Athlete selection: Are you really talented or are you specifically selected?

Born at the right time of year

If you think that all the athletes that you see today are there because of pure talent. Then you might have to think again to how they actually got to that position. This doesn’t apply to all sports but it does apply to many. If you are born at the beginning of an annual or academic year you are more likely to do better at school because your brain is more develop. This varies in what country you live in. In a recent Malcolm Gladwell book I have started to read he explains how people make a success of what they choose to do. This includes the relative age effect with athlete selection.

Meaning you will be more developed

Being born at the beginning of a year also means that your body is more developed. For example if two children are born, 1 in February and the other in October but they are both on the same football team. The one born in February is going to be the one who is ore developed and therefor will be more dominant. If he/she keeps up this sort of performance that is better than all the younger children. When athlete selection come along they will be the child that is picked.

Meaning you will be given better coaching

If the older child is picked over the younger child then they will go onto a academy or sports team. That have the relevant coaching to improve them even more. Leaving the younger less able child at the time behind and the older child will be able to excel. Parents have thought about keeping there child back a year before they start school. So that they get a better chance at learning and developing at the right pace without being left behind. Its the same in sports.

Meaning you will have a better chance at the big time

So just because you are a little bit older than your counterparts means that you are more likely to be the athlete for selection. In the Gladwell book it has a part about the Canadian hockey players that play in a major junior A-league . More than 80% of player where born in the months of the beginning of the year. This sort of athlete selection is peculiar but happens the whole world over, especially at a young age.

Last Note:

Personal training and strength and Conditioning in Windsor, I works with young kids that want to get better at sports so that they can be better than everyone else on there team. It does show if you are the older child in your year that you will want to get even better because you have an incentive.This doesn’t mean that the younger children don’t do this to. They just have to work a little harder to succeed. Or there parents want to keep them down a year. Which doesn’t do good for there self esteem but does with there performance and academics.