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Abstract

Long-term athletic development is important to prepare youth for sport and an active lifestyle. Several models have provided general frameworks for long-term athletic development from different perspectives that consider factors such as when to sample and specialize and what physical qualities to train and when. More recently, more specific models of long-term athletic development have emerged that focus on both specific modes of training and specific fitness qualities. This includes models focused on the development of speed, agility, power, and endurance as well as models devoted to resistance training, plyometric training, and weightlifting. These models incorporate factors such as technical competency, developmental stage, maturation, and training age to describe the long-term progression of athletic development. A challenge for the coach is to understand how these models inform one another and how they integrate into practice to allow the use of multiple modes of training to develop multiple components of fitness simultaneously throughout childhood and adolescence. This review will examine how information from various models can be integrated to maximize the physical long-term athletic development of youth.
Review
Integrating models of long-term athletic
development to maximize the physical
development of youth
Andrew W Pichardo
1
, Jon L Oliver
1,2
, Craig B Harrison
1
,
Peter S Maulder
1,3
and Rhodri S Lloyd
1,2,3
Abstract
Long-term athletic development is important to prepare youth for sport and an active lifestyle. Several models have
provided general frameworks for long-term athletic development from different perspectives that consider factors such
as when to sample and specialize and what physical qualities to train and when. More recently, more specific models of
long-term athletic development have emerged that focus on both specific modes of training and specific fitness qualities.
This includes models focused on the development of speed, agility, power, and endurance as well as models devoted
to resistance training, plyometric training, and weightlifting. These models incorporate factors such as technical
competency, developmental stage, maturation, and training age to describe the long-term progression of athletic
development. A challenge for the coach is to understand how these models inform one another and how they integrate
into practice to allow the use of multiple modes of training to develop multiple components of fitness simultaneously
throughout childhood and adolescence. This review will examine how information from various models can be
integrated to maximize the physical long-term athletic development of youth.
Keywords
Evidence-based practice, fitness, maturation, resistance training, sport specialisation, talent development, weightlifting,
youth sport
Introduction
In recent years, there has been a growing interest in
long-term athletic development (LTAD), with a need
to properly prepare youth for both sport and a physic-
ally active life.
1
Over the last two decades, academics
have proposed a number of LTAD models, with early
general models structuring athletic development
into stages based on participation, chronological age,
or maturation.
2–4
These general LTAD models
provided frameworks for subsequent athletic develop-
ment models specific to different types of physical train-
ing
5–7
and fitness, including aerobic fitness,
8
muscular power,
9
speed,
10
and agility.
11
Identifying
links between common themes of various models
may provide coaches and practitioners valuable insight
into components of a successful LTAD program.
The purpose of this review is to examine existing
models of LTAD regarding the physical preparation
of youth.
General long-term athletic
development models
Sport participation and athletic development models
originated from basic models of talent development,
Reviewers: Harvey Newton (Newton Sports, USA)
Anthony Moreno (Eastern Michigan University, USA)
1
Sport Performance Research Institute New Zealand, AUT University,
Auckland, New Zealand
2
Youth Physical Development Centre, School of Sport, Cardiff
Metropolitan University, Cardiff, UK
3
Centre for Sport Science and Human Performance, Waikato Institute of
Technology, Hamilton, New Zealand
Corresponding author:
Andrew W Pichardo, Sports Performance Research Institute New
Zealand (SPRINZ), AUT University, Millennium Campus, 17 Antares
Place, Mairangi Bay, Auckland, New Zealand.
Email: andrew.pichardo6@gmail.com
International Journal of Sports Science
& Coaching
2018, Vol. 13(6) 1189–1199
!The Author(s) 2018
Article reuse guidelines:
sagepub.com/journals-permissions
DOI: 10.1177/1747954118785503
journals.sagepub.com/home/spo
such as the Differentiated Model of Giftedness and
Talent.
