The child screen

Balance in the body

The concept of balance in the body for good posture and creating movement is extremely important to understand. By balance we mean the relationship between the muscles surrounding and protecting each joint in the body and the way they interact during a given movement. If muscles are tight or not functioning correctly then movement about a joint could be restricted. If movement is restricted then performance on the rugby pitch could suffer. A key concept is that the body has joints that need to be mobile and joints that need to be stable during movements in order for the movements to be efficient. The joints and their needs are illustrated in the diagram below. Note the alternating pattern of stable and mobile joints where the foot is stable yet the ankle needs to be mobile. The knee is stable but the hip joint needs to be mobile.

This alternating pattern of mobility and stability is a key concept underpinning efficient physical movement. During childhood, the body will undergo deviations from 'normal' posture as growth and maturation occurs and this can lead to deviations in terms of the child's movement competence. Thus, we need to have a way to assess a child’s movement competence to make sure they do not lose any movement abilities as they grow and develop.