“Bio-banding is a relatively new intervention in the field of strength and conditioning, yet there are already some notable issues. Although bio-banding groups players based on “physical” characteristics, it does not account for psychological maturity, which, as we know, can have numerous effects on group cohesion, enjoyment, and thus, participation. Furthermore, two athletes at 95% of their adult height can be completely different in stature, muscle mass, and therefore, performance characteristics, which can alter the dynamics of a game of football.
In terms of physicality, whilst a player may be limited when compared to their peers, an U13 player at 95% of their adult height, and an U15 player at 95% of their adult height, would have had completely different access to the tactical aspects of the game; which would still create a hypothetical proficiency barrier. This leads many to debate the validity of bio-banding as a model; with some arguing that a natural “divide” in ability is required to develop a host of skills such as perseverance, physicality, social skills, and group dynamics.
Access to information can be a great thing, and although social networking, podcasts, and/or blogs are a great way of learning, I think that bio-banding has been misinterpreted in many resources that I’ve read. For example, in my conversations with a Premier League football club, they suggested that a bio-banded tournament be used up to four times a year, with the rest of training being with peers of the same chronological age. I think a lot of people assume that this is a method used year-round, which simply isn’t the case. However, I do agree that more research needs to be conducted to determine if bio-banding is a reliable and effective way at improving performance.”