THE RELATIVE AGE EFFECT IN SPORT
Written by Karim Tayara
The attainment of sports expertise has been of great interest to coaches and sport psychologists. Talented athletes are identified from a young age and enter programmes to help them develop into elite athletes. A range of factors may influence a coach’s judgement on the potential of an athlete, whether it’s physical, technical or mental qualities. An exhaustive amount of research has identified that the month that an athlete is born in may have a positive or negative effect on his development to sporting expertise. This phenomenon has been described as the relative age effect. This article will critically appraise the research on the relative age effect and outline its implications and strategies to prevent it from occurring.