Secret to success in sports

Soccer - Army Youth Sports and Fitness - CYSS - Camp Humphreys, South Korea - 111001

Recently I finished reading another great book from Malcom Gladwell: Outliners. The book is talking about how our understanding about success might be wrong or too simplified. I will not ruin your pleasure of reading the book, but I will show you one example. From my personal curiosity I went to check the example from sport. Please take a look at the following list of Slovenia national soccer team and see if you spot something interesting:

# Pos Player Birth date Caps Goals Club
1 GK Samir Handanović 14 July 1984 (age 30) 74 0 Italy Internazionale
12 GK Vid Belec 6 June 1990 (age 24) 1 0 Turkey Konyaspor
16 GK Jan Oblak 7 January 1993 (age 21) 3 0 Spain Atlético Madrid
2 DF Mišo Brečko 1 May 1984 (age 30) 72 0 Germany 1. FC Köln
5 DF Boštjan Cesar (Captain) 9 July 1982 (age 32) 81 6 Italy Chievo
6 DF Branko Ilić 6 February 1983 (age 31) 57 0 Serbia Partizan
13 DF Siniša Anđelković 13 February 1986 (age 28) 3 0 Italy Palermo
15 DF Andraž Struna 23 April 1989 (age 25) 16 0 Greece PAS Giannina
19 DF Dominic Maroh 4 March 1987 (age 27) 5 0 Germany 1. FC Köln
21 DF Martin Milec 20 September 1991 (age 23) 3 0 Belgium Standard Liège
23 DF Miral Samardžić 17 February 1987 (age 27) 3 0 Croatia Rijeka
3 MF Željko Filipović 3 October 1988 (age 26) 3 0 Slovenia Maribor
4 MF Dalibor Stevanović 27 September 1984 (age 30) 21 1 Russia Torpedo Moscow
7 MF Nejc Pečnik 3 January 1986 (age 28) 26 4 Serbia Red Star Belgrade
8 MF Jasmin Kurtić 10 January 1989 (age 25) 22 1 Italy Fiorentina
10 MF Valter Birsa 7 August 1986 (age 28) 70 5 Italy Chievo
14 MF Dejan Lazarević 15 February 1990 (age 24) 12 0 Italy Chievo
17 MF Andraž Kirm 6 September 1984 (age 30) 65 6 Cyprus Omonia
18 MF Rajko Rotman 19 March 1989 (age 25) 4 0 Turkey İstanbul Başakşehir
20 MF Kevin Kampl 9 October 1990 (age 24) 14 1 Austria Red Bull Salzburg
22 MF Aleš Mertelj 22 March 1987 (age 27) 14 0 Slovenia Maribor
9 FW Zlatan Ljubijankić 15 December 1983 (age 30) 44 6 Japan Omiya Ardija
11 FW Milivoje Novaković 18 May 1979 (age 35) 67 28 Japan Shimizu S-Pulse

Let me help you, look at the birth days, months specifically. You will find that 10 out of 23 players are born either in January, February or March. We can find this phenomenal in almost all sports. The selection of who is going to be in the A-team in your primary school was done by comparing the kids of the same year of birth. Those born in beginning of the year had almost one year of advantage to those born in December when it comes to body development. Now when this kids get into A-teams they get better training and this gives them even more opportunities to develop.

So this explains why I was fairly good in basketball in primary school and really sucked in high school – I was not among the tallest in my class anymore. This is also a good tip if you want your kids to be good in sports (or in life), just make those nights from April to June a bit more fruitful.