Child development and sport

You have applied for the post of the physical education officer you have received an invitation to attend an interview. The interview requires you to compile a report on Sport and children. Task one – identify, compare and critically analyse areas of child development across a range of different age groups, for example 0-5, 5-10, and adolescent 10-14 . In the early years of life Children grow at a very fast rate, at birth a baby is around a quarter of its full adult height.

Another measurement on which we can compare is that a babies head accounts for a quarter of its height, while an adults head only counts for one sixth of there over all height. The fastest growth of a child takes place in early childhood up the age of around six or seven, then in throughout puberty there is second period of growth until the child reaches their full height. I will now split up a child’s development by breaking it down into three separate parts 0-5, 5-10, and 10-14 years old.

0 -5 years old At this age children won’t understand concepts such as practice, they will only start to identify with this upon reaching early adolescence. Young children learn through play, by using bats, balls and toys they will develop skills that they will use for the rest of there lives. At this age it is important that the sport played is purely for fun, enjoyment must come before winning.

Small children only usually have very limited skills because a persons nerve and muscular systems only reach full maturity in early adulthood, also activities such weight lifting are absolutely out of the question and should not be attempted until bone development is complete, this happens around the age of 17. With this in mind it is important to know how much a child can take, children do not cope with exercise as well as adults but usually have quite high energy levels, this makes them less aware of there physical limits. It is therefore important not to let them exhaust themselves.

In the early years of development there isn’t much difference between Girls and Boys, real differences between things like muscle bulk only clearly become apparent at puberty. At this age children should begin to realise the consequences of their actions, however it is common for children to find it hard to separate ability and effort. Children tend to weigh the productivity of an activity on the amount of hard work they put in, it is difficult to coach these children as it may not be wise to encourage them to try harder to do something.

Even more so if they have some natural ability in the sport or activity. So it is important to let a child explore their limits while not pushing them beyond their natural abilities. Patience is also an important factor with children, new tasks and game must be approached step by step allowing the children to learn and develop in there own time. At this age children will start to copy trends of people around them, this can be a good thing or a bad thing to happen depending on the role model involved.

In the example of golf if a role model is angry on the course and throws his clubs around it is likely to encourage an impressionable youth to do the same. Sport at this age must remain enjoyable with empathises on fun, the children themselves will want to start competing against others to prove themselves, but it is important that winning doesn’t become the soul purpose of playing sport. At this age children are beginning to rate them selves as well as accepting the judgement of people around.

Children of this age also begin to understand better the importance of ability, but will still try harder to overcome a lack of it. Children at this age will also find their shortcomings hard to accept to combat this a coach must have understanding and support if they are to continue to play sport. Also children of this age will start to understand the importance of practising their skills to improve, so some forms of training can be accomplished.

At this age children start to go through stages of puberty, and clear definitions between the sexes will become apparent. Boys especially will become stronger than females although this progression can happen at different stages, for example muscle growth will vary in all children as will general growth which happen in stages, or growth spurts. Some adolescents are often quite independent, they need to be given time and space to work out their own reactions to sport. If pressured by a coach or teacher, adolescents are likely to react with anger and rejection.

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