Sean Cumming

Sean Cumming
University of Bath | UB · Department for Health

PhD, MSc, BSc Hons.

About

184
Publications
211,270
Reads
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6,458
Citations
Introduction
Reader in sport and exercise science at the University of Bath. My research focusses upon the physical and psychological development of children in the contexts of physical activity and sport. I study how biological maturation impacts physical activity and health in youth and the selection and development of young athletes. Experienced in invasive and non-invasive methods for assessing biological maturation in youth, I work with the English Premier League, LTA, English FA, and ASA.
Additional affiliations
January 2011 - present
University of Bath
Position
  • Biological maturation and its contribution to fitness and performance in elite British youth tennis players
July 2002 - July 2006
University of Washington Seattle
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Education
June 2002 - July 2006
University of Washington Seattle
Field of study
  • Psychology
August 1997 - January 2002
Michigan State University
Field of study
  • Kinesiology
October 1995 - May 1997
University of Exeter
Field of study
  • Sport & Exercise Psychology

Publications

Publications (184)
Article
Full-text available
The purpose of this study was to examine the main and interactive effects of motivational climate and won-lost percentage upon young athletes’ evaluations of their coaches, enjoyment of their team experience, and perceived parental liking for the coach. A total of 268 male and female youth basketball players, aged 10 to 15 years, completed the Moti...
Article
Full-text available
The current study examined the mediating role of physical self-concept on relations between biological maturity status and self-reported physical activity in adolescent British females. Biological maturity status, physical self-concept and physical activity were assessed in 407 female British year 7-9 pupils (M age = 13.2 years, SD = 1.0). Particip...
Article
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The mastery approach to coaching is a cognitive-behavioral intervention designed to promote a mastery-involving motivational climate, shown in previous research to be related to lower anxiety in athletes. We tested the effects of this intervention on motivational climate and on changes in male and female athletes'cognitive and somatic performance a...
Article
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Physical changes associated with puberty may conflict with functional and aesthetic ideals for a career in ballet. The dance teacher is in a position to guide young dancers through the pubertal transition, although dancers rather than teachers are often the focus of research. This study explores the social stimulus value of the female body in balle...
Article
Full-text available
Growth and maturation impact the selection, development and progression of youth athletes. Individual differences in the growth and maturity may afford a performance advantage, clouding coaches and practitioners' perceptions regarding current ability and future potential. This may result in the exclusion of talented, yet less physically gifted athl...
Article
To date, no studies have investigated the loads undertaken by elite youth footballers outside of their academy commitments. This study aimed to understand the load of English male academy football players' activity both inside and outside of the academy, as well as, how this load varies between age groups and days. Fifty-two male academy footballer...
Article
Bio-banding groups young athletes based upon maturity rather than age and has shown benefits to academy footballers’ development by reducing maturity associated variation in games. The main practical applications of this study are that when grouping players by maturity status (percentage of adult height) can reduce the variation in height, mass and...
Article
Adolescence is a period of increased injury risk in youth footballers; however, no studies have considered the influence of growth-related factors and exposure time upon injury risk. Forty-nine elite male youth footballers were prospectively monitored for growth, lower-limb growth, maturation, training volume and injury for one season. Generalised...
Book
Full-text available
Talent identification and development have become increasingly relevant in sports performance especially in the last 20 years. A significant body of scientific research discusses longitudinal and non-linear talent identification and development processes, the qualities that underpin elite performance in sport, and how coaches could facilitate talen...
Article
Full-text available
Following the outbreak of COVID‐19 (coronavirus), the UK entered a national lockdown, and all sport was suspended. The study aimed to explore the process of returning to gymnastics training after several months away from the gym, with particular interest towards training load and injury. Twenty‐six, national programmed gymnasts from Men’s artistic,...
Article
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This paper seeks to examine the impact of maturity matching upon physical performance and spatial exploration behaviour for pre-PHV basketball players. For this purpose, thirty-two under-14 to 16 basketball players are assigned to different teams according to maturity status (Pre-, Mid-, and Post-Peak Height Velocity [PHV]), and instructed to parti...
Article
Full-text available
The primary aims of this study were to examine the effects of bio-banding players on passing networks created during 4v4 small-sided games (SSGs), while also examining the interaction of pitch size using passing network analysis compared to a coach-based scoring system of player performance. Using a repeated measures design, 32 players from two Eng...
