“Bio-banding is the process of grouping athletes based on attributes associated with growth and maturation, rather than chronological age (e.g. under-15s)” . Advocates of bio-banding state that restricting the differences associated with maturity variance (e.g. size, strength, and skill) will result in greater equality in training and competition, and could potentially help reduce the risk of injury among young athletes .
Children of the same chronological age vary considerably in biological maturation, where we can see that some individuals reach maturity before or after their counterparts. Because the timing of individual maturation can have great implications for training, competition, and talent identification, it is important to develop an effective method of assessing young athletes in which they are not subject to a maturity bias .
The force-vector theory has been popularised by Bret Contreras and may have stemmed from Verkhoshanky’s proposals of dynamic correspondence. The force-vector theory allows coaches to identify training exercises (e.g. back squat) which may have greater specificity to the competition movements (e.g. sprinting). Research has observed greater improvements in both horizontal and vertical sporting movements after performing training exercises in the same direction.
The squat jump (SJ) is a simple, practical, valid, and very reliable measure of lower-body power. As a consequence, it is no surprise that this has become a cornerstone test for many strength and conditioning coaches and sports scientists. The CMJ has been shown to be the most reliable measure of lower-body power compared to other jump tests. Furthermore, the CMJ has been shown to have relationships with sprint performances, 1RM maximal strength, and explosive-strength tests. This suggests that performances in the CMJ are linked with maximal speed, maximal strength, and explosive strength.
Relative Age Effect
The common practice of placing children into age groups for sport may acutely benefit those who are more developed physically, emotionally, and cognitively . However, those who are born in the later stages of the year appear to experience an unintentional bias in their long-term sporting success . In accordance to this, it is important that coaches are aware of a ‘Relative Age Effect’, where being born at a certain time of the year holds a distinct advantage in sport and academic success. In other words, those born later in the year appear to be at a disadvantage because they are typically physically, emotionally and cognitively less developed than other children.