Sensitive Periods

As children grow and develop, there are times when practice and training will have the greatest effect.  These “sensitive periods” provide a special opportunity to train and develop important skills and physical abilities that will impact athletic performance through the lifespan.

All sport skills and physical abilities are trainable at any age. However, as children and athletes grow and develop, there are times when practice and training will have the greatest positive effect.  These times are called “sensitive periods of accelerated adaptation to training.”

Science shows that we can maximize each child’s skills and physical abilities if our coaching and instruction takes advantage of the sensitive periods of trainability. The sensitive periods affect five different areas of physical development that we call “the Five Ss”:

  • Stamina (endurance)
  • Strength
  • Speed
  • Skill
  • Suppleness (flexibility)

If our sport programs and coaching don’t take advantage of the sensitive periods, our children may never develop the strength, speed, skills, flexibility or stamina they could have had.

If we take advantage of the sensitive periods, our children are much more likely to reach their peak performance abilities. They have a better chance of staying active for life and even becoming professional athletes. 

>> Learn more about Sensitive Periods and the the "Five Ss".
>> Learn about the next key factor: Mental, Cognitive and Emotional Development