Article
Full-text available
The study examined if maturity status bio-banding reduces within-group variance in anthropometric, physical fitness and functional movement characteristics of 319, under-14 and under-15 players from 19 UK professional soccer academies. Bio-banding reduced the within-bio-banded group variance for anthropometric values, when compared to an aggregated...
Book
Full-text available
Este libro recoge las ponencias del VI Seminario Internacional de Táctica y Técnica Deportiva organizadas por la Cátedra de Deporte y Educación Física - Centro de Estudios Olímpicos de la Universidad de Girona (antiguas Jornadas de la CEEF-CEO) dedicadas a las nuevas tendencias en el desarrollo del talento deportivo. En este libro el lector encont...
Article
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Context Most available data on athletic development training models focus on adult or professional athletes, where increasing workload capacity and performance is a primary goal. Development pathways in youth athletes generally emphasize multisport participation rather than sport specialization to optimize motor skill acquisition and to minimize in...
Article
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Background The aim of this study was to assess whether adjusting the weight categorisation of children for their biological maturity status could improve the accuracy of predicting weight status and cardiometabolic risk at age 17. Methods Data from 1525 participants (787 female) from the ALSPAC study were analysed. Participants’ weight status at a...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Background Growth/maturation and training load have been identified as risk factors for injury in youth sport. However, in gymnastics little is known regarding these risk factors for injury. Objective To understand current awareness and practice of coaches in relation to growth/maturation and training load in young, competitive British gymnasts....
Article
Purpose: To investigate the influence of maturation on match running performance in elite male youth soccer players. Methods: A total of 37 elite male youth soccer participants from an English professional soccer academy from the U14s, U15s, and U16s age groups were assessed over the course of 1 competitive playing season (2018-2019). Relative b...
Article
Full-text available
Talent identification and development have become increasingly relevant in sports performance (Sarmento, Anguera, Pereira, Araújo, 2018), especially in the last 20 years. A significant body of scientific research discusses longitudinal and nonlinear talent identification and development processes, the qualities that underpin elite performance in sp...
Article
Experiences of puberty and how individuals adapt to puberty may be integral to success in ballet; however, there is a paucity of current research in this area. This study explores the lived experiences of nine professional ballet dancers to capture the journey of negotiating puberty in a ballet context. An interpretative phenomenological analysis a...
Article
Full-text available
ABSTRACT Within a group of adolescent Australian Rules Football (ARF) players, individuals of the same chronological age can differ greatly in biological maturation, with some players maturing vastly earlier or later than their peers. Such large differences in maturity can cause a disparity between physical performance, influence the perceptions o...
Article
Full-text available
This study employed semi-structured interviews and Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis to explore experiences of on-time maturation in nine adolescent ballet dancers from across three vocational ballet schools in the United Kingdom. Two themes were identified as central to their experiences: ‘A right and a wrong way to grow’, and fitting in an...
Article
Full-text available
The purpose of the study was to evaluate predicted maturity offset (time before age at PHV) and age at PHV (chronological age [CA] minus maturity offset) in a longitudinal sample of 58 under-13 club level soccer players in central Portugal for whom ages at PHV were estimated with the SITAR model. Two maturity offset prediction equations were applie...
Article
Background: Adolescent females are particularly susceptible to suffering anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries, likely influenced by well-established maturational changes. This study investigated ACL biomechanical injury risk factors and their association with biological maturation in females. Methods: Thirty-five adolescent females (15 ± 1...
Article
Full-text available
There is currently limited research exploring the relationship between growth, training load and injury in gymnasts. Twenty-one national level, trampoline gymnasts recorded training load and injury for 8-weeks. Percentage of predicted adult height (%PAH) was calculated using the Khamis-Roche method and used to define growth spurt status. Training l...
Article
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Both maturity and relative age selection biases are entrenched within professional academy soccer programmes. Lay opinion, and that of some scholars, holds that relative age effects in soccer exist as a product of advanced biological maturity. That is relatively older players succeed as a consequence of the physical and athletic advantages afforded...
Article
Background The assessment of biological maturity status plays an important role in talent identification and development programs. Aim To compare age at predicted adult height and BAUS skeletal age as indicators of biological maturity status in youth soccer players using a construct-validity approach. Subjects and methods Participants were 114 pl...
Article
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Purpose Monitoring maturation facilitates effective talent development. Various methods of maturity estimation exist with limited knowledge of concordance between methods. This study aims to establish agreement between methods of varied constructs to predict maturity status and compare concordance of methods to categorise players using established...
