Athletic Ability as a Form of Intelligence

What Is Kinesthetic Intelligence?

Kinesthetic intelligence is the ability to perform physical actions with your body. A person’s kinesthetic intelligence is determined by the type of movement they are able to do. For example, if a person has poor kinesthetic intelligence, it means that their movements are limited due to lack of coordination or muscle weakness. If a person has good kinesthetic intelligence, then they have strong muscles and coordinated joints which allow them to move freely without any limitations.

There are three main types of kinesthetic intelligence: motor, sensory and cognitive. Motor skill refers to the ability to use one’s hands, feet and eyes to make hand gestures or other actions. Sensory skills refer to the ability to perceive the world through touch, taste and smell. Cognitive skills refer to the ability to reason about how things work using logic, language and concepts such as numbers.

These abilities are all considered part of kinesthetic intelligence because they involve moving parts in your body.

Kinesthetic intelligence is also known as motor control. Some people have excellent kinesthetic intelligence while others have average or low levels of it. There are many factors that affect a person’s level of kinesthetic intelligence including genetics, age, gender and education. Some studies suggest that there may be some genetic predisposition towards having high or low levels of kinesthetic intelligence.

Other factors include training and experience. Training includes the amount of time spent doing sports, practicing, playing games etc. while experience involves the amount of ‘real world’ challenges you have had to overcome. For example, someone who has a high level of kinesthetic intelligence may be an experienced mountain climber and have rehearsed how to climb up the side of a cliff many times.

What Are The Types Of Intelligence?

The concept of multiple intelligences was put forward by Harvard Psychologist Howard Gardner in 1983. Gardner asserted that Daniel Goleman’s concept of ’emotional intelligence’ was too narrow. The concept of multiple intelligences proposes that there are seven types or categories of intelligence that people can have; logical, linguistic, spatial, musical, bodily kinesthetic, naturalist and intrapersonal.

Logical-mathematical intelligence: This type of intelligence involves the ability to reason using numbers and logic. It is closely linked to academic subjects such as mathematics and the Sciences. People who have high levels of logical-mathematical intelligence are often described as ‘left-brain’ thinkers. They like things to be ordered and tend not to be artists or creative types.

Linguistic intelligence: This type of intelligence involves the ability to use language to communicate your ideas and feelings. If you have a high level of linguistic intelligence you probably enjoy writing and reading literature and poetry, as well as using a variety of sophisticated words in your speech. You probably like writing poetry and stories, giving speeches or just reading books.

Spatial intelligence: Spatial intelligence involves the ability to mentally visualise objects and manipulate them mentally. People with high levels of spatial intelligence tend to enjoy activities such as painting or playing sports. They recognise patterns easily and see the ‘big picture’. Architects and sculptors are likely to have high levels of spatial intelligence.

Musical intelligence: This type of intelligence involves the ability to recognise and create musical patterns. People with high levels of musical intelligence can hear a song once or twice and then play it back without making any mistakes. They may possess perfect pitch. People with high musical intelligence tend to enjoy singing and playing instruments, although not all people with musical intelligence are musicians.

Athletic Ability as a Form of Intelligence - Picture

Mozart is an example of someone who had high levels of musical intelligence.

Bodily-kinesthetic intelligence: This type of intelligence involves the ability to control and use your body effectively. Performance artists, athletes and dancers are likely to have high levels of bodily-kinesthetic intelligence. They also solve problems using movement and physical activity rather than words. They often have strong reflexes and hand-eye coordination.

Naturalistic intelligence: This type of intelligence involves the ability to recognise and classify plants, animals and other living things. People with high naturalistic intelligence are interested in nature and biology and like spending time outdoors. They are often interested in the natural world around them. They can also tell the difference between various types of living things.

They like learning about nature and science.

Sources & references used in this article:

A comparison of the intelligence and athletic ability of college men by VG DiGiovanna – Research Quarterly. American …, 1937 – shapeamerica.tandfonline.com

Motivation for physical activity in young people: Entity and incremental beliefs about athletic ability by SJH Biddle, CKJ Wang, NLD Chatzisarantis… – Journal of sports …, 2003 – Taylor & Francis

Goal orientations and conceptions of the nature of sport ability in children: A social cognitive approach by P Sarrazin, S Biddle, JP Famose, F Cury… – British Journal of …, 1996 – Wiley Online Library