It's not enough to understand the developmental milestones of growth and the maturation process of skills for sports activities. Nor is it enough to appreciate the chemical development that affects ability. Yes, all the physical changes, chemical changes, and developmental sequences must be considered and incorporated into the challenges of accomplishment and performance in the youth sports experience. Yet even all of those ingredients do not make up the whole enchilada. There is still more that is necessary to complete the menu - the rice, beans, and salsa.
The development of mental (psychological) skills is also incredibly important for these youngsters and completes the third part of the triangle of components that all mesh together to influence the athletic potential of your child. All 3 are of major significance and really cannot function maximally without the other 2 being in place. Your child may be ready for intense competition from a standpoint of muscular control, technique, and skill level, but not from a mental or emotional standpoint. Your child may have successfully mastered how to integrate skills with maturing chemical processes of speed, strength, and endurance, but still be insecure or immature when it comes to advancing levels of performance. If the child is subjected to competition and heavy training before psychological development is ready, the results can be disastrous. If parents, coaches, teachers, and instructors understand these principles and how they can connect the dots, we are definitely on our way to a positive sports experience for everyone involved.
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