Upper-Menu

Hot Shots – Head Start Program

The Vida Head Start program is the start of the My Vida Journey for kids aged 3 to 5. These stages are designed to develop and master fundamental perceptual motor skills, the building blocks of sport, physical activity and child development. These don’t develop automatically. Children without FPMS are severely disadvantaged when it comes to the sport, physical and psychological experiences they will enjoy during a lifetime. Through early purposeful play experiences, children will develop the sensory and movement abilities to; locomotion & balance, catch, track & intercept, throw, kick and strike, cognitive development and therefore have 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 have a link 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;

  • Throwing, Kicking & Striking.
  • Catch, Interception & Tracking.
  • Locomotion, Balance & Agility.
  • Cognitive Development.

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. This level starts the child’s introduction to tennis through motor skill activities vital to sport and everyday living. Each child will develop at different rates in the various motor skill areas. As we have said these skills don’t develop automatically, thus it is important to create an environment for purposeful play.

Below are the areas and specific challenges the child has achieved to receive their first certificate – Head Start Quarter:

Throwing, Kicking & Striking

  • 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.

Catch, Interception & Tracking

  • 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.

Locomotion, Balance & Agility

  • 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.

Cognitive Development

  • Developing an understanding of spatial awareness to surroundings.
  • Understands sharing & taking turns.
  • Has developed Auditory Perception & can comprehend visual instruction.

Level - Half

The Head Start – Half level is the second stage of a child’s Vida Journey and is the half way point in the mastering of their Fundamental Perceptual Motor Skills with Vida. This level 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 achieved to receive their second certificate – Head Start Half:

Throwing, Kicking & Striking

  • Understand the difference between under arm and over arm throws.
  • Be able to kick & stop a ball along the ground with both feet.
  • Can splat the ball with their racquet to stop it.

Catch, Interception & Tracking

  • 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.

Locomotion, Balance & Agility

  • Can balance on either leg, with & without eyes open.
  • Developing an understanding of lateral movements; side step, cross over, karioka, fast feet.

Cognitive Development

  • Developing an understanding of spatial awareness to other kids & activities.
  • Can communicate opinions & 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. This level 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 achieved to receive their third certificate – Head Start Three Quarter:

Throwing, Kicking & Striking

  • Can undertake basic hand/eye racquet balance & 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.

Catch, Interception & Tracking

  • 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.

Locomotion, Balance & Agility

  • 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.

Cognitive Development

  • Has started to developed visual perception, reaction time, tracking and anticipation (visual).
  • Has developed memory recall and problem-solving skills.
  • Works in a team & 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 the Child has 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 sport and everyday living, particularly tracking,hand-eye co-ordination and co-operative play.

Your child is now ready to move onto the next stage in the my Vida journey, the my Progress Program.

A child mastering their motor skills is no simple feat and marks a milestone in their development. Motor skills impact bigger muscle groups, like the arms, legs, feet, and torso. They are the first motor skills a child develops. Mastering gross motor skills helps your child develop a sense of balance and spatial awareness. Good motor skills nourish the mind/body connection needed for learning.

Below are the areas and specific challenges the child has achieved to receive their last Head Start certificate – Head Start Full:

Throwing, Kicking & Striking

  • 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.

Catch, Interception & Tracking

  • 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.

Locomotion, Balance & Agility

  • Ability to change direction, track & catch.
  • Can change direction quickly responding to vision or sound.

Cognitive Development

  • Developing reaction time based on a sound response.
  • Can maintain attention & 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 the 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 of being able to use sensory information to accurately carry out purposeful movements.

Fundamental perceptual motor skills can be broken into four categories:

  1. 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.
  2. 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. For example, heading the ball or blocking a ball with the chest in football.
  3. Throwing and Striking – Throwing is to propel an object through the air with the motion of the arm or hand and this can be in the form of underarm, sidearm or overarm. Striking is the act of contacting an object either stationary or moving, with either the hand or implement in a hand or hands such as a bat.
  4. Kicking and Punting – Kicking is to propel an object such as a ball which is stationary or oncoming through the air with the motion of the foot or leg and punting is the same motion with the ball being dropped from the hands.

Although they are not separate, because to kick, you need to be able to intercept it and to intercept it, you need to be able locomote. But it does make it easier to think of fundamental perceptual motor skills in these categories.

Vida Tennis