kids make the rule or two themselves. Creativity.

Something as simple as ‘keep-away’ with a soccer ball. Or throw in practice with them simply trying to hit targets or other kids’ feet. Foot races, obstacle courses, team play, etc.…etc…………………………………..…


I’d prefer to see more of this type of thing in the world of sport/movement exposure for young children.

They don’t need as much structure as you think.

In today’s world of ‘helicopter parenting’ sounds crazy, but people need to lighten up and let kids be kids. Competition or playing dodgeball once and a while aren’t going to destroy your child’s self-esteem.

You just need to help your kids figure out what they like and feel they can be good at. Give them as much exposure to as many different activities as you can. I generally live by the rule of three too. Just because a kid (or anyone) doesn’t get something the first time around doesn’t mean they won’t work with a little more exposure.

That being said, don’t force the issue either. I’ve met too many parents that want their kids to be the next superstar athlete in ‘X’ sport, and the kid is burnt out (hates the sport) before they even hit puberty.

History for Gymnastics
History for Gymnastics. Nadia Comaneci.


All that being said, if I were going to enroll my young kids in sports, this is probably what I’d choose

  • Swimming (a pretty important skill, I’d say overall)
  • A Martial Art (patience, hand/eye coordination, strength against an opponent, how to work an opponent, and body positioning, I’d probably opt for Judo more than any other kind, so they can learn how to tumble/fall)
  • Gymnastics or Dance (flexibility and a wide variety of movement exposure games on bars, rings, pommel horses, trampolines, working with a partner, moving in space with finesse, etc.…etc…………………………………………………)
  • Soccer (team training/development, running, sprinting, lateral movement on top of those things, eye tracking, hand/foot-eye coordination, throwing, kicking, practical aerobic endurance/capacity)
  • Skating/Skiing/Boarding/et.c……………………………………..… (balance, good exposure to manipulating tools that aren’t your feet, lateral movement control, developing comfort with high speeds, etc.…)


Track and field are also pretty good; they fit the bill as a mini-sport element. Usually, it’s just one thing, right?

Throwing something a certain way, jumping a certain way, running for various distances (maybe with hurdles or even steeplechase obstacles). These sorts of things are the oldest sports, and race or distance competitions are classic movement elements with straightforward rules.

It just usually lacks a team element

Very few people will ever work in an isolated environment where it isn’t a team effort, so learning those skills as life skills is pretty important in my view.

Maybe try a sport with more hand/eye coordination like basketball, touch football, baseball, lacrosse, field hockey, hockey, etc.… Many of these could be in addition to soccer or variations on the theme of soccer. I think teamwork is one of the most underrated life skills that team sports help kids develop.

Golf is fine but solitude. Endurance running is fine but solitude. Some kids are introverts and will find team sports overwhelming, but that doesn’t mean early exposure won’t help them long-term, even if they don’t end up there when they are ready to take a sport seriously (if they choose).

Fine Motor Skills
Fine Motor Skills


I think under the age of 13, having several sports as part of your ‘year’ is a good idea. Play a bunch of team sports, or find a league where kids are exposed to a lot of sports all at once. I did many sports camps as a kid where we played almost everything, and I got a little exposure to many things that helped me much later in life and developed my fine motor skills.

Even in your teen years, I still would like to see kids playing at least two sports, even if they are more into one.

At the end of the day, under the age of 13, it’s all about movement exposure. This includes resistance training elements, balance elements, and a lot of mini-games. I think you’re going to see this whole world change a lot in the next 20–40 years. Some people are doing a lot of pioneering work in the world of long-term athlete development.


On the basis that even if your kid doesn’t play a sport in college or anything professionally (and most kids never will)

we want to foster good behaviors at a young age. While fostering an inclusive environment that helps kids discover what they’re good at and enjoy doing (that is, movement/exercise-related long-term).

Fine Motor Skills
Fine Motor Skills


I think general exercise in the form of fun little games is highly underrated here. Monkey bars, climbing, sliding, kicking for distance, throwing for distance, kicking for accuracy, kicking for distance, running, galloping, having fun, etc.…et. c…..…

These are things anyone can do and participate in to develop their fine motor skills.


Submitted by Andrew Pirie 2042232
Sunday 20/6/2004
To Alison Rhodes Robinson
Sports Performance I

International Pacific College

This came from my collection of assignments when I was in college.


Motor Skills Sports
Fine Motor Skills
Motor Skills Sports
Fine Motor Skills
Motor Skills Sports
Fine Motor Skills
Motor Skills
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Motor Skills Sports
Fine Motor Skills


Fine Motor Skills Sports and Exercise Science – 1. What are the changes to HR, BP, and RR with exercise, and subsequent recovery?

Nathan‟s heart rate increased as his exercise intensity increased. It went from 96 from rest to 170 during the workout. His heart rate leveled off at a constant submaximal pace of 102-108 between the first and third minutes of exercise.

It remained constant until he increased the pace at 4 minutes and again more significantly in the 6th minute. After exercising, Nathan‟s heart rate dropped in the 1st minute from 170 to 124, down to a little below its starting heart rate, finishing at 91.

