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Don’t Restrict Your Kids!

Posted Jan 15 2009 11:46pm
First off I would like to say congratulations to my cousin Kara for being pregnant with her first kid!

I was on the phone with her yesterday and told her she was a responsible parent and already was giving her kid all the opportunity in the world. She laughed and asked why, I explained, and she said I guess your right.

Some people may get done reading this and think that I am absolutely crazy. The reason I told her all this is not because I think she will be a great parent (she will), but because her kid will be born in August or September. What does this matter? The youth cutoff birthdate for sports like baseball, football and basketball is usually either August 1 or September 1. I challenge you to look at the roster of an MLB baseball team. Take in account how many of the 25 on the active roster were born between August-December. In this four month period I bet around half the guys were born. Go to the NFL and you will see a similar pattern in the players on those teams.

Can I Back This Up?

I am not one for in-depth research, for that go to Malcolm Gladwell’s book called Outliers. His opening chapter will talk enough about this topic to convince you. I will give you a brief synopsis on why.

Think about the amount of development young kids make in a matter of months. They learn how to use their body better, grow bigger, grow stronger and gain a ton of knowledge. If you child is born in the latter third of the year, they have a significant advantage on the kids that were born in the early to mid summer time.

These kids are going to be bigger, so get the eyes of all the youth coaches come tryout time. They will likely be better and get more play time than those who aren’t quite as good. That play time turns into making the All-Star team. After All-Start, most kids play in some sort of travel summer team that only the best players get selected for. This is where the big difference occurs. These kids come back to their leagues in the Fall armed with a few more months and countless hours of practice and game experience under their belt.

This is a vicious cycle and will basically continue for the rest of the kids life until they finally get selected in the professional draft, at which point most things will equal out because of the possible 20-year difference in age of professional athletes.

Now I am not saying that if your kid is born in August-December they are guaranteed to play professional sports, but it is far more likely than if they are, say a July baby (like me).

Who Cares About Sports?

Alright, so sports are not a big deal in your mind, than tryout education for example. These kids have a large advantage in school as well. They stand out early on as the brighter ones, when in fact they are just older and have a higher capacity and more experience. These kids get chosen to go into the honors classes or have their confidence boosted by better test grades. The cycle hits again, ask your child the 5 smartest kids in their class and ask what their birthdays are. I bet its in the Fall/Winter months.

I actually always said that when I have kids they will be conceived around December or January because of my theory that these kids have a big advantage by being born in August/September. Malcolm Gladwell confirmed my theory by doing extensive research and stating the same exact idea.

Yeah, I may be just gloating a little here but I may have made you think twice about trying to get pregnant in the Spring/Summer time. Plus, who doesn't love the spotlight of telling everyone they are pregnant around the Holidays ;)! Oh yeah, if you just had a July baby like me, do them a favor and hold them back a year.
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