Article
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The aim of this study was analyze the effect of playing against biological matched and un-matched opposition, on physical performance and spatial exploration behavior of youth basketball players. Thirty under-14 to 16 basketball players were assigned to different teams according to maturity status (Pre-, Mid-, and Post-Peak Height Velocity [PHV]),...
Article
Full-text available
Baseline characteristics of 31 healthy male U15 soccer players who were classified as select or non-select at the end of the season were compared. Players were 14.4 ± 0.54 years (13.6–15.3 years) at baseline; characteristics included body size, proportions and composition, estimated maturity status, several functional capacities, and coach classifi...
Article
Full-text available
Growth-related and overuse injuries are commonly reported in young gymnasts. Two risk factors of these injuries are growth and maturation, and training load. However, little is known regarding current coaching knowledge and practice in relation to these risk factors. To help understand current knowledge and practice, 44 coaches of competitive, youn...
Article
Full-text available
The influence of biological maturity status (BMS) on talent identification and development within elite youth soccer is critically debated. During adolescence, maturity-related performance differences within the same age group may cause greater chances of being selected for early maturing players. Therefore, coaches need to consider players' BMS. W...
Article
Full-text available
Talent identification and selection in soccer has been shown to be confounded by individual differences in relative age and biological maturation. Limited research has however, investigated whether these effects are reflected in coaches’ evaluations of performance. This study investigated relative and biological age associated differences in coach...
Article
Background: Equations predicting age at peak height velocity (APHV) are often used to assess somatic maturity and to adjust training load accordingly. However, information on the intra-individual accuracy of APHV in youth athletes is not available. Aim: The purpose of this study is to assess the accuracy of predication equations for the estimation...
Article
Full-text available
Context: Across adolescence, there is a notable decline in physical activity in boys and girls. Maturational timing may be a risk factor for disengagement from physical activity and increased sedentary behaviours during adolescence. Objective: This systematic review aimed to summarise literature that examined the relationship between maturationa...
Article
Background: Equations predicting age at peak height velocity (APHV) are often used to assess somatic maturity and to adjust training load accordingly. However, information on the intra-individual accuracy of APHV in youth athletes is not available. Aim: The purpose of this study is to assess the accuracy of predication equations for the estimati...
Article
Full-text available
Individual differences in biological maturation present challenges for coaches involved with youth soccer players. Youth in the same chronological age group vary in terms of stage of maturity (pre, circum- and post-pubescent) and rate of growth, but how this affects coaches’ evaluations of player performance is unknown. The aim of this study was to...
Article
Full-text available
The main and interactive effect of biological maturity and relative age upon physical performance in adolescent male soccer players was considered. Consistent with previous research, it was hypothesised that participants of greater maturity or born earlier in the selection year would perform better in terms of physical performance tests. This cross...
Article
Context: Bio-banding is the process of grouping players by their maturational status rather than chronological age. It is designed to limit the impact of maturational timing on talent identification and development and expose early and late maturing players to new learning experiences and challenges. A common criticism of bio-banding is that it doe...
Article
Background: Three commonly used non-invasive protocols are implemented to estimate the timing at which PHV most likely occurs. Accurate estimation of circumpubertal years can aid in managing training load of adolescent athletes. Aim: Three protocols were compared against observed age at PHV: an estimate of 13.8 ± 1.0 years - generic age at PHV (fr...
Article
Background: The influence of maturity-status on athletic performance is reasonably well documented. Methodological and practical issues of assessment and lack of longitudinal data have impacted the success of various models. Aim: To develop age- and sex-specific developmental curves for sprint acceleration in elite youth tennis players and to addre...
Article
Background: Advanced (early) biological maturation may be a risk factor for inactivity among adolescent girls. Aim: To test the mediational effects of body attractiveness and physical self-worth on the relationship between biological maturity and accelerometer assessed moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) in a large multi-ethnic sample...
Preprint
The main and interactive effect of biological maturity and relative age upon physical performance in adolescent male soccer players was considered. Consistent with previous research, it was hypothesised that participants of greater maturity or born earlier in the selection year would perform better in terms of physical performance tests. This cross...
Article
Full-text available
Background: The aim of the study was to examine the contribution of chronological age (CA), skeletal maturation, training experience and concurrent body size descriptors, to inter-individual variance in left ventricular mass (LVM) among female adolescent soccer players. Methods: The sample included 228 female soccer players 11.8-17.1 years. Trai...