12
The key concept that gifts are essentially
innate and youth can develop talent through practice
remains integral in subsequent models of athletic devel-
opment. Three models that have arguably had the lar-
gest influence on how youth athletes are physically
developed are the Developmental Model of Sports
Participation (DMSP) of Coˆ te
´,
2
the LTAD model
popularized by Balyi and Hamilton,
3
and the Youth
Physical Development (YPD) model proposed by
Lloyd and Oliver.
4
While each of those models provide
a unique perspective, they each provide a pathway for
the development of athleticism based on either chrono-
logical age and/or maturation. According to the
NSCA’s position statement on LTAD,
1
athleticism
refers to the ability to repeatedly perform a range of
movements which require competent levels of motor
skills, strength, power, speed, agility, balance, coordin-
ation, and endurance. Figure 1 provides an overview of
how these three models align to each other. The figure
shows that the foci in each model shifts with advancing
age and maturity as youth progress towards adulthood.
The DMSP demonstrates the different pathways a
child may take through their sporting career.
Although titled a participation model, Coˆ te
´
2
originally
developed the DMSP following 15 individual interviews
with four elite sporting families (three rowing, one
tennis) and thus arguably better reflects a model of
sporting excellence. Nonetheless, the DMSP identifies
three developmental stages: the sampling years, the spe-
cializing years, and the investment years. The sampling
years (age 6–13) involve playing a variety of sports to
provide fun and excitement though sport. After this
stage, youth may choose to enter the specializing
years (age 13–15)—a stage where sport involvement is
limited to one or two roles and the role of deliberate
practice is increased-or the recreational years (age 13þ),
in which they remain active for life through recreational
sport. The investment years (age 15þ) focus on achiev-
ing an elite level of performance in one activity. In this
stage, the most important elements are strategic, com-
petitive, and skill development characteristics of sport.
Since its conception, subsequent athletic develop-
ment models focused on physical fitness have aligned
themselves with the DMSP’s stages of participation,
8,9
as has a more recent version of the YPD.
13
Furthermore, several position statements and studies
support DMSP’s sampling approach to help prevent
burnout and overuse injuries in youth.
1,14–17
Sampling
different sports can develop a variety of fundamental
movement skills (FMS), enhancing a young person’s
overall athleticism.
1
The DMSP describes participation
and performance pathways based on chronological age.
This means the proposed stages and their respective age
ranges do not account for individual differences in
timing and tempo of maturation, training age, and
movement competency—all of which are important
in the developing athlete.
1,5
Training age refers to the
number of years an athlete has been performing orga-
nized training and can vary based on context.
4
For
example, an athlete who has been formally training
for a sport for a number of years, but is new to resist-
ance training, would have a training age of zero for
resistance training. Nonetheless, the DMSP emphasizes
the importance of sampling before specializing—a con-
sistent theme throughout subsequent models describing
the physical development of youth.
Following an examination of coaching knowledge
and practice, McKeown and Ball
18
concluded that the
most popular model of LTAD used by practitioners
was the model proposed by Balyi and Hamilton
3
shown towards the middle of Figure 1. This model pro-
vides a framework whereby specific fitness components
align to either chronological age or maturation. The
authors recommended using peak height velocity
(PHV), as opposed to chronological age, as a reference
point for periods of enhanced trainability, or ‘‘windows
of adaptation’’.
3
Due to differing rates of maturation,
PHV typically occurs around age 11.5 years and
13.5 years in North American females and males,
respectively.
19
However, biological age only serves as
the basis for the critical windows for strength and
endurance (shown by boxes with dashed lines in
Figure 1) with windows for speed, skill, and suppleness
based on chronological age (shown by boxes with solid
line). According to this model, practitioners should
emphasize aerobic development at the onset of PHV,
while strength should be a focus approximately 12–18
months after PHV. Windows of opportunity are based
on periods when fitness is naturally developing during
growth and maturation, and the theory supposes that
those periods represent a time when youth will be most
responsive to training.
20
Balyi and Hamilton
3
and
Balyi
21
further suggested that a failure to fully exploit
a window of opportunity with adequate training would
forever lower future adult potential. However, the exist-
ence of windows of opportunity has been questioned
due to a lack of supporting empirical data.
