Intervention strategies for enhancing movement competencies in youth athletes: a narrative systematic review

Simon A. Rogers, Peter Hassmén, Alison Alcock, Wendy L. Gilleard, John S. Warmenhoven

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


This systematic review evaluates empirical evidence for intervention studies targeting delivery and improvement of movement competency (MC) within youth athletes. Previous research suggests that youth athletes lack adequate MCs required to meet the demands of training for sport. From the systematic search, studies were included if they involved healthy youth (8–19 years) involved in organised sport (i.e. athletes); used an assessment at two or more time points for assessing MC outcomes; and compared movement quality of a targeted intervention group to a control or comparison group. After removing duplicates, 799 unique articles across six databases were identified and screened, with six studies initially satisfying inclusion criteria. Additional records were identified through searching reference lists (n = 2), with eight articles included. Two authors evaluated and appraised studies for methodological quality using the PEDro assessment; with scores from 4 to 7 points. Five studies reported improvement in ratings of MC in experimental groups, compared to control or comparator groups. The Functional Movement Screen™ was the most common assessment used in five studies. Intensity, length and design of interventions varied, yet all studies revealed inclusion of squats and their derivatives to varying degrees of load from bodyweight to barbells. Future research should explore differences in training session exposures over time, alongside methodological improvements such as participant allocation to minimise baseline differences, blinding of assessors, and where possible athletes to some degree. Charting the course of MC development through multiple time points, along with reporting individual movement task scores, can aid practitioners in dedicating appropriate time to MC development in an athlete’s formative years.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)256-272
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Sports Science and Coaching
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2020
Externally publishedYes


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