Skip to main content
Article
Pathway efficiency and relative age in the Australian Football League talent pathway
Talent Development and Excellence
  • Ashley Cripps, University of Notre Dame Australia
  • Luke S Hopper, University of Notre Dame Australia
  • Christopher Joyce, University of Notre Dame Australia
  • James Veale
Year of Publication
2015
Abstract
Sporting bodies invest substantial resources into the identification and development of talented junior athletes. However, low retention of junior athletes into senior competition has been reported. One mechanism affecting retention may be selections biased by relative age. This study examined the pathway involvement and birth distribution of athletes (n=2519) selected into the Australian Football League Talent Pathway, over six seasons. Only half of athletes selected into professional teams had any involvement in the talent pathway. Birth distributions at every pathway stage were biased towards relatively older athletes, with relatively older athletes more likely to be de-selected as the pathway progressed. Results from this study found a relationship between poor efficiency of the development pathway and relative age effects. Prospective analyses are required to establish mechanisms of pathway inefficiencies in order to improve return on investment made into developing the professional athletes of the future.
Keywords
  • athlete retention,
  • talent identification,
  • talent pathways,
  • maturation,
  • relative age effects
Link to Publisher Version (URL)

http://www.iratde.org/journal/issues/119-2015-2

Citation Information
Ashley Cripps, Luke S Hopper, Christopher Joyce and James Veale. "Pathway efficiency and relative age in the Australian Football League talent pathway" Talent Development and Excellence Vol. 7 Iss. 1 (2015) ISSN: 1869-0459
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/chris-joyce/4/