At rest, the average Respiration Rate is 12- 15 breaths per minute. During exercise, this can increase as high as 45-50 breaths per minute. Nathan‟s breaths per minute at rest and for the first 2 minutes were 13-16 BPM, which is considered average.


He started breathing more heavily at 3 minutes and maintained a BPM of 20-24 until the 6th minute.

When he increased his submaximal effort in the last minute of exercise, his BPM was at a high of 32 BPM. 1 minute After exercise, his BPM was even higher at 36. It decreased to 28 BPM after 2 minutes and back to near normal levels at 16 BPM after 3 minutes.

Normal Blood Pressure is 120/80. During exercise, the CO increases, and therefore there is more blood fired into the arteries much faster. This causes systolic pressure as high as 180mmHG while diastolic remains fairly constant. Nathan‟s Systolic pressure was 134-148 roughly during the first 6 minutes of exercise. It was hard to calculate as this was not recorded so often. At the last minute, his systolic pressure increased to 200 as he changed the submaximal pace. After 3 minutes of exercise, it leveled off to 140.


2. Discuss the physiological reasons why each of these changes occurs?

When you begin to exercise, your heart rate increases rapidly in proportion to your exercise intensity. When the rate of work (intensity) is accurately controlled and measured (for example, on a cycle ergometer), and can predict the oxygen uptake. Thus, expressing the rate of work or exercise intensity in terms of oxygen uptake is not only accurate but is
appropriate for comparing either different people or an individual under different circumstances.

Your heart rate increases directly as you increase your exercise intensity until you are near the point of exhaustion. As that point is approached, your heart rate begins to level off. This indicates that you are approaching your maximum value. The maximum heart is the highest heart rate value you achieve in an all-out effort to the point of exhaustion. This is a highly reliable value that remains constant daily and changes only slightly from year to year.


Fine Motor Skills and Exercise Science – Blood Pressure

Blood Pressure is the pressure the blood causes against the blood vessel wall as it flows through. Systolic Pressure is the pressure when the heart muscle contracts. Diastolic pressure is the pressure when the heart muscle relaxes. Blood Pressure is affected by Gender males tend to have a higher blood pressure level than females. Genetically, age, amount of exercise, time of day, diet, emotional state, and smoking also influence Blood Pressure and stress, fever, and body temperature.


During exercise

there are dramatic changes in the cardiovascular system. Perhaps the greatest change occurs in blood flow to exercising muscle, which, under maximal conditions, can increase up to 35-fold. Such a large increase in blood flow has severe consequences for blood pressure regulation, as the opening of this large circulation can result in a sudden and substantial drop in pressure.

There is an everyday analogy that is very comparable to this situation. Imagine taking a shower upstairs in your bathroom when someone elsewhere in the house turns a tap on. This result is a loss of pressure in the shower, as two circulations are now open. The answer to this problem is to increase the pump’s capacity to correct the pressure. This is exactly what happens during exercise.


Respiratory System

The respiratory system provides oxygen to the blood through inspiration breathing in and removes end products such as Carbon Dioxide through breathing out. Oxygen travels downward through the Trachea, Bronchi, Bronchioles, and Alveoli to be pumped into the body’s muscles. Carbon dioxide moves from the blood capillaries to the Alveoli, and when we breathe out, the body rids itself of this waste product.


Fine Motor Skills and Exercise Science 3. Do you think the workload was light, medium, or heavy? Why?

I think it was very light because Nathan‟s pulse was fairly constant, 96-125 for the first 4 minutes, a difference of 29. After 4 minutes, Nathan‟s heart rate increased dramatically, increasing from 125-170 in the last 3 minutes, a difference of 45. This increased the intensity of the workout too hard levels. Also, his breathing per minute rose from 13 to 32 BPM during the workout, and he was breathing more heavily one minute after the workout at 36 BPM; all in all, I would say that Nathan has had a reasonably heavy workout. But they probably could have kept on going for a few more minutes.


Fine Motor Skills Sports and Exercise Science 4. How could you adapt this experiment to compare your subject’s fitness with another? How would you determine who had the highest level of fitness?

By having two people each on one cycle exercycle by

running them separately for an equal amount of time on each exercycle. By recording both results and then comparing the outcome. Comparing the increase in Pulse and seeing whoever has the quickest decrease in pulse after exercise may have a better fitness level.


Fine Motor Skills Sports Sources:

Heart Rate

Blood Pressure

2004 International Pacific College Notes

Andrew Pirie


Fine Motor Skills Sports What is it?

BMX (Biomechanics) is the study of human movement, which forces both internal and external to cause the movement to happen, and the results of forces when exerted.


Fine Motor Skills Sports Why is it important?

Once you find the most effective way a body can move, you can compare it with your actions and improve your technique.

  1. Improves your performance
  2. It gives an understanding of why things happen and how you can change to improve.
  1. Stability and Balance


What is the C.O.G? (Center of Gravity)? What is mass use weight? What is gravity?

The Center of Gravity = is the center point of an object’s mass, the point about which parts are equally balanced.

Mass = the amount of substance in a body/object

Weight = is the force of gravity (8 newtons) acting on the mass.

