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The consistency of performance among age group swimmers over 8 consecutive years

  • Ilka StaubEmail author
  • Christoph Zinner
  • Robert Keig Stallman
  • Tobias Vogt
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Abstract

Little is known about the evolution of career pathways among young athletes. This study aims primarily to explore how consistent career pathways develop among age group swimmers. Each of three sub-cohorts of German 11-year-olds ranked top 100 from 2004 to 2006 were followed, as measured by their best Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA) point score, for 8 years up to the age of 18 years of age. Careers were reckoned as consistent when athletes still appeared in the top 100 at 18. The degree of consistency of performance was measured by the number of years which those who started in the top 100, remained in the top 100. Correlational analysis examined the relationships between success at 11 and the consistency profile over 8 years. These results showed weak consistency of performance among age group swimmers. Only 33% of those ranked among the top 100 at 11 years were also ranked in the top 100 at 18, and only 23% were consistently ranked. The best performance in a certain event, stroke or distance category showed no significant correlation or a low level of correlation with consistency. The results confirm that we still know too little about the consequences of talent identification, talent development and long-term athlete development programmes.

Keywords

Careers Children Long-term athlete development Performance Talent Youth 

Kontinuität der Leistung bei Nachwuchsschwimmern über einen Zeitraum von 8 Jahren

Zusammenfassung

Es ist bislang nur wenig darüber bekannt, wie sich Karrieren im Nachwuchsleistungssport entwickeln. Diese Studie beschäftigt sich schwerpunktmäßig mit der Kontinuität im Nachwuchsleistungsschwimmen. Drei Kohorten von Athletinnen und Athleten, die mit 11 Jahren (zwischen 2004 und 2006) in den Jahrgangsbestenlisten des Deutschen Schwimmverbands vertreten waren, wurden in ihrem weiteren Karriereverlauf über 8 Jahre bis zu einem Alter von 18 Jahren verfolgt. Karrieren wurden als kontinuierlich gewertet, wenn Athletinnen und Athleten auch mit 18 Jahren noch in den Jahrgangsbestenlisten vertreten waren. Der Grad der Kontinuität wurde an der Summe der Jahre gemessen, die sie zwischen 11 und 18 Jahren in den Listen platziert waren. In der statistischen Analyse wurde der Zusammenhang zwischen der Leistung mit 11 Jahren (gemessen in Fédération Internationale de Natation[FINA]-Punkten) und dem Kontinuitätsprofil getestet. Die Ergebnisse zeigen, dass Karrieren im Nachwuchsleistungsschwimmen wenig kontinuierlich sind. Nur 33 % der platzierten 11-Jährigen waren noch mit 18 Jahren in den Jahrgangsbestenlisten vertreten und nur 23 % waren dabei in jedem einzelnen Jahr unter den Top 100 ihres Jahrgangs platziert. Die höchsten erzielten FINA-Punkte waren kein signifikanter Prädiktor für die Kontinuität der Athletinnen und Athleten, weder auf einer der 13 betrachteten Wettkampfstrecken noch in einer bestimmten Lage oder Distanz. Die Ergebnisse zeigen, dass immer noch wenig über die Konsequenzen der Talentidentifikation, Talententwicklung und Gestaltung eines nachhaltigen Leistungsaufbaus bekannt ist.

Schlüsselwörter

Sportkarrieren Kinder Langfristiger Leistungsaufbau bei Sportlern Leistung Talent Jugendliche 

Notes

Compliance with ethical guidelines

Conflict of interest

I. Staub, C. Zinner, R.K. Stallmann and T. Vogt declare that they have no competing interests.

For this article no studies with human participants or animals were performed by any of the authors. All studies performed were in accordance with the ethical standards indicated in each case.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Deutschland, ein Teil von Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Professional Sport Education and Sport QualificationsGerman Sport University CologneCologneGermany
  2. 2.Department of Sport, Hesse State University of Applied Sciences for Police and Public AdministrationWiesbadenGermany
  3. 3.Norwegian School of Sport Science (emer)OsloNorway
  4. 4.Faculty of Sport SciencesWaseda UniversityTokyoJapan

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