22
Another
feature of the Balyi and Hamilton
3
LTAD model is the
use of stages to organize physical training progression.
The FUNdamentals stage (age 6–9 males, 6–8 females)
occurs during early childhood and refers to a period
where children should learn FMS in a fun environment.
The emphasis during the Learning to Train stage (age
9–12 males, 8–11 females) is to learn fundamental
sport-skills during a ‘‘window of adaptation’’ for
motor coordination. Youth learning to move compe-
tently in fundamental and sport-specific skills (SSSs)
serve as the basis for the FUNdamentals and
Learning to Train stages. The Training to Train stage
1190 International Journal of Sports Science & Coaching 13(6)
Figure 1. Composite diagram of three popular general models of long-term athletic development; the Developmental Model of
Sports Participation (DMSP, top, redrawn and adapted from Co
ˆte
´
2
), the Long-Term Athlete Development Model (LTAD, middle,
(redrawn and adapted from Balyi and Hamilton
3
) and the Youth Physical Development model (YPD, bottom, redrawn and adapted
from Lloyd and Oliver
4
). In the LTAD model, closed boxes align to chronological age and dashed boxes to maturation. In the YPD, the
font size of FMS, SSS and MC represent the importance of a given fitness component at a given stage, shaded boxes identify
interactions between training adaptations and maturation: bold box ¼prepuberty (predominantly neural adaptations), dashed
box ¼pubertal (hormonal and neural adaptations).
FMS: fundamental movement skills; SSS: sport-specific skills; MC: metabolic conditioning.
Pichardo et al. 1191
(age 12–16 males, 11–15 females) is a key time to
develop physical fitness. The difference in age reflects
the fact that girls mature earlier than boys and suggests
maturation will interact with physical training. The
Training to Compete (age 16–18 males, 15–17 females)
and Training to Win (age 18þmales, 17þfemales)
stages are aimed at optimizing and maximizing fitness
and sport performance. Lastly, the Retirement/
Retention stage focuses on retaining ex-athletes in
sport via coaching, officiating, administration or other
avenues. The LTAD model undoubtedly offers a sys-
tematic approach to training and several of these stages
have been subsequently featured in resistance training,
5
plyometric,
6
and weightlifting models.
7
Recent literature has questioned the suitability of the
term ‘‘athlete’’ when delineating constructs surround-
ing the athletic development of youth.
1
Some argue that
the term ‘‘athlete’’ in the long-term athlete development
model renders the structure as a means to solely
developing athletes:
13
however, in light of the global
numbers of obese/overweight and physically illiterate
children, LTAD should really be an initiative for all
youth. Although originally presented as a participation
model, the Balyi and Hamilton
3
model promotes high
volumes of conditioning and training around adoles-
cence, particularly through the 10,000 hour rule;
however, the suitability of this approach has been ques-
tioned in the literature.
22,23
The need to accumulate
10,000 h of training (or deliberate practice) appears to
be a misconception and may even be detrimental to
long-term development.
24
The 10,000 hour rule for
elite sporting attainment has been attributed to the
work of Ericsson et al.;
25
but, in an editorial,
Ericsson suggested that his work had been misrepre-
sented and that the 10,000 hour rule was somewhat of
a misnomer.
26
Ericsson
26
then claims that it is possible
to reach an international level in much less time, con-
sistent with findings from Baker and Young
27
that
show elite level attainment in sport can occur with
4,000–6,000h of training, which indicates that deliber-
ate practice is more important than the quantity.
Attempting to accumulate 10,000 h of training may
also increase the risk of overuse or acute injury or ill-
ness, especially during periods of rapid growth that are
often synonymous with a loss of coordination.
16,24,28,29
Since the inception of the Balyi and Hamilton
3
model, several subsequent development models
4,5
and
position statements regarding youth development
1
have
discussed the importance of maturation on training
adaptation. The YPD model (Lloyd and Oliver,
4
bottom of Figure 1) was introduced to provide an evi-
dence-based approach to training youth, describing
how training and maturation may interact in the devel-
opment of physical fitness. Additionally, the YPD
model acknowledged the impact of training history,
baseline fitness levels, and sex differences on the
decision making process of training prescription.
