Can City Size Enhance Odds Of “Making It” In Professional Sports?

An interview with Rasmus Ankersen, athlete, executive, author, and filmmaker on the role size of town may play in the likelihood of becoming a professional athlete.

Where to Listen

Looking for an advantage. We hear the term all the time in sports (and in life). Parents in man facets of raising their kids do all sorts of things (some legal, some not) trying to ensure the success (whatever that may mean) of their children.

Personally, I know parents who paid serious money to have their kids play way above their skill level, knowing their child would rarely play in games to be a member of a higher level hockey team with hopes that in just practicing and being around higher talent kids would rub off on their child. I know parents who put their kids in programs like Kumon at a very, very young age to try to get them a leg up on school. Famously, some are currently serving time for cheating their kid’s way into US colleges.

Freakenomics, several years back studied birth month as an indicator of success in pro sports in “football” aka soccer. Others examined birth month and age as a factor in the NHL.

You can bet, would-be parents out there definitely planned their kid’s “arrival” accordingly.

I’m sure you know parents who have moved from one place or another trying to help get their kids a better chance.

Well, one former European athlete turned football executive has looked at location as a factor of success. Rasmus Ankersen has written numerous books and now created a movie about a town in Europe of 50,000 people that has produced 5 NHL players, outranking several North American cities in the same time frame.

Ankersen looks at the factors the size of a town may play in the likelihood of success in making it in sports.

This is my discussion with Rasums.