Halle Brin1, Jason George2, Derek A. Crawford3, Cassandra M. Beattie1, Aspen E. Streetman1 and Katie M. Heinrich1

1Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS

2Vision Charter School, ID

3University of Central Missouri, Warrensburg, MO

Movement competency (MC) is skill development to optimally perform basic human movement patterns (i.e., squat, lunge, push, pull, brace, hinge, rotation). Proper MC facilitates physical activity (PA) performance. Physical literacy (PL) describes a multidimensional foundation for PA. Achieving sufficient MC and PL in high school may facilitate lifelong PA engagement. The relationship between high school grade level, MC, and PL is unclear. Purpose: To determine if MC and PL vary by grade level among high school students enrolled in physical education (PE) classes. Upperclassman (UC) were expected to achieve higher MC and PL scores compared to lowerclassman (LC). Methods: Participants were 27 high school students (n=12 LC [grades 9 & 10]; n = 15 UC [grades 11 & 12]) enrolled in CrossFit or weight training PE and assessed in August 2021 and May 2022. MC was directly assessed by scoring performance of the squat, lunge, push, pull, brace, hinge, and rotation from 1-poor to 5-desireable. The question "I'm confident in my abilities when doing physical activities" rated from 1-strongly disagree to 4-strongly agree, was used to assess PL. Due to highly skewed non-normal data, Mann-Whitney U tests were conducted to examine between group changes and Wilcoxon Signed Rank tests examined within groups changes in MC and PL. Results: Differences in MC scores between LC and UC were not statistically significant. Squat, lunge, hinge, and rotation significantly improved in LC and UC from baseline to post-test. However, only LC improved significantly in push, pull, and brace (Table 1). Conclusion: PE participation improved MC with no differences by grade level or corresponding changes in PL. UC averaged higher MC scores at both time points, suggesting a ceiling effect. PE may be an effective strategy to increase MC to create a foundation for lifelong PA engagement.

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