In contrast to the LTAD model, the YPD includes
nine physical qualities: FMS, SSS, mobility, agility,
speed, power, strength, hypertrophy, and endurance
and metabolic conditioning (MC). An important con-
struct of the YPD model is that research indicates that
all physical qualities are trainable throughout child-
hood and adolescence, albeit that the magnitude and
underlying adaptive mechanisms may differ according
to maturation.
4
For example, a coach may place an
emphasis on coordination and plyometrics in prepuber-
tal children and hypertrophy and a combination of
strength training and plyometrics in postpubertal
youth.
30
The YPD advocates that providing youth with
opportunities to learn and challenge their coordinative
abilities through the manipulation of task, individual,
and environmental constraints during a period of
heightened central nervous system adaptability,
should lead to improved motor skill development.
In this regard, both the YPD and LTAD models are
similar in that they prioritize the development of FMSs
and movement competency from a young age. A sub-
sequent Composite Youth Development model has
been proposed,
13
drawing from earlier talent
2
and phys-
ical
4
development models. The incorporation of DMSP
stages offers a psychosocial emphasis throughout child-
hood and adolescence. This provides a holistic focus
ensuring the child or adolescent maintains a healthy,
physically active lifestyle.
13
Resistance training models
for athletic development
Research demonstrates that participating in elite youth
sport alone, without the addition of supplementary
physical training, fails to optimize athletic develop-
ment.
31–33
Resistance training refers to the specialized
method of conditioning whereby an individual is work-
ing against resistive loads to enhance health, fitness,
and performance and includes the use of body weight,
machines, free weights, bands, and medicine balls.
34,35
The most common forms of resistance training include
bodyweight plyometric training, traditional strength
training using external weight, or a combination of
both of these. The use of resistance training as early
as possible in a young athlete’s development appears
crucial.
31–33
Several position statements on LTAD,
1
resistance training for youth,
34–38
and injury preven-
tion
14,17
advocate the use of resistance training as an
appropriate training method to improve sport perform-
ance and decrease risk of injury in youth. Furthermore,
practitioners working with youth should understand
the influence of growth and maturation on
1192 International Journal of Sports Science & Coaching 13(6)
physiological adaptations and consider these factors
when designing resistance training programs.
A meta-analysis by Behringer et al.
39
showed an inter-
action of maturity on strength gains following resistance
training interventions; more mature children made
greater gains in strength but immature children still
made meaningful improvements. A later review by the
same group
40
also showed that strength training trans-
ferred greater gains to running, jumping and throwing in
immature children compared to mature children. Work
by Behm et al.,
41
as well as several experimental stu-
dies,
31–33
show that resistance training is most specific
to strength gains compared to other components of fit-
ness. However, coaches often successfully utilize resist-
ance training to improve power, speed, agility, and even
aerobic fitness performance of youth.
41,42
The development of several resistance training
models
5–7
align with the stages and concepts from earlier
general LTAD models.
2–4
A combination of a resistance
training,
5
plyometric,
6
and weightlifting
7
model is shown
below in Figure 2. The figure demonstrates the overlap
between several popular models to provide a more com-
prehensive description of when and how to implement
various types of resistance training with youth.
A conceptual model of resistance training, shown
towards the top of Figure 2, was proposed within a
systematic review on the effects of resistance training
on muscular fitness (strength, power, endurance).
5
The
Granacher et al.
5
framework aligned four stages
(FUNdamentals, Learn to Train, Train to Train,
Train to Compete) of the Balyi and Hamilton
3
model
to chronological age, biological age, maturity, type of
training, and training adaptations. Early general
models of athletic development recognized the import-
ance of individualizing training to movement compe-
tency,
3,4
but they provided no guidelines on training
prescription. Granacher et al.
