THE ROAD THROUGH PUBERTY
The onset of puberty also has consequences for training. In this age group in particular, young people with different levels of development meet. While some are still showing very childlike behavior, others are already in the middle of puberty. Accordingly, each player must be considered and treated individually. This is a challenge for the trainer, who has to “reconcile” all players in the course of his/her training without neglecting individuals.
Understand the emotions of young people
Growth spurts bother some players and fundamentally mess up their coordinative systems. Changed length ratios pose new challenges for motor skills and often interfere with sporting activities. This is a further source of uncertainty for adolescents who are not emotionally stable in this phase anyway. What seemed simple before now seems complicated again – this can lead to frustration. It is all the more relevant that the trainer is able to classify the emotional states of the young people and to allow them to make mistakes.
A prerequisite for individually designed training is to always try to focus on the development of the individual player. In the training, particularly coordinative and motor skills should be used continuously in order to strengthen the adolescents’ body awareness again. Above all, simple technical tasks create a sense of achievement, but they quickly become monotonous in the eyes of the young people. Responsible for this are the mental capacities, which also develop very quickly in this phase and are always hungry for new “input”, especially now.
The trainer must therefore recognize very sensitively when it is time for a change. Game forms can help to convey playful action and keep the motivation of the players high. The technical subtleties will continue to be trained in a “hidden” way. The trainer can further promote this through the targeted use of provocation rules in the game forms.
But what do you train when? As a rule of thumb, technically and coordinatively oriented exercises belong in every warm-up part, while technically and tactically oriented forms of play should characterize the main parts of the training. If the concentration span of the young people decreases at the end of the training, they should finally be able to measure each other in free games and competitions. In this way, there is never a shortage of fun during training.
Sharpen your own profile – and still remain individual!
Puberty is a phase in which young people begin to develop their own personalities and mature into independent adults. Rebellious behavior is a typical feature in this phase of life. In order to find access to the young people, the trainer should consider that every pubescent goes through this phase very individually.
Whether communicative, motivational or critical – the trainer should carefully consider and decide on which level he/she meets his/her protégés. However, understanding you in this complex phase of life is essential in any case! You should always be aware of this, because good communication between coach and player is the be-all and end-all when it comes to getting the youngsters involved in training in the best possible way.