Hot Shots - Head Start
The Vida Head Start program is the start of the My Vida Journey for kids aged 3 to 5. It covers fundamental perceptual motor skills, the building blocks of sport, physical activity, and child development.
These things don’t develop automatically. Children without FPMS are severely disadvantaged when it comes to sports and all the other physical and psychological experiences they will encounter during their lifetime. Through early purposeful play experiences, they will be able to develop sensory and movement abilities, including:
- Locomotion and balance
- Catch, track, and intercept
- Throw, kick, and strike
- Cognitive skills
Our goal is to provide each student with every opportunity to develop a love of sport, health, and fitness.
Each activity will use a combination of some or all FPMS at any one time and be linked to the game of tennis to help the child transition into the next stages of their My Vida Journey program.
The program has four levels, which are structured around four key developmental areas listed above.
Once the child has completed the first objectives in each of the four developmental areas, they will receive their 1/4 certificate. Each Head Start level guides the child further towards mastering their FPMS and achieving their FULL Head Start certificate.
Level - Quarter
The Head Start – Quarter level is the first stage of a child’s Vida Journey and is the start of their fundamental perceptual motor skill development with Vida. It starts the child’s introduction to tennis through motor skill activities that are vital to the sport and everyday living.
Each child will develop at different rates in the various motor skill areas. Again, these skills don’t develop automatically, so it is important to create an environment for purposeful play.
Below are the areas and specific challenges the child has to complete to receive their first certificate Head Start Quarter:
- Can push the tennis ball with their racquet towards a target
- Can stop a rolling ball with their feet and kick it back in a target direction
- Can throw the ball in the air and catch
- Can catch a large ball with their hands
- Can catch a ball into a bucket
- Can move out of the way of objects without getting hit
- Develop static balance on a line and large ball (one leg)
- Understands the different forms of movement, walk, run, hop, skip, jump
- Can balance the ball on the racquet face
- Developing an understanding of spatial awareness to surroundings
- Understands sharing and taking turns
- Has developed auditory perception and can comprehend visual instruction
Level - Half
The Head Start – Half level is the second stage of a child’s Vida Journey and is the halfway point in the mastering of their fundamental perceptual motor skills with Vida. It continues the child’s introduction to tennis through motor skill activities vital to the sport and everyday living.
Below are the areas and specific challenges the child has to complete to receive their second certificate Head Start Half:
- Understand the difference between underarm and overarm throws
- Be able to kick and stop a ball along the ground with both feet
- Can splat the ball with their racquet to stop it
- Can catch a ball into a bucket with a varying number of bounces
- Can stop the ball getting past them with any part of the body
- Can keep the balloon off the ground with and without using hands
- Can balance on either leg, with and without eyes open
- Developing an understanding of lateral movements: side step, cross over, karioka, fast feet
- Developing an understanding of spatial awareness to other kids and activities.
- Can communicate opinions and desires.
- Has developed auditory comprehension
Level - Three Quarter
The Head Start – Three Quarter level is the third stage of a child’s Vida Journey and is the three-quarter point in the mastering of their fundamental perceptual motor skills with Vida. It starts to develop the child’s understanding of tennis through motor skill activities vital to the sport and everyday living, particularly tracking and hand-eye coordination.
Below are the areas and specific challenges the child has to complete to receive their third certificate Head Start Three Quarter:
- Can undertake basic hand/eye racquet balance and striking skills
- Can over arm throw at a target over the net
- Can drop a ball from hand to foot
- Can have a rolling tennis rally with ball splat between shots
- Can catch a tennis ball with one bounce with hands
- Can juggle two balls (up and down)
- Can keep two or more balloons in the air at once
- Able to perform lateral jumping movements, hop on either leg and show dynamic balance
- Can perform a variety of ladder exercises with a balanced change of direction
- Has started to develop visual perception, reaction time, tracking, and anticipation (visual)
- Has developed memory recall and problem-solving skills
- Works in a team and group
Level - Full
The Head Start – Full level is the last stage of a child’s Vida Head Start Journey and is the point when they have mastered their fundamental perceptual motor skills with vida. This level continues to develop the child’s understanding of tennis through motor skill activities vital to the sport and everyday living, particularly tracking, hand-eye coordination and cooperative play.
At this stage, the child is ready to move onto the next stage in their my Vida journey: the My Progress Program.
The mastery of motor skills is no simple feat and marks a milestone in the child’s development. These skills impact bigger muscle groups like the arms, legs, feet, and torso. They are the first ones a child develops, and mastering them helps your child develop a sense of balance and spatial awareness.
Good motor skills also nourish the mind-body connection needed for learning.
Below are the areas and specific challenges the child has to complete to receive their last Head Start certificate Head Start Full:
- Able to under arm throw with accuracy and depth
- Be able to throw a ball cooperatively to a partner
- Can have a rolling “pong” tennis rally
- Be able to move fwd and back to different heights & number of bounce balls and catch
- Be able to stop the ball with the racquet face and get the ball balanced on the racquet
- Ability to change direction, track, and catch
- Can change direction quickly responding to vision or sound
- Developing reaction time based on a sound response
- Can maintain attention and concentration during mindfulness activities throughout the entire lesson
What are Fundamental Perceptual Motor skills?
The easiest way to understand fundamental perceptual motor skills is to understand its different parts:
- Fundamental – the foundation, base, or essential component of a structure or system
- Perceptual – the recognition and interpretation of sensory stimuli
- Motor – referring to motion or movement
- Skill – proficiency that is acquired through training or experience
Fundamental perceptual motor skills can therefore be summarized as the foundation skills required to be able to use sensory information to accurately carry out purposeful movements.
Fundamental perceptual motor skills can be broken into four categories:
- Locomotion and Balance – Locomotion is the ability to move from one position to another, and these can take many forms, such as crawling, walking, running, or hopping.Balance refers to the ability to maintain a state of bodily equilibrium or the desired static position or position during movement.
- Catching and Interception – Catching is stopping a moving object in the hands or arms. Interception is stopping an object like a ball without actually holding it. Examples would be heading the ball or blocking it with the chest in football.
- Throwing and Striking – Throwing is the act of propelling an object through the air with the arm or hand via an underarm, sidearm, or overarm motion.Striking is the act of contacting a stationary or moving object with either the hand or implement in the hand or hands such as a bat.
- Kicking and Punting – Kicking is the act of propelling a stationary or moving object, such as a ball, through the air with the motion of the foot or leg.Punting is essentially the same motion but with the ball being dropped from the hands.