This article touches on the importance of the developmental age for athletes in all sports. Recognizing and acquiring knowledge about development ages and stages as a coach and parent will allow for better coaching, leading and supporting. Thus, ensuring we as coaches and parents can reduce late maturing athletes withdrawing from all sports and physical activity and proactively recognizing the early maturing athletes who relies on aggression and strength often does not learn the skills at a younger age. Understanding this crucial information will allow and embrace equal opportunity to excel in sport no matter what unique stage each youths maturation occurs.


By: Eltel

As obvious as this may sound, everyone ages at different levels, even twins born a minute apart from each other. There is no scientific explanation for this, as our minds and bodies develop at different stages. As a result, you may see two kids of the same age but a significant difference of body structure, or one kid being more mentally mature than the rest. This is an important stage in the process of growing up, and this may directly or indirectly affect the way a child carries out his physical activities – sports included.

Generally speaking, physically mature people tend to perform better in sports, although this may not always be the case. However, when it comes to becoming a part of the team that has kids of different age and size, then it could be a cause of concern. For example, if a school requires a student to sign up for a sport or at least start training for one by the age of ten, then it must not forget the fact that every ten year old kid is not the same. For example, they may have a number of differences like their height, agility and way of thinking, this could mean that your child could be an underdog in his team, but he may be able to perform just as well, if trained and coached right.

In such cases, training and development plays a vital role. A child on his path to becoming a rising star should be taught to think rationally, keeping in mind that success in sports not only depends on physical factors but is also impacted by a person’s way of thinking. Students should be taught that these differences could be minimized if every player or member of the team focuses on what his body could do best. For example, a tall team member may be able to reach greater heights, but someone who’s a bit low on height may be able to move around quicker. Combine their strengths, and you will have everything it takes to be half-way successful on the court.

There is an old saying that says, “Earliest lights burn out the fastest”. We may not be dealing with lights here, but the guy behind these words of wisdom has a point. In this context, it could probably mean that just because an athlete has developed early and has the means to put that to his advantage, doesn’t mean that he will be able to sustain his skills for long if he doesn’t try to improve them. After all, a late bloomer whose body and mind are hard at work to push him further will soon overtake the early-bloomer and grab the number one spot due to his dedication to the sport.

Another important factor that matters significantly in the bloomers’ debate is the level of comprehension. From what studies have shown, intellectual ability is not necessarily linked with physical development. It is possible that the team underdog may have the skills and agility required to perform, but he may simply have trouble comprehending the game’s rules or the coaches orders.

In such cases, the coach and parents must not give up on the child under any circumstances. Even if things seem bad, they must portray the impression that there is still hope. Everyone knows that a few words of encouragement can do wonders.

All incidents and examples point out to one simple conclusion, that being an early bloomer or a late bloomer is something that plays an insignificant role in development later down the road. You and your friend may look and think different, but do keep in mind that both of you share the same goal: Pursuing your favorite sport. In the end, it all comes down to persistence, dedication, and what heights one is willing to go to in order to accomplish their dreams. Nothing is impossible, especially when it comes to sports. 

Source: Steve Nash Youth Basketball Blog
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