People grow and develop through different stages in their lifetime. The physical and emotional changes that occur as people mature affect all aspects of life, including sport.

It is important for coaches, particularly of young children, to understand the different phases of development and how they can affect sports performance. Coaches need to consider not only the players' physical needs but also their social, emotional and cognitive needs.

By adapting plans and activities to suit the needs of players in terms of growth and development, the coach can help the players to progress through sport in the way that best suits them.