Are children born in the fall more athletic?

Are Children Born In The Fall More Athletic?

Do you dream of having a child who grows up to be a superstar athlete -- or at least one who isn't picked last in gym class? You might want to take a look at this.

ABC says, "There's a new study in the Journal of International Sports Medicine that found that children born in the fall have an edge when it comes to physical fitness."

Check out these famous athletes who were born in the fall:
Athletes born in the fall
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Are children born in the fall more athletic?
Mickey Mantle poses for the camera with bat in hand in this undated photo. (Photo by Sports Studio Photos/Getty Images)
Joe DiMaggio poses for the camera with a photo of Yankee Stadium in the background in this undated photo. (Photo by Sports Studio Photos/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 05: (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT) Former New York Giant Michael Strahan holds the Vince Lombardi trophy during pre game ceremonies before the Giants play against the Dallas Cowboys at MetLife Stadium on September 5, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Cowboys defeated the Giants 24-17. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
TORONTO, CANADA - JUNE 9: R.A. Dickey #43 of the Toronto Blue Jays delivers a pitch in the first inning during MLB game action against the Minnesota Twins on June 9, 2014 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - DECEMBER 23: Hall of Famer and former San Francisco 49er Jerry Rice catches passes prior to the start of an NFL Football game between the 49ers and Atlanta Falcons at Candlestick Park on December 23, 2013 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 24: Serena Williams of U.S. returns the ball to her compatriot Anna Tatishvili during their Ladies' Singles first round match on day two of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club at Wimbledon on June 24, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Yunus Kaymaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
PORTLAND, OR - MAY 2: Dwight Howard #12 of the Houston Rockets smiles against the Portland Trail Blazers in Game Six of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2014 NBA Playoffs on May 2, 2014 at the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon. Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images)
NEW YORK - APRIL 13: Former Mets pitcher Tom Seaver throws out the ceremonial first pitch before the San Diego Padres against the New York Mets during opening day at Citi Field on April 13, 2009 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. This is the first regular season MLB game being played at the new venue which replaced Shea stadium as the Mets home field. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - JUNE 15: Martina Navratilova of the United States takes part in an exhibition match during Day Seven of the Aegon Classic at Edgbaston Priory Club on June 15, 2014 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Tom Dulat/Getty Images)
Texas Rangers' Sammy Sosa rounds the bases after hitting his 600th home run in the fifth inning against the Chicago Cubs in Arlington, Texas, on Wednesday, June 20, 2007. (Photo by Khampha Bouaphanh/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT via Getty Images)

The Guardian reports that researchers at the University of Essex in Great Britain studied more than 8,000 children ages 10-16 for three measures of fitness: stamina, handgrip strength and lower-body power.

Researcher Gavin Sandercock says: "A boy born in November can run at least 10% faster, jump 12% higher and is 15% more powerful than a child of the same age born in April."

So what makes a November baby more likely to be the next LeBron and an April baby more likely to watch on the sidelines? The researchers hypothesize that the cause is the sun.

Babies who are in their final stage of development during the hotter summer months have increased intrauterine vitamin D levels.

Researchers such as Victoria Drake say that vitamin D acts as a hormone in the body that helps regulate skeletal growth and muscle strength.

However, another explanation could be something we're doing -- instead of a natural cause.

For years, researchers have been studying birth month phenomena. The BBC reports that in 2009, 57 percent of players in professional English youth academies had been September, November or December babies, and a mere 14 percent were born in June, July or August.

The theory of relative age effect says the September cutoff dates we impose in school allow children with birthdays immediately after the cutoff to be almost a year older than those born in July and August. According to the BBC, this means they're more physically developed than their classmates.

Since sports today are often through structured leagues, this early advantage in size leads to a greater chance of moving up to better teams with better coaching.

But if you happen to have a summer birthday, don't fret. Superstar athletes such as Kobe Bryant were born in the summer.

In the end, it's really all about loving the game.

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