We’ve all seen the “early bloomers” in youth sports. Those kids who just seem more physically gifted at an young age allowing them to dominate their leagues. They fill up the rosters of the best teams and can discourage other players from sticking with their sport until their development takes off. Now, new research from Indiana University shows that it can be worth the wait and investment to stay focused with good coaching and perseverance.
In his book “Outliers”, author Malcolm Gladwell pointed out a little known anomaly in youth sports that is known as the “Relative-Age Effect.” He reviewed the research of Canadian psychologist Roger Barnsley, who found that a disproportionate percentage of elite hockey players had birthdays in the first quarter of each year. Indeed, 32% of the NHL players studied had birthdays from January to March, while 16% were born between October and December. Gladwell included studies from other sports, including baseball, football and soccer with the same uneven pattern.Read More