Children grow and develop at different rates. Sport and physical activity programs need to take each child’s stage of growth and development into account when designing training, competition and recovery regimens.
We all know that children grow and develop and different rates, but most sport and physical activity programs still group them together according to their birth year (chronological age).
To optimize the development of our athletes, we can’t paint everyone with the same brush. We need to take into account the developmental ages of our athletes as well as their chronological ages.
Growth and Maturation
The terms “growth” and “maturation” are often used together, but they mean different things. Growth refers to measurable changes in body size such as height and weight. Maturation refers to qualitative changes in the body’s progress toward maturity, such as the change of cartilage to bone in the skeleton.
The term development” brings together growth and maturation. Development refers to how growth and maturation occur together over time. It includes physical, social, emotional and intellectual realms of the child.
>> Learn more about Developmental Age.
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