Article
Introduction There is a well-established bias toward late maturing females in the context of ballet, with up to 70% of professionals delayed in maturation. The timing of maturation has implications for physical and psychological outcomes which are likely to be amplified in dance. The aim of this research was to explore the role of maturity timing i...
Poster
Full-text available
Introduction Academies aim to produce elite football players, therefore, players remaining injury-free is a priority for clubs. Previous research suggests training volume, growth and maturation might contribute as risk factors to injury. Accordindly, this study will aim to identify specific risk factors for injury related to training volume, grow...
Article
Background: During adolescence, deselection from sport occurs during team try-outs when month of birth, stage of growth and maturation may influence selection. Aim: The purpose of this study was to identify differences in growth and maturity related factors between those selected and deselected in youth sports teams and identify short-term associat...
Article
Full-text available
Inter-individual differences in size, maturity status, function, and behavior among youth of the same chronological age (CA) have long been a concern in grouping for sport. Bio-banding is a recent attempt to accommodate maturity-associated variation among youth in sport. The historical basis of the concept of maturity-matching and its relevance to...
Article
This study examined the simultaneous effects of relative age and biological maturity status upon player selection in an English professional soccer academy. A total of 202 players from the U9 to U16 age groups, over an eight-year period (total of 566 observations), had their relative age (birth quarter) and biological maturity (categorised as late,...
Article
Background: Individual differences in biological maturation impact player selection and development in youth football. Aim: To evaluate players perceptions of competing in a football tournament where they were matched by maturity rather than chronological age. Subjects: Participants included male junior footballers from three professional academies...
Article
Full-text available
Background: To evaluate the concordance of skeletal age (SA) with two predicted estimates of biological maturity status in elite British youth tennis players. Method: Participants were 71 male and female elite youth tennis players aged 8 to 16 years. Weight, height, and sitting height were measured. SA (Fels method) was the criterion indicator o...
Article
Reducing injuries to youth players is of primary importance to academies, as injuries can result in a significant loss in both training and match time, as well as negatively affecting player development. In total, 76 talented young football players were analysed over two full competitive seasons. The injury incidence and burden for all non-contact...
Article
Participation in youth sport has been promoted as part of a healthy lifestyle, with benefits for physical fitness, social development, and mental wellbeing. Yet, sport carries an inherent risk of injury, which for young athletes may have both immediate and long-term consequences. Amidst significant public debate about the pros and cons of youth spo...
Article
Full-text available
The aim of the study was to investigate the relationship between tactical performance, somatic maturity, and functional capabilities in young soccer players. Study participants were 48 soccer players (14.80 ± 1.5 years) belonging to an extension project at the State University of Maringa - Brazil. Anthropometric measurements of body mass, body heig...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose: To compare characteristics of club level male soccer players 11 and 13 years of age, and to evaluate playing status in soccer two and 10 years after baseline by birth quarter (BQ). Methods: Youth players 11 (n = 62, born 1992, observed December 2003) and 13 (n = 50, born 1990, observed April 2004) years were grouped by BQ. Baseline data in...
Poster
Full-text available
Relative Age and Maturity selection biases within an elite youth football academy
Article
Objectives: The main and interactive effects of biological maturity status and relative age upon self-regulation in male academy soccer players are considered. Consistent with the ‘underdog’ hypothesis, whereby relatively younger players may benefit from competitive play with older peers, it was predicted later maturing and/or relatively younger pl...
Presentation
Full-text available
One of the most important thing in youth sport is wide development of fitness together with prevention of injuries. The data analysis showed that last time year by year increase numbers of training's overexert and overloads injuries. The main reason is too demanding sport's system creating by not reliable adults zooming the only on winning - determ...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Time spent outdoors is associated with higher physical activity levels among children, yet it may be threatened by parental safety concerns and the attraction of indoor sedentary pursuits. The purpose of this study was to explore the relationships between these factors and outdoor time during children's discretionary periods (i.e., aft...
Article
Full-text available
Motor coordination and physical fitness are multidimensional concepts which cannot be reduced to a single variable. This study evaluated multivariate relationships among morphology, physical fitness and motor coordination in 74 pre-pubertal girls 8.0-8.9 years of age. Data included body dimensions, eight fitness items and four motor coordination ta...