Effects of Early Talent Promotion on Junior and Senior Performance: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

The focus of this meta-analysis was to investigate the impact of early involvement in talent promotion programs on both junior and senior athletic performance. While these programs aim to accelerate performance development by selecting talented youth at a young age, studies indicate a turnover rate of 25-55% within these programs due to factors like accelerated biological maturation and intensive childhood practice. Some key findings to take away from this study are:

The focus of this meta-analysis was to investigate the impact of early involvement in talent promotion programs on both junior and senior athletic performance. While these programs aim to accelerate performance development by selecting talented youth at a young age, studies indicate a turnover rate of 25-55% within these programs due to factors like accelerated biological maturation and intensive childhood practice.

Some key findings to take away from this study are:

Early Start, Junior Success: Starting talent programs young seems linked to immediate junior success. High-performing young athletes often begin these programs early, but…

Senior Success Differs: Contrarily, successful senior athletes tend to start later in these programs, suggesting early success doesn’t guarantee long-term achievement.

Robust Analysis: The study analyzed data from 6233 athletes across various sports, highlighting consistent trends across different talent programs and performance levels.

Opposite Patterns: What works for short-term junior success might not be beneficial for long-term senior performance, prompting discussions about the impact and design of talent programs.

Caution in Early Selection: While early involvement might accelerate short-term progress, it could potentially hinder an athlete’s long-term development, meaning we should carefully consider how we designed talent programs.