My PhD journey in Loughborough University has started and soon I am doing my first 6 months review.
What have been the key learnings so far?
Football (Soccer) have a lot more relevant research compared to any other sport.
Age-related conceptions could be easily upgraded and tuned to a Maturity-related with some changes. Bio-banding is one of them.
Technical application, S&C programmes, Injuries prevention programmes could be easily adapted as well.
By definition Bio-Banding is grouping individuals based on their Maturity Status rather than their chronological age (Cumming at al, 2017). At this moment, I am working on some bio-banding calculators and their adjustment for badminton.
Some very interesting key findings about bio-banding soccer tournament bring key learnings. It is possible to create an environment where everyone (late and early developers) could be placed in a team where they could be challenged in a safe way where the risks of injuries could be limited significantly. Check out the experience of AFC Bournemouth's academy with Bio-banding.
The early developers wouldn't be able to simply win because of their physical advantage and the late developers would be able to use their technical and tactical sides way better. The early developers also would need to find better technical and tactical solutions to the game as well (Bradley et al, 2019).
I can't wait to go to a bit normality so we can organise the first Bio-banding tournament in Badminton as well. I could anticipate that the results would be stunning.
Understanding of how to properly use Bio-Banding on a daily basis is a key. The Bio-banding calculators and added software could change the way we read the rest of the individual's data and help all coaches to adapt the already planned programmes to fit the different "bands" of athletes. In just a few weeks, I have created a "Maturity Status" adaptable plan which automatically changes based on the calculated bio-banding and the athlete's Maturity Status.
Next step is to apply this in practical environment and get the results. Looking for trial testing in the UK, Denmark, Germany and France.
Bradley. B, Johnson. D, Hill. M, Darragh. M, Kana-ah. A, Sharpin. C, Sharp. P, Kelly. A, Cumming. S, Mailina. R (2019) "Bio-banding in academy football: player’s perceptions of a maturity matched tournament", Annals of Human Biology, 46(2), pp. 400-408.
Cumming. S, Lloyd. S, Oliver. L, Eisenmann. L, Malina. R (2017) Bio-Banding in Sport: application to competition, talent identification and strength and conditioning of youth athletes. Strength and Conditioning Journal, 39(2), pp. 34-47.
Special credit to the "Athlete's Development Project" for the image on Bio-banding used in the banner.