Ralph L. Wickstrom, Fundamental Motor Patterns, Lea & Febiger, 1970

Each shows a fear reaction to the ball by turning his head to the side and by leaning backward. The girl's catching effort involves limited movement and the boy's catching behavior is quite uncoordinated. Frequently the arms are raised rapidly and the ball is struck with the hands and knocked upward.

Deach (1950) observed a first stage in catching characterized by a fear reaction. The child senses the need to protect himself from the ball. Remnants of a fear response can be detected in the form demonstrated [at right]. There are companion reactions in their form that could be attributed to apprehension. One of these is the turning of the head to the side to avert the eyes and head from the line of the ball, and the other is the slight backward bending of the trunk away from the oncoming ball. Closing the eyes is an equally common indication of apprehension. These minor evidences of the fear response in the catching behavior of children recur on occasion over a period of several years. The vestiges reappear as the size of the ball is decreased and as its velocity is increased.