Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
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©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine ( 2015 ) 14 , 418 - 426

Research article
A Longitudinal Study Investigating the Stability of Anthropometry and Soccer-Specific Endurance in Pubertal High-Level Youth Soccer Players
Dieter Deprez1 , Martin Buchheit2, Job Fransen1,3, Johan Pion1, Matthieu Lenoir1, Renaat M. Philippaerts1, Roel Vaeyens1
Author Information
1 Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Department of Movement and Sports Sciences, Ghent University, Belgium
2 Sport Science Department, Myorobie Association, Montvalezan, France
3 Department of Movement and Exercise Sciences, University of Newcastle, Australia

Dieter Deprez
✉ Ghent University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Department of Movement and Sports Sciences, Watersportlaan 2,B-9000 Gent, Belgium
Email: Dieter.Deprez@UGent.be
Publish Date
Received: 08-10-2015
Accepted: 06-03-2015
Published (online): 01-06-2015
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ABSTRACT

We investigated the evolution and stability of anthropometric and soccer-specific endurance characteristics of 42 high-level, pubertal soccer players with high, average and low yo-yo intermittent recovery test level 1 (YYIR1) baseline performances over two and four years. The rates of improvement were calculated for each performance group, and intra-class correlations were used to verify short- and long-term stability. The main finding was that after two and four years, the magnitudes of the differences at baseline were reduced, although players with high YYIR1 baseline performance still covered the largest distance (e.g., low from 703 m to 2126 m; high from 1503 m to 2434 m over four years). Furthermore, the YYIR1 showed a high stability over two years (ICC = 0.76) and a moderate stability over four years (ICC = 0.59), due to large intra-individual differences in YYIR1 performances over time. Anthropometric measures showed very high stability (ICCs between 0.94 to 0.97) over a two-year period, in comparison with a moderate stability (ICCs between 0.57 and 0.75) over four years. These results confirm the moderate-to-high stability of high-intensity running performance in young soccer players, and suggest that the longer the follow-up, the lower the ability to predict player’s future potential in running performance. They also show that with growth and maturation, poor performers might only partially catch up their fitter counterparts between 12 and 16 years.

Key words: Football, high-intensity intermittent performance, field test, maturity status, talent development


           Key Points
  • Young, high-level soccer players with a relatively low intermittent-endurance capacity are capable to catch up with their better performing peers after four years.
  • Individual development and improvements of anthropometric and physical characteristics should be considered when evaluating young soccer players.
 
 
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