Tag Archives: myelin

The Mysteries Of The Teenage Sports Brain

via Axon Sports

It seems so easy sitting in the stands.  Watching their high school athlete, parents are perplexed when bad decisions are made on the field, not to mention at home and school.  What seems so logical to coaches and fans, especially over the age of 30, is often lost on the adolescent brains of prep players.  Do they just not care?  Will it take even more practice and drills to get it right?  Could it be teenagers are just wired differently?  According to a social cognition expert, that’s exactly what’s happening. Traditional child development theory takes us from birth to the beginning of the awkward years that are triggered by the physical …

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Athletes and Age of Peak Performance Pt. 2

via Axon Sports

In our last post we looked at when athletes in different sports reach their age of peak performance, and at a potential neural basis for athletic decline. The argument for a breakdown in myelin integrity turned out to not ring true, as it doesn’t peak until the late thirties, long after most elite athletes have slipped into irrelevance. Those ages of peak performance, again, are below: * For baseball, a number of studies, using different methods, have pegged peak age between 27-29. (Link) * For Tennis, peak age has been pegged between the early 20′s and 25. (Link) * For basketball, peak age has been found to be at 27 for …

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Athletes and age of peak performance

via Axon Sports

The trajectory of an athlete’s career follows a parabolic arc: a fairly steep rise as the body matures and skills are acquired, a peak, and then a slower, flatter decline as ability fades. But what causes this peak and decline? Obviously it has to do with physical attributes like speed and power, but what about the deep, underlying aspects of performance? The consistency of this rise-peak-decline pattern is striking, even across very different sports. For nearly every major sport, the age of peak performance is in the range of 22-30, and some interesting trends emerge when you look at sport type in relation to an athlete’s peak age. The age at …

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