Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Mathew Effect

The “Mathew Effect”: The eligibility selection date.  Is it “the one who has gets more, and who has none shall be taken away…” system?

The selection process in many States for particular sport games and other disciplines are age-skewered.  For example, in Canada, the “eligibility” cut-off date for hockey is January 1st. Consequently, if you were born in January or February, you were lucky to have a full year advantage over the ones who were born in December or November:  You are one year bigger, stronger, more experienced, more mature, more trained than the remaining contenders.

The other advantage in “what month you were born” is that hockey fields are not available in every town and require special investment and maintenance, so that only the selected players will enjoy the opportunities of frequent training, scheduled games, constant monitoring… If you were born in December and were selected then, most probably you had something that the more fortunate players of a year older lacked in talent, skills, or negotiating intelligence…

In the US, baseball selection date is first of August.  The selected players for junior leagues who were born on August are double those born in July…In England, selection date for National Junior soccer teams is first of September.  Selected players born in September are double the number of those born in August.  In Czechoslovakia, selection date for soccer teams was January 1st, and you know by now how many talented generations were wasted who happened to be born in December.

The best and more talented players are not picked according to astrology: They were very lucky to be born at particular advantageous dates for specific sport games: A full year advantage, when every month count when you are 10 year-old! As you are selected, the player gets all the other advantages such as best coaches, better fields, scheduled training sessions, actual real games against opposing teams, grants…

More importantly, as you are selected, you have the greatest of opportunity of marking the 10,000 hours in practice sessions that are necessary to propel you as top in your field, such as sport, music, computer programming, singing, dancing, fashion designer, designer in any field….

This “Matthew Effect” is translated into a “self-fulfilling prophesy” where “You start with a false definition in the beginning that evokes new behaviors which make the original false concept true” (Robert Merton)

I have this hypothesis: The selected individuals who made it against the odds of date of birth will out-best the favored ones later on, simply because they had this “extra edge” in other characteristics. What could be the other factors? This question should be answered by further research, such as other types of intelligence, negotiating talents, fitting in, grabbing opportunities, more endurance, more persistence…

Note: Post inspired from a chapter in the “Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell




March 2023

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