Is Junior Success a Good Predictor of Senior Success? A Case Study of Combat Sports: 8th Conference for Youth Sport

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paper

Abstract


Introduction
Most countries attempt to develop systematic structures to identify sport talents and to promote the international success in certain sports. Despite the uncertainty of the relationship between junior and senior performances, national sport organizations still tend to use junior performance as a predictor for later success. The aim of this study is to explore to what extent junior success is a reliable criterion to predict senior success.

Methods
In this study we analyze athletes’ performances in three combat sports: wrestling (n=3452), taekwondo (n=2789), boxing (n=2568). Data contain the results from junior (World and European championships) and senior competitions (European and World championships, Olympic Games) from 2006 to 2016. First, descriptive analysis was conducted to provide the percentage of junior participants who finally won medals in senior competitions. Second, discriminant analysis and artificial neural network were conducted to predict the possibility of winning senior medals based on junior performances.
Results
Descriptive analysis revealed that 3.7% (boxing), 22.26% (taekwondo), and 21.8% (wrestling) of all the junior participants that had won senior medals. Moreover, the discriminant analysis showed that only 5% in boxing, 4% in taekwondo, and 27.4% in wrestling could be predicted to win senior medals based on their junior performances. However, artificial neural network (i.e. multilayer perception) showed that 0-5% in boxing, 0 - 24% in taekwondo, 39.6 - 48.1% in wrestling could be predicted to win senior medals based on junior performance.
Conclusion
Predicting senior medals only by using junior results is difficult. The discriminant analysis provides an accurate prediction for 90% of the athletes. It shows that it is easier to predict the number of athletes that will not win a medal than those who will win a medal. Secondly, there are differences among the three combat sports, in which wrestling shows greater chance to win senior medals if they won junior medals.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication8th Conference for Youth Sport,
Subtitle of host publicationLjubljana, 9-10 December 2016
EditorsMojca Doupona Topič
Place of PublicationLjubljana, Slovenia
PublisherUniversity of Ljubljana, Faculty of Sport
Chapter13
Pages70-70
Number of pages1
ISBN (Print)978-961-6843-70-6
Publication statusPublished - 9 Dec 2016
Event8th Conference for Youth Sport - liublyana, Slovenia
Duration: 9 Dec 201610 Dec 2016

Conference

Conference8th Conference for Youth Sport
Country/TerritorySlovenia
Cityliublyana
Period9/12/1610/12/16

Keywords

  • combat sports
  • elite success
  • Prediction
  • junior performance

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