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The importance of performance in youth competitions as an indicator of future success in cycling

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Abstract
In sports, outperforming your peers at young age does not guarantee a professional sports career as an adult. To gain more insight in how performance in youth cycling competitions can be an indicator for future success, the current study (a) examined differences in success rate between future achievers and future non-achievers, (b) investigated whether the relative age effect affects these career pathways and (c) explored to what extent youth competitive performance can predict success at adult age. The sample consisted of 307 male road cyclists who achieved at least one top 10 result during national and provincial youth competitions (U15, U17, U19). Thirty-two were classified as future achievers because they reached senior elite level; the remaining 275 were classed as future non-achievers. Non-parametric analyses of longitudinal data, Kruskal-Wallis and logistic regressions were applied. These analyses revealed that the future achievers started to outperform the future non-achievers from U17 onwards. While the relatively older cyclists have an advantage over other cyclists in U15, this effect was smaller in U17 and was absent in U19. Finally, the competitive success rate of U15 cyclists could not predict success at adult age. However, for U17 and U19 cyclists each additional top 10 result was associated with 3-5%, and 6% higher chance to reach elite level at adult age, respectively. Overall, these results demonstrate that estimating potential based on competition results is unpredictable in the U15 category, however, may provide a better indication of future success from U17 onwards.
Keywords
Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation, Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, General Medicine, Competition, talent, youth, prediction, performance

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MLA
Mostaert, Mireille, et al. “The Importance of Performance in Youth Competitions as an Indicator of Future Success in Cycling.” EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF SPORT SCIENCE, 2021, doi:10.1080/17461391.2021.1877359.
APA
Mostaert, M., Vansteenkiste, P., Pion, J., Deconinck, F., & Lenoir, M. (2021). The importance of performance in youth competitions as an indicator of future success in cycling. EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF SPORT SCIENCE. https://doi.org/10.1080/17461391.2021.1877359
Chicago author-date
Mostaert, Mireille, Pieter Vansteenkiste, Johan Pion, Frederik Deconinck, and Matthieu Lenoir. 2021. “The Importance of Performance in Youth Competitions as an Indicator of Future Success in Cycling.” EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF SPORT SCIENCE. https://doi.org/10.1080/17461391.2021.1877359.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Mostaert, Mireille, Pieter Vansteenkiste, Johan Pion, Frederik Deconinck, and Matthieu Lenoir. 2021. “The Importance of Performance in Youth Competitions as an Indicator of Future Success in Cycling.” EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF SPORT SCIENCE. doi:10.1080/17461391.2021.1877359.
Vancouver
1.
Mostaert M, Vansteenkiste P, Pion J, Deconinck F, Lenoir M. The importance of performance in youth competitions as an indicator of future success in cycling. EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF SPORT SCIENCE. 2021;
IEEE
[1]
M. Mostaert, P. Vansteenkiste, J. Pion, F. Deconinck, and M. Lenoir, “The importance of performance in youth competitions as an indicator of future success in cycling,” EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF SPORT SCIENCE, 2021.
@article{8697329,
  abstract     = {{In sports, outperforming your peers at young age does not guarantee a professional sports career as an adult. To gain more insight in how performance in youth cycling competitions can be an indicator for future success, the current study (a) examined differences in success rate between future achievers and future non-achievers, (b) investigated whether the relative age effect affects these career pathways and (c) explored to what extent youth competitive performance can predict success at adult age. The sample consisted of 307 male road cyclists who achieved at least one top 10 result during national and provincial youth competitions (U15, U17, U19). Thirty-two were classified as future achievers because they reached senior elite level; the remaining 275 were classed as future non-achievers. Non-parametric analyses of longitudinal data, Kruskal-Wallis and logistic regressions were applied. These analyses revealed that the future achievers started to outperform the future non-achievers from U17 onwards. While the relatively older cyclists have an advantage over other cyclists in U15, this effect was smaller in U17 and was absent in U19. Finally, the competitive success rate of U15 cyclists could not predict success at adult age. However, for U17 and U19 cyclists each additional top 10 result was associated with 3-5%, and 6% higher chance to reach elite level at adult age, respectively. Overall, these results demonstrate that estimating potential based on competition results is unpredictable in the U15 category, however, may provide a better indication of future success from U17 onwards.}},
  author       = {{Mostaert, Mireille and Vansteenkiste, Pieter and Pion, Johan and Deconinck, Frederik and Lenoir, Matthieu}},
  issn         = {{1746-1391}},
  journal      = {{EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF SPORT SCIENCE}},
  keywords     = {{Physical Therapy,Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation,Orthopedics and Sports Medicine,General Medicine,Competition,talent,youth,prediction,performance}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  pages        = {{10}},
  title        = {{The importance of performance in youth competitions as an indicator of future success in cycling}},
  url          = {{http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17461391.2021.1877359}},
  year         = {{2021}},
}

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