5
have extended that
concept by detailing how practitioners should use
resistance training skill competency to determine the
types of activities youth should engage in and how
this should progress over time. Those activities are
based on the popular forms of resistance training
including plyometric and traditional strength training
using bodyweight and external loading.
Plyometric training is a type of resistance training
that refers to activities that initiate an eccentric stretch
of the muscle-tendon unit, resulting in a greater con-
centric contraction.
6
A model for plyometric training
6
is shown in the middle section of Figure 2 and aligns to
the stages of the Balyi and Hamilton
3
LTAD model.
However, recent literature recommends using technical
competency and maturational status to progress train-
ing, rather than chronological ages typically associated
with the LTAD stages.
4,5
Several reviews suggest that
Figure 2. A summary of resistance training (top, redrawn and adapted from Granacher et al.
5
), plyometric (middle, redrawn and
adapted from Lloyd et al.
6
) and weightlifting (bottom, redrawn and adapted from Lloyd et al.
7
) models. The dashed boxes at the
bottom are aligned to different stages of the Balyi and Hamilton
3
model.
Pichardo et al. 1193
as an athlete enters puberty, the intensity of resistance
training and plyometrics should increase according to
technical competency.
5,6
Plyometric intensity is typic-
ally based on eccentric loading,
6
so exercises should
progress from minimal eccentric loading (jumps in
place and standing jumps) to high eccentric loading
(drop jumps) as technical competence increases.
Irrespective of age and maturity status, technically
incompetent athletes will likely benefit from learning
how to hinge and properly load for a jump or only
perform the concentric portion of a jump, before
moving on to countermovement jumps and then
depth jumps.
Weightlifting training, a more specialized form of
resistance training, has received far less attention than
traditional strength and plyometric training in youth
populations. Though there is one meta-analysis demon-
strating the positive effect of weightlifting training on
vertical jump performance,
43
a lack of studies precludes
any similar analyses with youth. Weightlifting interven-
tions in youth athletes incorporate the snatch, clean,
and jerk and the various derivatives of each, in addition
to common resistance training movements such as
squats, presses, and pulls.
44–46
Though research on
the effects of weightlifting on athleticism is scarce, exist-
ing evidence supports the safety
46,47
and potential bene-
fits on motor skill performance in youth.
44,45
Due to the
limited amount of research on youth weightlifting, a
small body of empirical evidence informs the existing
models.
7,48,49
A peer-reviewed model for developing weightlifting
in youth has been proposed and is shown towards
the bottom of Figure 2.
7
The model utilizes four
stages that loosely align to the LTAD model of Balyi
and Hamilton:
3
Fundamental Weightlifting Skills
(FUNdamentals), Learning Weightlifting (Learning to
Train), Training Weightlifting (Training to Train), and
Performance Weightlifting (Training to Compete and
Training to Win). Each stage is progressively more
structured training and emphasis shifts from physical
literacy—which involves the development of FMS and
fundamental sporting skills
50
—to technical compe-
tence, to performance. It should be noted that although
FMS is related to physical literacy, it is not a causal
relationship. This means that just because a child is
proficient at objectively measured FMS assessments
does not mean he or she is physical literate, and vice
versa. Within the model, using a top down approach to
teaching weightlifting progressions is consistent with
previous literature.
44,46
This refers to learning move-
ments starting from the mid-thigh, or power position,
before progressing to the knee and finally the floor.
Although the author provides suggested age ranges
for stages, all athletes should enter the model at the
earliest stage and progress according to technical
competency as training age increases. However, if an
athlete enters the model later in their development,
he or she may progress through the stages faster as
technical competency improves. The same premise
remains for young athletes that demonstrate technical
competency; they may progress through the stages at a
faster rate. The United States and Canadian national
governing bodies have also adapted the Balyi and
Hamilton
3
model, despite its criticisms, to create
weightlifting specific models.
48,49
Fitness-specific models for athletic
development
The evolution of athletic development models has
resulted in the production of more detailed models of
specific fitness components related to power,
9
speed,
10
agility,
11
and aerobic fitness.
8
These models have
informed the resistance training model of Granacher
et al.
