In my last installment we looked at Long Term Athletic Development.  We saw several hallmarks for Long Term Athletic Development.  These included windows of trainability, and age appropriate training to name a few.Today, I want to look at the Windows of Trainability. These are periods in a child’s life when he or she is best suited for learning and mastering certain kinds of activities. These windows are based on the child’s social, emotional, psychological, mental, physical, and biochemical make up.As an example if we work to build strength in a 12 year old boy, we run the risk of injuring the child’s growth plates if we use heavy weight. This is because the forces on the growth plate from the weight can cause the growth plates to slip or fracture.  This could have disastrous effects on future growth and development.

What we have learned through the works of Balyi, and the people at TPI and others is that each age in a child’s developmental process has a few areas that if worked on properly will make that child stellar in that area.

Here are the windows that we use in training Junior Golfers:

5 to 8 year olds:

    • Suppleness One – basics of mobility and flexibility
    • Speed One – short burst speed training

9-12 year old boys and 8-11 year old girls:

    • Skills One – basic skills of ball striking, short game, putting, etc

13-15 year old boys and 11 to 13 year old girls :

    • Suppleness Two – maintaining flexibility during rapid growth
    • Speed Two – longer burst speed training
    • Three-D Integration – awareness of body and club with new and changing body dimensions caused by growth
    • Stamina One – endurance training basics

16-18 year old boys and 14-18 year old girls:

    • Strength – working with weights for the first time
    • Skills Two – shot making, course management, decision making, tournament preparation, etc
    • Power – Olympic lifting and speed training
    • Stamina Two – more endurance training

Keep in mind that these ages are biological not chronological.  Biological age is all that matters in this area.  Biological age is based on growth rate not years, days and months alive.  Here is a biological age graph with the windows of opportunity included:

WINDOWS

Remember, biological age is not the same a chronological age.  Biological age is based on factors like growth rate, emotional, social and mental maturity, biochemical maturity, etc.  Chronological age is merely the age of the child in years, months, weeks and days.

When we honor biological age and train juniors in that manor, we help the junior develop and grow into the best athlete they can be, and prevent unnecessary injuries.

For more about windows and age appropriate activities for junior golfers check out our Juniors Home Page or complete the form at the bottom of this page.

In the coming weeks I will be taking up each of the age brackets and reviewing specific fitness activities and the benchmarks for what juniors in each bracket could consider in terms of fitness, practice, play, instruction, competition, nutrition, etc., so stay tuned.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

All the best.

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David Ostrow, PT GPS, CGFI-MP3, Certified Junior Golf Fitness Coach CEO, FitGolf EnterprisesNot a subscriber yet…?subscribe-button
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