Women 55-70+ Physical Literacy

“Physical literacy is the motivation, confidence, physical competence, knowledge and understanding to value and take responsibility for engagement in physical activities for life.” (International Physical Literacy Association, May, 2014)

In essence, individuals who are physically literate move with competence and confidence in a wide variety of physical activities in multiple environments that benefit the healthy development of the whole person.

Physical Literacy Depends on Three factors: Motivation, competence, and confidence.

Check out this video on Physical Literacy for Women 55-70+ for more information on why increasing physical literacy is important for women 55-70+.

Competence for Women 55 to 70+

Competence is the ability to do something well. Teaching women 55 to 70+ how to move properly will increase their competence. Careful observation followed by specific, descriptive feedback is how women will develop competence. Modifying the activity to meet the needs of participants will help increase their competence.

Confidence for Women 55 to 70+

When women are motivated and competent, their confidence will increase. Confidence is the feeling or belief that you can do something well or feel comfortable asking for a modification if needed. Women need to see success, improvement, and accomplishment to feel confident.

Motivation for Women 55 to 70+

Motivation is the desire to participate in physical activity. Often participants in this age group love to be active and enjoy a personal challenge and achievement. Health and fitness are also a major reason for participating in physical activity at this age. Many women are motivated to participate in sport to learn new skills, to be in a healthy environment, to gain fitness, and to socialize. One goal of the community and sport recreation sector should be to help motivate women in this age group to get and stay active.

Fundamental Movement Skills

Fundamental movement skills are the building blocks of movement. They are developed in children between 6 and 10 years of age. The goal is to help all people from infancy to all phases of adulthood develop fundamental movement skills so they can remain physically literate for as long as possible. Developing fundamental movement skills is a key component of physical literacy.

To help better understand a mature run/walk, strike, throw, kick, jump and catch for women 55-70+ we have developed a series of videos that break down the four phases of movement and provide adaptations. To help assess Common Fundamental Movement Errors and Corrections, download Common Fundamental Movements. (.pdf)








Self-Assessment Tool

Understanding a mature movement pattern is necessary to provide feedback. The goal of an instructor in the community and sport recreation sector is to observe movement and provide feedback to participants that can help them achieve this mature, balanced movement pattern. Many health factors, the aging process, injury, or perhaps even just never being taught correctly can cause women to move in a way that prevents them from achieving competence, which in turn decreases motivation and confidence.

In order to help women understand where they might be out of alignment, we have developed the following self-assessment checklist. This is something that instructors/coaches can use to assess women in their programs or that woman can use to find feedback for each other. This is meant to be a tool to initially point out where someone may be out of alignment to make modifications.
Download Self Assessment Tool (.pdf )
Download What to look for when using the Self Assessment tool (.pdf)

Physical Literacy for Women 55-70+ Infographic

Health, work, family responsibilities can sideline anyone from doing the activities they love.  We need to create more ‘on ramps’ to help women 55-70+ get back on the bike path and keep riding.  This fun infographic helps illustrate the importance of creating the ‘on-ramps’ and things to consider to increase physical literacy for life.

Download the infographic (.pdf, 7MB)


Top 10 Guidelines for working with Women 55-70+

  1. Be safe – Preventing injury will ensure participants will continue in your program.
  2. Respect physical differences – Each participant will be at a different place. Individualize as much as possible.
  3. Create a positive environment – This will help to motivate participants.
  4. Goal-set – Help participants create realistic goals. This will help them develop confidence.
  5. Observe carefully – Observing is the key to constructive feedback.
  6. Provide descriptive feedback – Specific descriptive feedback empowers participants and creates confidence.
  7. Respect individual differences – Provide modifications all the time.
  8. Respect various health conditions – Many participants may have a health condition. Gather this information up front. Fifty percent of women over 65 have either high blood pressure or arthritis.
  9. Create a positive rapport with each participant – This will improve motivation.
  10. Create an inclusive environment – We want to keep women active and involved.