It is becoming common now to see a lot of sports men and women coming on to the scene at a younger age with examples of this being Luke Matheson who made his English Football League Trophy debut for Rochdale AFC at the age of 15 years and 336 days in 4th September 2018.
He then went on to be a regular in the Rochdale first team and went on to score in the FA Cup In September 2019 against Manchester United at Old Trafford which made other clubs stand up and take note of this young prospect, then in January 2020, he completed a transfer to premier league side Wolverhampton Wanderers for a fee believed to be around £1 million.
So how is it that some athletes grace the stage sooner than others?
This comes down to their biological and technical age.
In most sports, there are age brackets so you can have an under 16’s category which athletes are put into by their chronological age (how long they have lived) but they may well be performing at a much higher level than their peers.
This is down to their biological and technical age so lets have a look at what these mean in greater detail;
Biological age; this is the biological status or maturity of the athlete dependant on if they are;
*Pre adolescent – pre puberty.
*Adolescent – physical, social and psychological differences may be present.
*Adult – tends to be classed as fully developed physically, socially and psychologically.
Technical age: This relates to the ability of the athlete in a strength or sports specific capacity.
Bio banding is a process where by athletes are put together based on their growth and maturation as opposed to their chronological age which can be identified in football by an under 23’s section or a development squad in sports such as Taekwondo where you could have 15, 16 and 17 year old sports men and women together.