Are performances at young age a good predictor of later success? Tennis and judo as a case-study.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingMeeting abstract (Book)

Abstract

An important change in the career of an athlete concerns the transition from junior to senior competition. Many have the potential to become an elite athlete, but only a few attain this high-level and can sustain it. Several factors influence the acquisition of high-level performance (Martindale, Collins & Daubney, 2005). The main objective of the research consists of analysing to what extent the performances at junior level determine later success at senior level. This research also contributes to the development of a youth performance index: to detect the critical moment at which athletes must start to perform during international (youth) competitions and to evaluate the performances of young top athletes during several years with regard to their potential to become a world class athlete. In cooperation with the Flemish judo - and tennis federation, a youth performance index regarding these two sports has been created. Subsequently, the conditions to be part of the research population and the weighting factors for the selected tournaments were determined in advance. In this study 396 judoka's and 3521 tennis players were included. Judo performances at junior level could be considered as an indicator, but these are no guarantee for future success. Judo athletes that don't perform at junior level, still make a chance to become future champions. It can be concluded that performance on tennis tournaments for 14-year-olds is not necessary for later success, because the findings revealed low to very low correlations between performance at youth tournaments and senior ranking. On the one hand the results indicated that talented but (not) yet performing athletes still make a chance to become sporting experts. Good performances at youth tournaments on the other hand, are no guarantee for later success at senior level.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationArnhem, The Netherlands: 6th ICCE Continental Coach Conference
Publication statusPublished - 2010
EventFinds and Results from the Swedish Cyprus Expedition: A Gender Perspective at the Medelhavsmuseet - Stockholm, Sweden
Duration: 21 Sep 200925 Sep 2009

Conference

ConferenceFinds and Results from the Swedish Cyprus Expedition: A Gender Perspective at the Medelhavsmuseet
CountrySweden
CityStockholm
Period21/09/0925/09/09

Keywords

  • talent identification
  • youth tournaments
  • elite sports success

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