<bold>Introduction.</bold> The development of a sporting career takes a course within a phased manner, the various stages are characterized by different goals and tasks. In competitive swimming there are many cases of athletes who achieved high sporting results in the category of children and youths and who soon after abandoned their interest in training. The aim of this study was to find the association between the sports achievements of 11-year-old girls competing in the 200 m backstroke events and their sports level in the subsequent years of their career. <bold>Material and methods.</bold> The results of the sporting careers of girls who ranked from 1st to 20th in the 200 m backstroke event in the Polish Correspondence Championships for 10 and 11-Year-Old Children in 2003 were presented. Their positions taken in subsequent editions of the summer Polish championship till 2009 were the criterion of their career development. An analysis of documents was used as a scientific method. The basis for the analysis were post-competition protocols listed on the official website of the Polish Swimming Federation. <bold>Results.</bold> Only 30% of the examined athletes took part in all main events intended for their age. Less than half of them participated in the Polish 17-18-Year-Old Junior Championships organized within the Nationwide Juvenile Olympics. 40% of the girls from the studied group ended their careers before the age of 15. Four basic variants of development of a sporting career were observed in the group. <bold>Conclusions.</bold> After analyzing the athletes' careers it can be stated that a high position in the national ranking of 11-year-olds does not guarantee significant sporting achievements in later years. In the studied group of girls the stroke and distance specialization had changed in most cases (80%).
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
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