Project background

Children with a motor development disorder experience difficulties with the acquisition of everyday tasks. Therefore, participation of this group of children is not self-evident both in sport and in society as a whole. This creates a lot of insecurity and a low self-esteem in children, which further decreases their motivation to engage in physical activity. This negative spiral should be breached, not only to enhance participation in sport, but to increase the overall quality of life of the children.

This project is directed at children with Cerebral Palsy (CP) and Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD). These are the most prevalent motor development disorders with a combined prevalence of about 7 per 1000 births. The main question in this project is how, given the specific abilities of these children, motor skills can best be taught, and how tailor made training and coaching can put this into practice.

This four-year project consists of three complementary components; two lines of research (Work Packages – WP) and a so called Valorization- and DevelopmentLab (abbreviation in Dutch: VOL). In WP1 the effectiveness of implicit and explicit learning methods will be studied in different sport and exercise settings, both for children with a motor development disorder and for typically developing children.WP2 will focus on the context variables of a child engaged in sports and studies the expertise of trainers, coaches, and physical education teachers and how this could be improved. One specific question will focus on the application and applicability of implicit and explicit learning methods. Results and insight gained in Work Package 1 and 2 will be aligned. Valorization of knowledge and feedback to the partners will take place through the VOL. The project will lead to, among other things, a manual for effective training and coaching of this population, a training for (potential) users and guidelines for the policy of sport clubs, sport associations and sport academies.