Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Education


Over the last decade, the Australian Curriculum has focused on providing a rich and engaging quality Physical Education (PE) experience for students in primary schools. An area of debate within PE has been around the need to balance engagement in physical activity with the development of motor performance skills early in life. Motor performance skill proficiency in young children is a critical determinant of participation in games, sports and physical activity. During childhood, brain development is rapid and neuroplasticity is high, making childhood a crucial time to develop motor performance skills in children. A mode of movement that has been recently adopted by coaches to enhance motor performance skills in youth and adult athletes is plyometrics. In recent years, literature demarcates plyometric activities in children and youth to be an efficient and safe form of physical movement. However, little is known about the potential physiological and psychomotor benefits related to young children aged seven and eight years associated with a plyometric-based program. School-based physical education programs could provide a medium for children to engage in meaningful movement-based activities such as plyometrics, that have the potential to enhance neuromuscular performance (e.g. muscular power) and motor performance skills.

The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of the inclusion of plyometrics into the warm-up phase of PE practical lessons on motor performance skills. In addition, this study aimed to examine the effect of a plyometric warmup on students’ muscular power and the association between muscular power and motor performance skills.



Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.