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Growth, Maturation and Development: Implications for Your Practice

Professor Kevin Till, a practising coach and talent development expert who has worked in football, cricket, rugby league and rugby union for over 15 years, shares his insight and experience on growth, maturation and development. In the third of three resources, Kevin shares his experiences from applied practice and that are underpinned by research, and identifies how you can apply your knowledge to your coaching practice

Whilst it is difficult to provide recommendations for every coaching environment and role, here are some practical implications for you to consider and incorporate into your coaching practice (adapted from Eisenmann et al., 2020).

1) Understanding growth, maturation and development

The guides within this series have provided underpinning knowledge in relation to growth, maturation and development. This will allow you to start noticing and explaining some of the differences between your participants, termed ‘understanding who you are coaching’ (Till et al., 2019). 

This also allows you to acknowledge that current performance may be affected by an individual’s maturity status and help you start questioning how you perceive ‘good’ and ‘bad’ performance within your sport. Are you seeing ability or advanced maturity? You now have a greater appreciation of potential over performance during these key development years. 


It is also important to consider training age and experience within a sport and in some sports, later maturation may actually be beneficial (such as gymnastics and diving). 


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