Aubrey Sherman, Junior, Allied Health Sciences, Indiana University Kokomo speaks to the camera: “It’s definitely a huge opportunity and I appreciate it. When he first came to me, I was really shocked but at the same time, ya know, this is kind of cool. I was only a junior at the time; I’m still kind of in between but for somebody that’s been dealing in research and wants me to come join their project, that was pretty big.”
Professor Dave Hancock is shown in his office talking to Aubrey via webcam.
Dave Hancock, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Health Sciences, Indiana University Kokomo speaks to the camera from the Cole Fitness Center While video footage shows him coaching the golf team: “My name is David Hancock and I teach in Allied Health Sciences. I also coach both golf teams here on campus. Mainly, my work is in sport science and in particular, sport psychology, talent development, and expertise in sport and I think one of my main research interests is relative age effects which is how your birthdate impacts performance. Right now, I’m working with Aubrey Sherman. She’s a junior in the health sciences program and I spoke with Aubrey in the spring about doing this project because she has ideas of going to graduate school so her task right now is transcribing interviews that I conducted with parents and coaches and athletes that look at relative age effect.”
Footage is shown of someone in golf cleats taking a swing at a ball. Dave talks with a student golfer. Aubrey Sherman walks through campus. Dave and Aubrey work together on a computer. Aubrey works on a laptop.
Dave Hancock, Ph.D. continues speaking to the camera: “In sport, we often set cut off dates where children in the same year will compete against each other and it makes sense. You don’t want a five-year-old competing against an eight-year-old but what happens is you get some athletes in that case who are born earlier in the selection year that are up to 11 months older than those born later in the selection year and of course when you’re five years old, that 11 month difference in age can be a huge physical advantage. Is this effect something that is truly physical like we think it is, that it’s just they’re more mature, they’re better athletes or is it something that coaches are looking at these players and thinking, ‘that player looks bigger, ‘that player looks stronger, I can coach the rest.’ And they’re selecting them when they’re not really the most talented player.
As Dave Hancock continues to speak, athletes are shown playing hockey. Then video cuts to Dave and Aubrey work together in his office.
Dave Hancock, Ph.D. continues speaking to the camera: “Number one, I’m looking for more answers on the topic. I want to find out more about how coaches make those selections. I want to find out more about why parents might withhold their relatively younger children from sport which is a pattern that we see at young ages and from there, once we know more about why this is happening, trying to target interventions that could help make sport participation equitable for everyone. It would be nice to see that regardless of when you’re born, you’re given an equal opportunity to compete in sport. And, you know what, if you’re younger, and you’re not as good as someone who’s older and that’s actually the case, then so be it. That’s what sport is. But, we want to have a situation where people feel like they’re given a fair opportunity to be given a fair shot to compete in sport.
Indiana University Kokomo, Fulfilling the Promise