In this episode of the Coaching Youth Football podcast, we talk to Richard King from the Late Birthday Project about the Relative Age Effect, and why coaches need to be aware of it when coaching youth football players.
The Relative Age Effect can be explained like this:
In this scenario, imagine today’s date is August 30th, 2019, and two players are looking for a team for next season.
The first player, Jonny, is signed to play for a U7 team.
The second player, Freddie, is selected to play in the same U7 team as Jonny.
The boys are in the same school year.
Today, Jonny is 6 years old, and his birthday is Sept 1st. So because he is 6 at the qualifying date (31 Aug) he is eligible to play for the U7’s.
Today, Freddy is also 6 years old, so he also qualifies to play for the U7’s. However, Freddie has only just turned 6, because his birthday is August 1st, so he won’t turn 7 until August 2020.
While both players are 6 on the qualification date and qualify for the U7 as a result, in real terms Jonny is nearly a whole year older than Freddie because he turns 7 a day after the qualification date.
This is called the Relative Age Affect, an in this podcast we discuss why coaches and scouts should be aware, and what they can do to guard against having a bias towards older, more developed players in each young age group.
At the end of the podcast, Richard asks a question back to you, the coach or parent of grassroots players, that I hope we will be able to discuss via our Facebook and Twitter pages.
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Where you can listen:
Radio Public – https://radiopublic.com/coaching-youth-football-6vryjj
Pocket Casts – https://pca.st/Hl33
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