We've heard the stories of other countries handpicking little kids and training them for Olympic Competition someday. Even in the US many athletes started very early in life. Bob Fitts, Chairman of Marquette University's Biology Department says it's advantageous to start younger. He says physiologically speaking; a ten year old child will have better muscular and cardiovascular adaptation that someone beginning in their late teens.
Certain body types are conducive to specific sports. Fitts cites this as reason female gymnasts are so small. He adds many female gymnasts are in still in their teens.
"It's a sport that requires power and agility and as you get bigger it gets harder to do some of those moves."
The muscle biologist says young children beginning intensive training is alright for their bodies as long as their diet and rest is adequate.