Development of dribbling in talented youth soccer players aged 12-19 years: a longitudinal study.
ABSTRACT The aims of the current study were to assess the development and determine the underlying mechanisms of sprinting and dribbling needed to compete at the highest level in youth soccer. Talented soccer players aged 12-19 years (n = 267) were measured on a yearly basis in a longitudinal study over 7 years, resulting in 519 measurements. Two field tests, the Shuttle Sprint and Dribble Test and the Slalom Sprint and Dribble Test, were assessed. Anthropometric characteristics, years of soccer experience, and duration of practice were recorded. The longitudinal data were analysed with multi-level modelling. Comparing the two tests at baseline, low correlations were observed (sprinting: r = 0.49; dribbling: r = 0.22), indicating that each test measures distinct qualities (acceleration vs. agility). Low-to-moderate correlations were found between dribbling and sprinting within each test (Shuttle Sprint and Dribble Test: r = 0.54; Slalom Sprint and Dribble Test: r = 0.38). Both dribbling and sprinting improved with age, especially from ages 12 to 14, but the tempo of development was different. From ages 14 to 16, sprinting improved rapidly in contrast to dribbling; this was especially evident on the Slalom Sprint and Dribble Test. In contrast, after age 16 dribbling improved considerably but sprinting hardly improved. Besides age, the factors that contribute to dribbling performance are lean body mass, hours of practice, and playing position.
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ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to estimate the contribution of experience, body size and maturity status to variation in sport-specific skills of adolescent soccer players. The participants were 69 players aged 13.2-15.1 years from three clubs that competed in the highest division for their age group. Height and body mass were measured and stage of pubic hair development was assessed at clinical examination. Years of experience in football was obtained at interview. Six football skill tests were administered: ball control with the body, ball control with the head, dribbling with a pass, dribbling speed, shooting accuracy and passing accuracy. Multiple linear regression analysis was used to estimate the relative contributions of age, stage of sexual maturity, height, body mass and years of formal training in soccer to the six skill tests. Age, experience, body size and stage of puberty contributed significantly but in different combinations to the variance in four of the six skill tests: dribbling with a pass (21%; age, stage of maturity), ball control with the head (14%; stage of maturity, height, body height x body mass interaction), ball control with the body (13%; stage of maturity, years of training) and shooting accuracy (8%; stage of maturity, height; borderline significance, P = 0.06). There were no significant predictors for the tests of dribbling speed and passing accuracy. In conclusion, age, experience, body size and stage of puberty contributed relatively little to variation in performance in four of the six soccer-specific skill tests in adolescent footballers aged 13-15 years.Journal of Sports Sciences 06/2005; 23(5):515-22. · 2.08 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: An ergonomics model of training is described in which the demands of the game and the fitness profiles of soccer players are placed in perspective. The demands of the game may be gauged by monitoring the work rate of players during matches and the concomitant physiological responses. These indices suggest an increased tempo in contemporary professional soccer compared with previous decades, a trend replicated in the fitness levels of players. The simulation of the exercise intensity corresponding to match-play has enabled sport scientists to study discrete aspects of play under laboratory conditions. Observations highlight the value of exercising with the ball where possible, notably using activity drills in small groups. Small-sided games have particular advantages for young players, both in providing a physiological training stimulus and a suitable medium for skills work. While complementary training may be necessary in specific cases, integrating fitness training into a holistic process is generally advisable.Journal of Sports Sciences 07/2005; 23(6):561-72. · 2.08 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: A total of 146 professional rugby league football players, contracted to 2 teams competing in England (n = 45) and Australia (n = 101), participated in this study. All players completed the following series of physical fitness performance tests: 1 repetition maximum squat and bench press, 15- and 40-m sprint, agility run, 5-minute run for distance, 60-second sit-up, 30-second plyometric push-up, and measurement of body weight and subcutaneous skinfold (4 sites). Analysis of variance with a criterion alpha level of p < 0.05, was used to determine if any significant difference could be found when grouping players into 3 different positional categories typically identified in the sport. There were a number of significant differences with respect to test results between categories, and this was apparent for all 3 systems of categorization. On the basis of these findings, we recommend that to more efficiently structure the physical fitness training of players, the players should be grouped either according to the 2 broad positional categories of forwards or backs or according to the 4 categories of forwards, distributors, adjustables, and outside backs. Grouping players according to the 9 specific positions played on the team is not warranted.The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 12/2001; 15(4):450-8. · 1.80 Impact Factor