Growth & Maturation: Research and Application
Over the past couple of years, research and practise in the area of growth and maturation has really moved forward. We have a much better of understanding of how we can help athletes and coaches navigate the critical period of Peak Height Velocity (PHV) has really moved on.
The fact that all the adolescent athletes you work with will experience rapid changes in their bodies at PHV, means that this is an extremely important area for you to understand and apply.
We are bringing together some of the people leading the research and application of this knowledge in growth and maturation to share the great work they’ve done and are currently doing. Find out more about them below:
Dr. Megan Hill – Post-doctoral Researcher, Leeds Beckett University
Peak Height Velocity (PHV) and it’s associated rapid changes in height and weight can be a lot for a young athlete to adjust to, how does it impact performance? If critical decisions around inclusion and exclusion in talent pathways are made when some athletes are mid-puberty, are we at greater risk of making the wrong decision?
Megan will be sharing her research into G&M from her time with Southampton FC which from the perspective of the coaches and how their perceptions of athletes’ performance can vary across the different PHV stages. Understanding how our perceptions of an athletes may be affected by the maturity status of the athlete may help us avoid making rash selection decisions at a time where an athlete is disadvantaged by something they can neither control or avoid.
David Johnson – Academy Physical Performance Scientist, West Ham United FC
The PHV has been identified as a period where younger athletes are at risk of getting injured, if training is poorly prescribed and managed. Getting injured at any point during is disruptive to an athlete’s overall development, and can have a major impact on whether they progress particularly if they are unavailable for large periods. However, there is currently a lack of research demonstrating how we can successfully adapt and adjust training during this phase of a child’s growth and development to maximise their availability and development.
Fortunately, David has been working hard on research in this area and will be sharing his research into injuries and adapting training around the PHV period from his time at AFC Bournemouth. Join us for David’s session to understand how they adjusted training load and programmes during this critical period to help reduce the injury burden and positively impact their athletes’ development.
James Baker – Senior S&C Coach | Head of Talent Identification & Development, Aspire Academy
The timing of the growth and maturation process can vary greatly for athletes within a chronological age group, with the greatest differences existing between the ages of 12-15 a period where critical decisions selection decisions are often made. Athletes that are advanced in maturation demonstrate much higher levels of strength, power and speed relative to their later developing peers. How does this impact performance? And how can we help athletes, parents and coaches get a more realistic perspective on performance when so much variation exists?
James has spent the past few years at Aspire Academy applying G&M principles in Track & Field, a speed-power sport, where the advantages created by maturing early create an uneven competitive experience. A lack of awareness of the maturity status of athletes in this sport can have big implications for the athlete’s experience of the sport, as well as talent identification and development processes. In this session, James will take a deep dive on the process from start to finish of identifying the problem, collecting the relevant data and how that can be interpreted and presented to key stakeholders to support decision making processes.