Identifying early maturers and late maturers


One way of trying to identify the kids who are going to be early maturers and late maturers is just by eyeballing them. In childhood, early maturers tend to be taller, heavier, and have more muscle mass than their peers. Alternately, late maturers are generally shorter and very light and Lean in child¬hood. Often, however, the late maturers end up being taller as adults because they are in the childhood growth phase longer.

Another way to identify early maturers and late maturers is to track the athlete's growth. We know that, on average, children grow 2.5 inches a year and gain about 5 tbs. a year until they hit their growth spurt. For girls, this growth spurt occurs roughly around age 12 13 and around age 14 15 for boys. If the growth spurt occurs earlier than this average, you have an early maturer, if it occurs later, you have a late maturer. It is important that young athletes have regular physical check-ups to ensure that growth is on track. Excessive weight gain or loss should be addressed by a physician.

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