Development, reliability and effectiveness of the Movement Competency Screen (MCS)
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Movement competency and subsequent production of muscular power is a fundamental concern for sport and health professionals when considering an athlete’s long-term athletic development and injury prevention. The documentation and standardization of a whole body movement competency protocol is practically unexplored. The purpose of this project was to develop a movement-screening tool that would provide the strength and conditioning professional with a straightforward understanding of an individual’s movement competency related to fundamental movement patterns performed in activities of daily living, sport and sport specific training. The first experimental study (Chapter 3) was designed to determine content validity of a movement competency screen (MCS). Participants recommended that a movement competency screen should involve between 5-10 complex movements, use a combination of quantitative and qualitative analytic techniques, require no equipment to complete the movement screen and represent each of the fundamental movement patterns: squatting, lunging, upper body pushing, upper body pulling, trunk flexion, trunk rotation and single leg squatting. The second experimental study (Chapter 4) investigated the intrarater and interrater reliability of the MCS. Intrarater reliability ranged from 0.73 to 1.00 with the overall average (Kappa = 0.93) indicating almost perfect agreement between raters. Interrater reliably for the MCS was 0.79 indicating substantial agreement. The third experimental study (Chapter 5) explored participant perception of the effectiveness of the MCS. Utilizing a seven point Likert scale in a sixteen-question user satisfaction survey, participants indicated that overall they strongly agreed (6 ±0.9) that the MCS was an effective screening tool. The final experimental study (Chapter 6) was a pilot study designed to investigate the construct validity of the MCS. There were trivial to moderate effect sizes with large confidence limits for the comparisons between the MCS score and the physical performance measures (lower limb power, running speed, upper limb power) of the participants. The only clear effect was for the comparison between lower limb MCS scores and lower body power for females (moderate effect -0.88; CL ±1.05). The final chapter (Chapter 7) of this thesis provides applied recommendations for using the MCS to determine movement competency and inform exercise prescription. How to use the MCS to screen movement competency is detailed as well as how the load levels determined by the results of an individual’s MCS performance inform the exercise prescription process. In addition, a sample introductory training program is introduced, which was designed based on motor control theory, which has stated that to influence motor control movement repetition is considered best practice. Further evidence of the applied significance and acceptance of the MCS was evident from its current application within the strength and conditioning and physiotherapy professions in New Zealand, Malaysia, Philippines, Australia, and North America. The MCS has also been utilized as an educative tool to shape the curricula of several sport and recreation papers within tertiary institutions in New Zealand. The MCS is currently used by High Performance Sport New Zealand within the strength and conditioning and physiotherapeutic disciplines to guide strength training and rehabilitation exercise prescription. National sporting organizations such as New Zealand Cricket, Netball New Zealand, Hockey New Zealand, Swimming New Zealand, and Yachting New Zealand use the MCS as part of their national talent identification and physical performance assessment battery.