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Talent in female gymnastics: a survival analysis based upon performance characteristics

Johan Pion (UGent) , Matthieu Lenoir (UGent) , Barbara Vandorpe (UGent) and Veerle Segers (UGent)
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Abstract
This study investigated the link between the anthropometric, physical and motor characteristics assessed during talent identification and dropout in young female gymnasts. 3 cohorts of female gymnasts (n=243; 6-9 years) completed a test battery for talent identification. Performance-levels were monitored over 5 years of competition. Kaplan-Meier and Cox Proportional Hazards analyses were conducted to determine the survival rate and the characteristics that influence dropout respectively. Kaplan-Meier analysis indicated that only 18% of the female gymnasts that passed the baseline talent identification test survived at the highest competition level 5 years later. The Cox Proportional Hazards Model indicated that gymnasts with a score in the best quartile for a specific characteristic significantly increased chances of survival by 45-129%. These characteristics being: basic motor skills (129%), shoulder strength (96%), leg strength (53%) and 3 gross motor coordination items (45-73%). These results suggest that tests batteries commonly used for talent identification in young female gymnasts may also provide valuable insights into future dropout. Therefore, multidimensional test batteries deserve a prominent place in the selection process. The individual test results should encourage trainers to invest in an early development of basic physical and motor characteristics to prevent attrition.
Keywords
IDENTIFICATION, EXPERTISE, participation, SPORT, motor coordination tests, physical tests, anthropometry, talent identification, dropout

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Chicago
Pion, Johan, Matthieu Lenoir, Barbara Vandorpe, and Veerle Segers. 2015. “Talent in Female Gymnastics: a Survival Analysis Based Upon Performance Characteristics.” International Journal of Sports Medicine 36 (11): 935–940.
APA
Pion, J., Lenoir, M., Vandorpe, B., & Segers, V. (2015). Talent in female gymnastics: a survival analysis based upon performance characteristics. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF SPORTS MEDICINE, 36(11), 935–940.
Vancouver
1.
Pion J, Lenoir M, Vandorpe B, Segers V. Talent in female gymnastics: a survival analysis based upon performance characteristics. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF SPORTS MEDICINE. 2015;36(11):935–40.
MLA
Pion, Johan, Matthieu Lenoir, Barbara Vandorpe, et al. “Talent in Female Gymnastics: a Survival Analysis Based Upon Performance Characteristics.” INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF SPORTS MEDICINE 36.11 (2015): 935–940. Print.
@article{7094133,
  abstract     = {This study investigated the link between the anthropometric, physical and motor characteristics assessed during talent identification and dropout in young female gymnasts. 3 cohorts of female gymnasts (n=243; 6-9 years) completed a test battery for talent identification. Performance-levels were monitored over 5 years of competition. Kaplan-Meier and Cox Proportional Hazards analyses were conducted to determine the survival rate and the characteristics that influence dropout respectively. Kaplan-Meier analysis indicated that only 18\% of the female gymnasts that passed the baseline talent identification test survived at the highest competition level 5 years later. The Cox Proportional Hazards Model indicated that gymnasts with a score in the best quartile for a specific characteristic significantly increased chances of survival by 45-129\%. These characteristics being: basic motor skills (129\%), shoulder strength (96\%), leg strength (53\%) and 3 gross motor coordination items (45-73\%). These results suggest that tests batteries commonly used for talent identification in young female gymnasts may also provide valuable insights into future dropout. Therefore, multidimensional test batteries deserve a prominent place in the selection process. The individual test results should encourage trainers to invest in an early development of basic physical and motor characteristics to prevent attrition.},
  author       = {Pion, Johan and Lenoir, Matthieu and Vandorpe, Barbara and Segers, Veerle},
  issn         = {0172-4622},
  journal      = {INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF SPORTS MEDICINE},
  keyword      = {IDENTIFICATION,EXPERTISE,participation,SPORT,motor coordination tests,physical tests,anthropometry,talent identification,dropout},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {11},
  pages        = {935--940},
  title        = {Talent in female gymnastics: a survival analysis based upon performance characteristics},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/s-0035-1548887},
  volume       = {36},
  year         = {2015},
}

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