5
and align to the stages of the DMSP
8,9
or mat-
uration.
10,11
Figure 3 shows how the integration of
models specific to different components of fitness can
provide an integrated plan.
Strength
Strength is a primary outcome of resistance training but
there is not a standalone model dedicated to it as a
fitness component. Therefore, it is shown in relation
to the Granacher et al.
5
model. As discussed earlier, a
secondary outcome of improving strength through
resistance training is that its benefits transfers to all
other fitness components.
4
Figure 3 also highlights
that technical competency is task specific and coaches
should program training methods accordingly. For
example, a young athlete may be technically competent
in power training methods but poor in agility training
methods.
Power
Muscular power is an important component for athletic
development due to its relationship with activities such
as running,
41
jumping,
44
and sport-specific tasks such
as track and field throws.
51,52
An evidence-based model
of power development was developed by Meylan et al.
9
based on a systematic review of 12 studies. The power
development model overlaps with aspects from the
resistance training models as strength training, plyo-
metrics, and weightlifting are common forms of
power training.
The model of power development uses stages from
the DMSP to organize four variables of power training:
integration, session duration, session frequency, and
block duration. The power development model also
1194 International Journal of Sports Science & Coaching 13(6)
begins to address some of the lack of detail on pro-
gramming from previous resistance training models.
The sampling years are broken into two phases (age
5–8, age 9–12) due to the many mental and physical
changes during this age period. The primary goals for
this phase of training are to develop FMS, agility, bal-
ance, and coordination with high velocity components.
This reflects the common philosophy of other general
and specific models to prioritize the development of
FMSs before progressing to more complex and
demanding tasks. Proper jumping and landing tech-
nique should be taught to maximize explosive training
and reduce the risk of injury associated with deficiencies
in load absorption.
53
During the specialization years
(age 13–15), an increase in volume, intensity, movement
complexity, and the addition of weightlifting move-
ments to improve powerful triple extension of the
lower body should accompany training, provided tech-
nical competency is sufficient. During the investment
years (16þ), training should continue to develop max-
imal strength, as well as more sport-specific movements
and higher intensity plyometric training.
Speed
The differences in speed between players in relatively
high and low levels of competition demonstrate the
importance of speed for athletic development.
54,55
There is also a strong relationship between sprinting
and other measures of performance such as
jumping and strength.
56,57
Due to the importance
of speed on athletic performance, there are several
meta-analyses
41,58
and reviews
59
on youth speed devel-
opment. A series of guidelines provided in a narrative
review by Oliver et al.
10
highlighted the importance
of FMS and resistance training to maximize speed
development. As with power training, speed training
incorporates a large emphasis on different forms of
resistance training.
In the review of Oliver et al.,
10
stages of speed
development were defined by maturational status and
training age, rather than chronological age, which
aligns to the YPD model, and included early childhood
(age 0–7), prepubertal (age 7–12), circumpubertal (age
11–15 males, age 12–15 females), and late adolescence
(age 16þmales, age 15þfemales). In line with the YPD
model, the authors suggest that training during early
childhood should focus on FMS and strength training
through active play and games that encourage good
running technique. The circumpubertal stage should
focus on sprint technique and maximal sprints for
speed development and while adding hypertrophy to
the resistance training programme to maximize any
structural adaptations associated with increased force
production and thus, greater stride length.
60
Lastly, the
late adolescence stage features maximal sprints and
Figure 3. Summary of resistance training and power, speed, agility, and aerobic models. The closed boxes are stages aligned to the
DMSP while the dashed boxes are stages defined by maturation status.
FMS: fundamental movement skills; RFD: rate of force development; COD: change of direction; SSG: small sided game; HIIT: high
intensity interval training.
Pichardo et al. 1195
complex training methods, which have been shown to
improve repeated sprint ability and change of direction
(COD) in youth.
61,62
Throughout childhood and ado-
lescence, the pathway suggests that, given the known
transfer of non-specific sprint training to speed, com-
plimentary resistance training supports speed develop-
ment.
