The relative age effect (RAE) refers to a preference for selecting footballers born earlier in the year, often due to enhanced maturational factors (being bigger, faster, stronger physically but also are often more cognitively and emotionally mature) over their teammates born later in the year.
Also players can differ in their growth rates, this is called “peak height velocity”. We look to take into account both the relative age effect and the developmental age in our program, from how often they are training to which teams the player plays in.
Due to the difference between their chronological age and biological age during their time at an academy young footballers can be at an increased risk of injury. We take a number of approaches to minimise injury risk:
- Monitor their load using Smartabase which is reviewed regularly by the coaches
- Proactively reduce load on players who are showing signs of fatigue
- Work with players on their weekly schedule outside of CUFC to minimise overloading
- A proper warmup that includes doing mobility, stability, duel force and agility exercises during the session to ensure the player develops physically
- A proper cooldown including stretching while reflecting on the session
- Working with Fit4Football to educate the players and coaches on injuries and managing your body
- and many more!