29th Jan 2024

Introduction: Physical activity has many health benefits and is broken down into habitual physical activity and exercise (e.g., sport). The effects of (de)selection from adolescent sport is likely to influence sports participation and long-term physical activity. In 2014, a cohort of adolescent athletes taking part in team tryouts from a variety of youth sports (soccer, basketball, hockey, baseball, volleyball) was initiated. Initial findings indicated that growth and development influenced (de)selection but not short-term (36-months) sports participation. The aim of the present study was to determine if (de)selection effected sports participation in emerging adulthood. Methods: Between 2014 and 2015, 870 participants were recruited across three different age categories (U14, U16, U18). In 2023, all original participants were contacted via email. Those who responded were asked to complete a Sports Participation and Activities questionnaire. Chi-square goodness of fit test was used to analyze the data. Results: 140 participants (56 females and 84 males) respond to the follow-up survey, 16% of the initial sample. It was found that the percentage of participants, by sport, sex and (de)selection at 84-month follow-up were similar to study initiation, and no differences in baseline growth and maturational indices (p>0.05) were found. Of the females, 38% who had been selected at tryouts and 32% who had been deselected, were still participating in sport. A similar result was found in males, 35% who were selected were still participating compared to 37% who were deselected. Deselection did affect long-term sports participation in the same sport (p<0.05). Conclusion: The results suggest that (de)selection effected 30% of the athlete’s sports participation in emerging adulthood. Deselection effected long-term sports participation in the same sport. Overall, adolescence (de)selection did not appear to be a major influence of sport/physical activity in emerging adulthood.

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