Coordination is the topic in this installment of the 5 Key Areas of Athletic Performance.

Coordination is the ability to repeatedly execute a sequence of movements smoothly and accurately. This may involve the senses, muscular contractions and joint movements.

Everything that we participate in requires the ability to coordinate our limbs to achieve a successful outcome – from walking to the more complex movements of athletic events like the pole vault.

Coordination skills in sport

All sports require the coordination of eyes, hands and/or feet and maybe an implement and a ball. Racket sports (e.g. tennis and squash) require the coordination of hand, eyes and racket to connect the racket with the incoming ball as well as position our body in an appropriate position to return the ball in an efficient and effective manner.

Hockey requires the coordination of hands, eyes and hockey stick to connect with the ball, Football primarily requires the coordination of feet, eyes and ball and Rugby the coordination of hands, eyes and ball.


Children have a better sense of of balance and coordination due to their body size and lower center of gravity and have the ability to learn complicated movements/skills like those required by a gymnast.

As they experience growth spurts muscle development may take 12 to 18 months to adjust to the new bone growth and during this time they may find the following are negatively effected:

  • Coordination skills
  • Athletic performance
  • Mobility/flexibility

It is important that coaches educate their athletes as to why they are experiencing these problems. Now is an appropriate time to focus on developing their flexibility to help muscles adjust to the growing bones.


Page reference

MACKENZIE, B. (2008) Coordination [WWW] Available from: [Accessed 20/2/2018]