Gravity = Pull of Earth 9.8 newtons.


Important Points

  1. Size of the base of support
  2. Height of C.O.G (the lower, the better)
  3. Line of gravity must remain in your base if support.


To increase stability

  1. Widen base of support
  2. Lower center of gravity
  3. Keep the line of gravity inside the base of support.
  1. Motion


  1. Linear Motion is when all parts of the object move the same way at the same speed.
  2. Rotary Motion is motion around an Axis (Pivot point), e.g., a gymnast performing a giant circle on a high bar. The bar is the axis. The axis is external to the body.

e.g., A cricketer bowling a ball. The axis is the shape shoulder joint from the ball’s point of view—the external axis.


This is the amount of motion a body has. It is related to speed and mass. I.e., the faster the object is moving, the greater the momentum.

The faster the object is moving, the greater the momentum.

Momentum is = to M X V

Transfer of Momentum:

An object has mass and velocity; when it strikes another object, it transfers momentum to the other object.




This occurs when there is some movement between the two surfaces.

  • Skin Friction – relation between air and surface of the bowl.
  • Decrease – smoother surface ball
  • Increase – rough surface
  • Rolling Friction – a major influence on how far the ball will travel.
  • The surface of the ball – the surface of the ground, condition of the ground, footwear, type of footwear

Rebound – how high things bounce when one object comes into contact with another object. E.g., the ground or a racket.

The material ball is made of

It depends on the hardness of the ground.

  • Osmosis
  • Meiosis
  • Magnus Force
  • Top Spin
  • Side Spin


Learning a Fine Motor Skill: Juggling (rev 1)

Submitted to Alison Rhodes Robinson

Sports Performance II

 By Andrew William V. Pirie

International Pacific College


Fine Motor Skills Sports  Exercise Articles – Motor Skill Learning: Juggling

In this topic, we look at what fine motor skills are and how we learn them, with Juggling as an example.


What is a skill!

Skill is your ability to make your muscles and your nervous system work together to produce the right movements.

Or (more technically speaking)

Skill is the learned ability to bring about predetermined results with maximum certainty with the minimum outlay of time and /or energy.


Characteristics of a skill

  • It involves a sequence of actions/movements which are reasonably complex to the individual.
  • this must learn it
  • It must be practiced to be perfected.
  • It is relative to the individual, e.g., your skill may be considered very good when playing at a school level but very poor at the international level.


Simple – means easy to do, not difficult, no practice – required


Skillful – means the activity needs practice or many attempts before it can be performed well.


  1. Factors that affected my skill learning.


  1. Is Juggling an open or closed skill? Explain

How could you make it more open?


  1. What phase of learning do you feel you reached?

  • cognitive
  • Associative
  • Automatic


How do you know you are at this stage?

  1. How did you set about learning your juggling apart at a time or the whole skill at once? Explain.


One part at a time. I learned to juggle with my right hand, which was easier at first, and then started recording juggling with my left more difficult hand.

  1. Suppose you attempted to juggle with your eyes closed; what motor learning variable would be removed. Why is it important?



  1. If you had to perform the skill in front of the class, what effect which this has on your performance if:


  1. a) you were a skilled performer.

Increased performance if the skill is perfected.

  1. b) you were beginning

Decreased performance if the skill is not perfected.


  1. c) Explain this phenomenon

This affects the individual’s arousal levels (meaning the level of attention, i.e., how awake or receptive to learning or performance they are.).

Skilled performers are more likely to thrive with crowd support and would achieve closer to optimal performance. Less skilled performers are going to have too high arousal levels and feel too nervous about performing in front of crowds there not used to.


  1. What effect does instruction/guidance have on learning? Explain.

Feedback given by the coach and the athlete personally is the most important aspect which affects learning.  Without feedback from a coach, athletes wouldn’t know where they are going wrong and how to improve their learning of that skill.

An individual has to absorb all the information necessary to perform a skill, make sense of it, and then reorganize it and choose the correct response.


  1. How would you improve your learning and practice techniques next time to enhance fine motor skills?

  • Learning
  • Read books on juggling.
  • Watch Videos on juggling.
  • Observe juggling diagrams on the internet
  • Talk to more people to get advice on juggling.
  • Practice
  • Practice with a partner (motivation)
  • Practice more frequently
  • Work on other aspects of the skill I didn’t cover (progressing to 3 balls).


Motor Skills Sports
Fine Motor Skills




By Andrew Pirie

Andrew was elected Vice President of the Association of Track and Field Statisticians in 2020 after being a member for 7 years. He has worked as a PSC Consultant and Research Assistant from 2013-2015, Consultant, and Sprint Coach at Zamboanga Sports Academy from 2015-2017. And Currently is Consultant Coach with VMUF 2021- Current editor and chief of, and has recently done consultancy work for Ayala Corp evaluating the Track and Field Program. Coaches Sprints, Middle and Jump events he is  Level 3 Athletics Australia Coaching Certification in Sprints and Hurdles. Currently working towards a Masters Degree in Education. He can be contacted on [email protected] You can find more information on Coaching here

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