The Characteristics of the Adolescent

The morphological and functional aspect

The musculature is weak at this period of adolescence which often gives a rather vaulted stature, it is difficult to hold itself correctly. It then presents a favorable terrain for vertebral deformations. If this phase is the age of morphological disgrace, a certain organic fragility sets in, often accompanied by an apathy that should be respected.

Motor development

The pace remains left and there is even the reappearance of parasitic movements and small signs of incoordination.

Strength comes with age in boys and girls (acceleration is observed during puberty) in connection with the increased production of sex hormones which occurs during this period.

Puberty constitutes a critical stage with regard to the development of muscle power and the inherent anaerobic alactic process. However, care must be taken in bodybuilding programs because the skeleton is still fragile.

Cognitive development

In terms of cognitive and bio informational resources, there is an optimal development which is close to the characteristics of adults. At the perceptual level, attention is selective: the adolescent is then able to identify relevant clues to program his action.

Emotional development

Puberty is a complex period. During the pre-pubescent growth crisis, the body pattern, which had stabilized in late childhood, changed once again. The possibilities of self-control on an emotional level are made very little operational and it is these emotions that will dictate a certain motor instability (agitation, impulsivity, or apathy).

The adolescent is above all a worried person who finds it difficult to manage all the deep organic transformations. His morphology, body image, and sensitivity are altered, resulting in bipolar reactions: aggression/inhibition, enthusiasm/depression…

We also note the development of his critical mind with hostility to conformism and traditional values, as well as a distancing from family values. It is a period of negativism and obstruction with often a leak in the imaginary and the virtual. Its need to assert itself either takes individual forms or collective forms that the sporting practice can completely satisfy.

It is also the age of the search for friends, confidants, small groups, political opinions, spiritual and religious crises and it is also the period when one can move towards a job.

The ideals become clearer as it cuts through the chains of childhood, the adolescent expresses himself through reactions of opposition.

Child and adolescent pedagogy

We can identify some educational tips:

  • On a physical level: ensuring and explaining safety, starting slowly, controlling the effort, showing the results.
  • On a cognitive level: using concrete, oral, visual, and demonstrative explanations, skillfully juggling language infantilization and sometimes more adult vocabulary, favoring the playful aspect in young and old alike but in doses adapted in educational situations.
  • On an emotional level: no physical contact (legal and emotional), be wary of the ambiguous use of certain words or the symbolic meaning of certain situations especially for adolescents, be vigilant as to the concept of “model”.

The young public is looking for itself. Above all, you have to be able to interest and retain them in practice. Intervention with young people must be based on the playful aspect of the game, having fun while working must be the credo of the educator (especially with the youngest). They must also be empowered by giving them roles to play within the group or for the group. The coach must be able to provide a maximum of information related to the practice because it is on these ages that assimilation is most important. Ideally, the educator’s intervention should be as individualized as possible because it is an audience that cannot collectively go at the same speed of learning.

Finally, it is rather appropriate, in his quest for autonomy, to teach him to know his limits and to master his body so that he can have a positive attitude in his learning.

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