Youth Academy Growth Spurt Periodisation

This course was originally recorded as a webinar.


Between 1997 and 2009 the Growth Spurt Study took place in the famous Dutch youth academy system. All 36 professional youth academies participated resulting in a database of more than 10 thousand youth players. For 12 years, every month, the players’ body length and weight was measured. Also, all injuries were recorded, including the nature, cause and seriousness, and the number of training sessions and matches that were missed as a result.

During this course, Raymond Verheijen will present a number of shocking findings based on the Growth Spurt Study which caused an ethical discussion in Dutch football.

  • A huge ‘month of birth bias’ with most players being born early in the calendar year and correspondingly only a few players born late in the calendar year.
  • Because of the ‘month of birth bias’ many talented youth players are overlooked by scouts.
  • The ‘month of birth bias’ results in overtraining of younger players within age category.
  • The overtraining of younger players results in irregular growth patterns and injuries.
  • Younger players within an age group become smaller people as they lose 6-10 centimeters during the period from Under 13 to Under 19.

Based on the shocking results of the Growth Spurt Study, Raymond Verheijen will present several solutions for coaches to deal with the growth spurt of youth players and how to avoid growth deficiencies and subsequent injuries. Verheijen will demonstrate how the scouting and training of talented youth players can be optimized.

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Course Reviews


3 ratings
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  1. Fantastic


    Great presentation, very informative.

  2. top


    nothing more to say.
    absolutely a must to know about these topics when you work with children and upcoming professionals.

  3. Eyes opening


    I have even think about that growth spurt matter. As my self in December born and always team youngest. Always start team training as a big in the middle, because I was team youngest.

    But the webinar gave me lot of thoughts about how I protect my players growing.
    I allready have 2 players in younger age group and 3 players last 3 month (october-november-december). I coach U-14 team and we train 4 times in a week and 1 game. 1 training session is FCT training. I have lot to think.

    Overall I think many teams are doing things wrong and lot of football talents are wasted which depends relative age effect, mini growth spurt or basically we don’t notice individual players at all and make schedules for them.

  • 70 minutes
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