In the early 1900s it was thought that exercise directly stimulated growth; however, by the end of the century it was suggested that young athletes were selected based on inherited physical attributes that enhanced performance success. In this paper, the physical attributes and normal patterns of growth of young athletes, both competitive and recreational, are discussed. Specifically, the paper addresses the question, Are young athletes born with physical attributes suited to a sport or does sport training produce these physical attributes? Variability in the tempo and timing of normal growth and development is addressed, and its relevance and influence on youth talent identification is discussed. This is pertinent in today’s context of sport specialization at relatively young ages. Regular physical training is only one of many factors that could affect child growth; however, distinguishing influences of training programs on growth from those associated with normal growth and development is problematic.
Adam D.G. Baxter-Jones
Katie Crockett, Saija A. Kontulainen, Jonathan P. Farthing, Philip D. Chilibeck, Brenna Bath, Adam D.G. Baxter-Jones, and Catherine M. Arnold
A distal radius fracture (DRF) is commonly the first fracture to occur in early postmenopausal women. The reasons for sustaining a DRF may be related to fall risk, bone fragility, or both. The objective of this study was to compare functional and fracture risk status in postmenopausal women with and without a recent DRF and explore the relationships between function, grip strength, and fracture risk status. Seventy-seven women a ges 50–78 with (n = 32) and without (n = 45) a history of DRF in the past 2 years participated. Balance, timed up and go (TUG), gait velocity, balance confidence, sit to stand, grip strength, and fracture risk were assessed. There was a significant group difference after controlling for physical activity level (Pillai’s Trace, p < .05) where women with DRF had poorer outcomes on sit to stand, gait velocity, TUG, and fracture risk status. Grip strength was associated with functional tests, particularly in women with DRF. Women with a recent DRF demonstrated lower functional status and higher fracture risk compared to women without. Grip strength was associated with measures of function and fracture risk, and may complement screening tools for this population.