Rhythm, Movement Confidence and Skills

Rhythm and movement confidence. These are important “passive” athletic skills for any athlete.

For athletes with ASD challenges, they’re critical. Each skill serves as a building block for other and more complex movement and athletic skills.

Rhythm is an expression of time and works hand-in-hand with pattern recognition to improve the capability for, and even the speed of, the athlete’s cognitive processing. In these athletes, that gives us a broader foundation to layer skills into.

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Developing movement confidence creates an internal environment for the athlete in which trying new activities carries lower perceived risk.

Simple rope jumping allows layering in, not only of activity-specific skills, but of confidence born out of passing milestones.

We started with 5 skips in a row as a target. No technique specified. When that succeeded, I asked Ryan to perform 5 with his hands close to his body and “more wrist flip.”

Succeeding in that, we moved to 10 reps twice, 10 and 5 reps twice (5 sec rest between,) then the Holy Grail for day 1 – 15 in a row.

While we didn’t quite get there, we focused on the successes of the day and moved on. Proudly.

Keep the faith and keep after it!

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