Prior to my arrival, if you watched the Novice Teams (8 – 11 years old) go through their conditioning regime and then you watched the Senior Team (16 – 18) right after, you’d have trouble distinguishing the difference.
What a young organism needs to experience in the way of physical stimulus can largely be deduced by chronological age. Certainly biological age (relative body maturation), emotional age (psychological maturation) and even personality (temperament) can all be factored into the equation, but I have found in my 13 year career that chronological age determents can be successfully applied in 90% of the cases – the remaining 10% can be accounted for through proper coaching and identification.
Having said all that, the following is a brief rundown of the physical needs of ‘kids’ based on chronological age:
I often refer to this as "Ignorant Child Abuse". Most parents and Coaches like this don’t truly understand the complexity of what they’re doing wrong. I don’t mean to excuse them or vilify them at all, but it’s a lack of understanding regarding neurological, mental and emotional development that has gotten us to where we are in youth sports.
From an "X’s & O’s" perspective, the teaching this golf pro is trying to do is both a moot point and entirely destructive from a future developmental perspective. At Matthew’s age, the key ingredient in athletic development is free play. Experience by doing. Learning via attempting.
This trial and error process of experimental movement is critical in creating what I call "Athletic Intelligence." Not unlike school, when we over-quantify what it is we want kids to do, we don’t allow their CNS to establish a frame of reference regarding understanding the pathology of why something works the way it does. That’s why elementary school is informal from a strict studying perspective. Teachers provide lessons and framework, but then allow students to experiment with finding results. That process is imperative in building a level of cognitive functioning that allows for future, more complex areas of study to be understood.