Ensure Future Success and Love of Sport For Your Kids
There is a formula to training kids so that they can reach their full potential at age 18-20. The formula includes “Windows of Trainability”. This means that when each of the different training components are taught at specific ages in a kid’s development, he/she has optimum chance to make competitive, varsity and professional teams in the future.
Just like in the womb, the embryo develops each of the physical parts at different times, the child’s body continues to develop at different times.
For example, the Window of Trainability for agility, coordination, balance and speed are before age 10. Since the nervous system develops early on in children, these movement skills that involve the nervous system need to be learned during this time. If a child does not get proper training in these components by age 10, he/she will have limited success in the years following. In Canada, training in these components has happened by chance or not at all, but that is now changing as organizations and clubs in the main hubs are now developing Physical Literacy programs. Children who start out in Physical Literacy programs have a great advantage over others
The Window of Trainability for set plays and offensive and defensive strategies starts at age 10 with only the basics being introduced. Teaching strategies before this age is wasted time because the impact on performance is minimal. For optimum benefit, children under 10 need to be simply playing the game, understanding the basic rules of play, and getting a feel for the game on their own. They need this time to be creative, experiment, make their own decisions and experienced non or low structured games for proper development.
It’s important to differentiate between physical literacy and physical activity. Physical literacy is the development of fundamental movement skills and sport skills that allow a child to move confidently, effectively and in control. It also involves the ability to understand what is going on around them so they can respond effectively. Physical activity is simply a matter of being involved in occasions where the body is moving but with little intention or direction.
Most performance weaknesses or bad technique can be traced back to inadequate physical literacy. The sport skill will suffer if the body can’t move properly. For example, if an athlete can’t skip, he will not be able to complete a layup (basketball) effectively. Likewise, poor coordination will cripple an athlete in performing complex technical skills later on. On the flip side, excellent coordination will enable an athlete to tackle the most advanced complex skills.
Most injuries, primarily wear and tear injuries to the knees, back and shoulders, can be traced back to the body’s lack of ability to move properly.
If you have children aged 5-9, get them into a Physical Literacy program FIRST to ensure their future enjoyment and success in sport as well as reduce chances of injury.