Work Package 1

Optimizing motor learning of children with CP and DCD: Implicit versus explicit learning

This line of research studies which methods are effective for children with CP and DCD to learn new (sport)skills. On top of their motor limitations these children often experience difficulties regarding cognition and perception which have a combined effect on motor learning abilities. Particularly working memory capacity seems to play a mediating role. Previous research in healthy participants has indicated that explicit learning methods place a high demand on working memory, while this is considerably lower with implicit methods. The children in the population that we study often have limited working memory capacity, and its capacity is still developing during childhood, which makes implicit learning seem like a convincing method to learn sport and exercise skills.

The aim of this Work Package is to study the effectiveness of implicit and explicit motor learning in both children with CP and DCD and typically developing children, and to relate this to the personal characteristics of the children. Besides changes in motor performance, we will also examine the effect on the way in which children perceive their own skills, and their motivation to engage in physical activity. Furthermore, this Work Package will also sty why specific methods work, or why not. The results will be combined with the findings of Work Package 2 regarding the context variables of children that play sports and the expertise of trainers and physical education teachers about the specific needs of these children. The Valorization and Development Lab will communicate the results of the work field which will allow tailor-made training and coaching.

This Work Package will be executed by Femke van Abswoude. For more specific information on this part of the project you can contact her by e-mail:

Figuur in Engels