Maturation Aware Coaching

for Long Term Player Development

Our Maturation Assessment predicts timing of growth, identifying windows of accelerated adaptation during which the developing body responds best to speed, stamina and strength training, for short term fitness and long term athletic potential and helps tailor training sessions to individual needs, a key element in retention and long term development.

Why Maturation Matters

Sport, especially team sport, favours earlier maturing children, not because of talent, but because an early size advantage can bias team selection, sometimes at the expense of late developers.

While this is positive for the selected players, the remaining squad are at a disadvantage, having fewer opportunities to build their experience, impacting their skills development, enjoyment of the game and increasing their risk of quitting.

Science tells us that early or late maturation does not determine adult body characteristics, but how kids are coached during adolescence can impact their potential into adulthood. What’s optimal for them in terms of speed, stamina, flexibility & strength training depends on what stage they’re in, not their age. 

Ignoring maturation in how we coach kids risks losing up to 60% of the potential adult talent pool, to the team, to the club and to the sport.

How it works

As coach or teacher, you schedule an assessment session with SURPASSPORT for 20 to 50 kids and then circulate the booking link to your team’s parents, informing them when and where, allowing them to register and pay for their kids.

Our experienced assessors measure and record each kids’ height, arm-span and weight. SURPASSPORT uses this data to calculate when peak growth occurs and identify their maturation stage and most opportune training emphases.

The assessment findings are available to your team’s coaches on SURPASSPORT. Parents receive a PDF report, keeping them informed and aligned with your coaching programme.

You then can tailor your coaching games and drills to emphasise speed, stamina, flexibility, strength or skills based on groups corresponding to your players’ maturation stages, ensuring an individualise experience.

SURPASSPORT will remind you and parents when the assessment should be repeated, so as to refine the estimate of when peak growth is expected, or to confirm when it occurred.

Maturation Report

The Benefits

Supporting children in their journey to becoming adult players is a key reason we coach underage sport. Coaching children through their teenage years must take account of their individual development, especially their physical development.

SURPASSPORT eliminates guesswork and informs your conditioning programme for each player, appropriate for their biological age.

Starting resistance training in girls at the optimal age is vital for building bone density, which will last them a lifetime.

Boys are at risk of starting strength training too early, risking injury while their ligaments are still developing.

Early developers’ fleeting size advantage can lead to complacency and then result in frustration as their own age group catch up.

They benefit from a regular reality check by training with biological peers, helping them to maintain work rate through these years..

Matching late developers with their physiological peers makes it more about skill than strength, especially at an age when everything is already changing.

They are reassured that they will catch up, with every chance that they will be the better players, having had to work harder all along.

Using maturation status on SURPASSPORT to rebalance team training helps each kid to feel valued and allows all kids to be challenged on effort and skills.

This contributes in no small part to their enjoyment at training and matches, which in turn motivates practice, fitness and participation.

Long term gains are equally possible, where working to windows of accelerated adaptation can yield improved speed muscle, mental and aerobic stamina and suppleness, perhaps allowing aspiring athletes to compete on a world stage.

Helping kids safely achieve their sporting potential is more than a noble goal or health benefit. It encourages lifelong participation and makes for stronger teams, stronger clubs and stronger sport.

Costs

The assessment costs €15.00 per child, including VAT and the generated report and is generally delivered at the school or club.

We strive to deliver the service efficiently across Ireland, but supplemental travel expenses may be added depending on numbers and location.

Upcoming Assessments

  • Tallaght Village, 22nd June 2019 (12:00 - 17:00): Public assessments as part of TallaFest 2019. Pre-register now on sur.ie/2hBlvC ➚.

Common Questions

What is Maturation?

Kids all grow and develop at a pace that is uniquely individual, and includes a series of so-called “maturation” stages, including a stage when their growth is at its fastest, formally referred to as Peak Height Velocity (PHV).

Why Peak Height Velocity?

The age / date at which growth is fastest is used as a reference point to identify when the growing body is developing physical and physiological structures, such as skeleton, genitals or lung capacity. Not all are relevant to sport, but research over the past 5 decades has identified phases, windows of "accelerated adaptation", when the body can be influenced to increase potential for speed muscle, stamina or flexibility.

 When is "accelerated adaptation" opportune?

For boys, there are two periods which favour development of suppleness and speed between 8 and 10 years and speed and stamina between 13 and 15 years. Strength training becoming opportune when they are almost finished growing, about 2 years after growth peaks, around age 17.

Girls begin their development earlier than boys, and more importantly, the timing of when strength training happens immediately once their growth peaks, typically at 12 years.

These windows shift according to the individual timing of the child, with there being a four to five year spread of maturation against chronological age for girls aged 11 and boys aged 13. That means that boys on a team, for example, could play Under 13 but have bodies that pass for 10 or 15 years. It also means that early maturing girls could start strength training at only 10 years.

 How accurate is the prediction?

The prediction peak growth is most accurate closest to the time it occurs, but is estimated with 6 month certainty from age 7 onwards. The assessments should be repeated in the run up to peak growth, with increasing frequency, and beyond, until the age has been determined with confidence. SURPASSPORT automatically tracks the assessment frequency for each child and notifies both parents and coach when another should be arranged.