A month ago one of my long-time clients Anfernee Simmons was drafted in the first round of the NBA draft. It was an unbelievable moment for him, his family, his friends and of course myself.
After he was drafted, his mother spoke and named a few people who had helped him a long way. When she mentioned my name, she thanked me for helping them to be patient in the development of his body and athleticism.
Anfernee was a late bloomer physically. And his dad and I would have conversations all the time about the speed of his development. I had to assure him to stick to the plan and that all those things Anfernee was blessed with, his work ethic, and his developmental plan would one day come to.
I like to reference the article my friend Mike Boyle wrote on strengthcoach.com , "Training is Like Farming."
Coach Boyle wrote, "The process of beginning an exercise program is much like farming or like planting a lawn. There are no immediate results from exercise and there are no immediate results from farming. First, the seeds must be planted. Then fertilizer (nutrition) and water must be applied consistently. Much like fertilizer in farming, too much food can be a detriment to the exerciser. Only the correct amounts cause proper growth. Overfeeding can cause problems, as can underfeeding.
I've always looked at the development of my athletes this way. Like a farmer, or 13-year old kid with big dreams, who wants their crops to grow and bloom, there must be patience in the process.
The development of an athlete spans their entire athletic life. And every child and athlete develops at their own pace. The long-term plan behind their training must reflect this growth to help them maximize their physical potential.