Taller Players/Early Maturers or If you are Born after July:
Certain children are taller or mature earlier than their peers. Many children are born in July or later. If you are a parent of one of these children you are faced with a North American youth sports culture that generally limits your child's total development and opportunity for elite sports. Unfortunately this knowledge is generally not communicated to parents until it is too late. Burlington Basketball addresses these issues here.
If your child is one of those kids on the 90th percentile or higher height chart and as parents you have a family with taller adults, your child needs special attention from Grades 3-8 and then individualized training from Grade 9 and on.
During grades 3-8 many taller players appear less co-ordinated and not as physically strong or fast as their peers. What is over looked is that the taller player must move limbs that are substantially longer than their peers but with the same amount of muscle mass. Basic physics can't be ignored even by Shaq. When a taller player dribbles the ball the ball must travel sometimes 2 times the distance on both the down bounce and return bounce versus their peers. Since the ball can cover twice the distance the dribble appears slow and less co-ordinated while usually providing the opportunity to be stolen by an opponent. Similar issues appear in shooting, passing, running and jumping.
The common result is hearing the taller player commanded with "Don't dribble the ball, you just lose it."
Taller players also have a higher incidence of ankle or leg injuries at early ages, this creates a mindset in the player to be more careful with footing and often less aggressive in situations where they can hurt themselves. Let's not forget the common growth issues that result in intense pain and discomfort for players undergoing growth spurts. Taller players as a result need special attention given to learning how to run and protect their bodies or forever be limited in what they can accomplish.
We can go on and on with this issue but needless to say Burlington Basketball has designed their programs and player development model to assist the taller player in the same way we assist their peers.
Early Maturers and Shorter Players:
One of the most difficult situations a sporting parent is faced with is the Early Maturing child. Early Maturers usually achieve success easier and earlier than their peers. This success is because for these kids muscle mass is built at a younger calendar age, (for early maturers) than their peers.
If your child physically can be mistaken for a child 2 or 3 years older, odds are your child is an early maturer. Success comes easier for these children at earlier ages in sports. They often accel at the Grades 3-8 with less training and effort required. This builds a false sense of confidence in these children because as their peers finally start maturing to an equal level,(usually early high school), the early advantage, early maturers had, is gone.
Shorter players have a similar issue. They generally appear more co-ordinated and aggressive at the Grade 3-8 age groups, then all of a sudden at high school, the effort required to now compete with their peers increases to a level the shorter player previously never was required to expend. Often early maturers fade away and disappear in high school age sports because they never developed the mental ability to acknowledge they really weren't better but only succeeding because they were physically older.
We can't list the number of players who played at the highest level in grades 3-8 that were sitting on the bench by Grade 11, surpassed by players who finally physically caught up, yet had also developed the mental toughness that goes along with not being the best.
Burlington Basketball recognizes this fact and has tailored it's programs to address these issues while encouraging our coaches to communicate this reality to parents and players alike.
Born After July:
One staggering statistic not broached by most youth sports bodies (including National Organizations) is that the vast, vast majority of elite athletes are born in June or earlier. Gretzy and Jordan are both January/February babies. As a matter of fact the number of elite athletes born in January or February is staggering.
This really should be no surprise. The best example is seen by comparing 2 children. One is born December 31, 1994 and the other born January 1st 1995. The child born maybe only a few minutes earlier (but still in 1994) than the New Year's Day born baby will always have to play sports with players as much as a year older than them. The New Year's Day baby will always be the oldest, while the New Year's Eve baby will always be the youngest.
Now look at REP sports where the best players are generally targeted for these teams. The kids born earlier in the year have a massive advantage over those born after July. The result is the early month player is chosen for the elite teams, gets more training and attention while the later month born player is not selected.
Burlington Basketball realizes this fact and once again our programs are tailored with options that ensures your child is placed in a program that best suits their development needs.
NOTE: If you are born Sept 8 or later you have one great opportunity in sport. Age for School Sports is determined by the school year. Since most school years start Sept 8 or later, those children born Sept 8 or later can and should compete against children their own age based on school year. What is even better is if the child enters high school this advantage continues to exist. Some players can choose to play 3 years of Junior or 4 years of Senior depending on when they enter high school.
Never heard this before? Either did we until our children missed these opportunities.