Coordination

The ability to use the body’s senses to execute motor skills smoothly and accurately. The body uses its senses with the body parts to perform tasks smoothly and accurately. Coordination may involve the control of body parts to complete a sequence of movements, for example in a gymnastics routine, or it may involve coordination of an external implement and various body parts. It involves the nervous system and muscular system working harmoniously in hand-eye and foot-eye coordination activities (hand-eye and foot-eye refers to the body parts involved in the motor skill). Coordination is important for:

  • Dance, aerobics and ballet

  • Discus throwing

  • Hitting a cover drive for four in cricket

  • Shooting in netball

  • Spiking in volleyball

  • All routines in gymnastics

It is difficult to contemplate any activity that does not require coordination to some extent.

Factors that affect coordination

  • Sequence of movements

  • Motor skills

    • Fine motor skills

      • Require coordinated movement of small muscles

      • Examples include writing and drawing

    • Gross motor skills

      • Require coordinated movement of large muscle or groups of muscles

      • Examples include walking and running

Two Recognised Tests

Alternate-hand wall toss test:

The aim of this test is to assess hand-eye coordination

Method:

  1. Use cones to mark a line 2m from the wall. Stand behind the line, facing the wall. The timekeeper should stand nearby with spare tennis balls

  2. With your right hand, throw the ball against the wall and attempt to catch it on the rebound with your left hand. Then throw the ball with your left hand and attempt to catch it with your right hand. If you drop the ball pick it up or take a ball from the timekeeper and continue the test as soon as possible

  3. Continue in this way for 30 seconds and then record the number of successful catches

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Soda Pop Coordination Test

Soft-drink can test

This test is designed for the elderly.

Method:

The participant sits at the table with a row of circles in front of them. A unopened can of soft drink is placed in every second circle, starting from the side of the hand being tested. The participant begins the test by grasping the first can, with the hand ‘thumb up’ and the elbow bent at about 100-120 degrees. When the stopwatch is started, the participant turns each can upside down as quickly as possible, placing it in the adjacent empty circle. They then return each can to its original position, starting with the first can. This whole process is repeated twice.


While no ratings are provided for this test, it could be used as a pre- and post-test comparison

Training methods to train and improve fitness component

Concepts like stability, mobility and balance are essentially different aspects of coordination. Further, strength, flexibility, power and even endurance cannot be performed to their full potential without coordination. Therefore, optimising coordination should be one of your primary goals in regard to improving physical function. There is no specific training method to improve coordination but it can be developed and improved through specific skill training and through enhancement of core stability. Guidelines for progression of drills that improve coordination include:

  1. Increase speed of activity

  2. Increase number of obstacles

  3. Alter the size of the objects being manipulated

  4. Increase the number of tasks in an activity

Drills To Improve Improve Your Hand--Eye Coordination
"Hand Eye Coordination" For Baseball And Football Players