41,59
The guidelines provided by Oliver et al.
10
organize training stages by maturation with training
age as a key component, as technical competency
should always drive progression. This model further
highlights the importance of FMS development prior
to more complex non-specific training methods (e.g.
plyometric and strength training). Furthermore,
developing FMS through free play and small-sided
games (SSGs) may enhance the coupling of FMS to
more complex sport skills, and should be included
throughout development due to links with athletic
motor skills and long-term effects of physical
activity.
70,71
Agility
The development of agility is important for most field
and court team sports due to the need to react and
change direction in reaction to external stimuli.
Agility refers to a rapid whole-body movement with
change of velocity or direction in response to a stimu-
lus. Since true agility must require a response to an
external stimulus,
63
COD speed is the variable typically
assessed instead throughout the literature. Several sys-
tematic reviews have examined the effect of resistance
training on agility
64,65
and COD
42
in youth. Many
other experimental studies have investigated the rela-
tionship of COD with other measures of athletic per-
formance
54,66,67
as well as the trainability of COD using
both specific and non-specific training methods.
33,68
Although not proposed as a standalone model, a nar-
rative review by Lloyd et al.
11
proposed three main
components of agility training (FMS, COD speed,
and reactive agility training (RAT)) and attempted to
show how training focus could change with increases in
technical competency (Figure 3).
Adolescent awkwardness refers to the temporary
loss in motor coordination during a period of rapid
growth and is characterized by greater movement vari-
ability and decreased movement proficiency.
69
Athletes
experiencing ‘‘adolescent awkwardness’’ during the cir-
cumpubertal years may need coaches to give special
attention to body position and technique as they
learn to coordinate their longer limbs. Although the
training percentage breakdown are arbitrary example
values, the concept of progressing from FMS to more
complex training modes throughout development is
central to athletic development
4,5
and other fitness spe-
cific models.
8–10
Lloyd et al.
11
also suggest strength,
plyometric, and combined training are effective in
improving COD speed and practitioners should imple-
ment these appropriately alongside agility training.
This concept is similar to the YPD model’s approach
to simultaneously training all fitness components.
Additionally, as with speed, games and free play can
serve as effective methods for coupling FMS with more
complex sport skills.
Aerobic fitness
Aerobic fitness is an important component in team
sport performance to help sustain a high work-rate
throughout a match,
72
to aid with recovery
73
and to
help maintain quality technical and tactical decision
making.
74
An evidence-based model for aerobic fitness
development in youth team sport players was devel-
oped by Harrison et al.
8
from a systematic review of
14 studies.
This model aligns to the developmental stages of the
DMSP. Harrison et al.
8
proposed that training during
the sampling stage should be fun and engaging and
include strength and speed components, similar to pre-
vious recommendations given in the YPD model.
4
During the sampling stage, sessions should be no
longer than 60 min and performed up to six times per
week through forms of deliberate practice and/or play.
Training during the specialization stage should last
between 8 and 28 min up to five times per week and
should focus on mastery of sport specific skills through
SSGs and high-intensity interval training (HIIT).
Following previous recommendations,
1,34
it is sug-
gested that training load be monitored as repetitive
loading during the adolescent spurt can increase risk
of overuse injuries.
24
During the investment stage, the
primary focus is improving performance in competi-
tion. In addition to SSGs, Harrison et al.
8
recommends
HIIT and/or sprint training 1–3 times per week.
A requirement of training at all stages is that some
or all of the work should be completed at an average
high-intensity of 85% HR max to promote gains in
aerobic fitness.
75
The need for youth to engage in high-
intensity exercise to improve their maximal oxygen
uptake is in agreement with previous reviews.
76,77
Although there is no mention of resistance training in
the model, evidence suggests resistance training may
improve muscular endurance performance in
youth
39,78,79
and thus should remain a central compo-
nent of any athletic development program. Because this
model aligns to the DMSP, stages are defined by par-
ticipation rather than biological or training age. Due to
the influence of maturation on physiological adapta-
tions, practitioners should consider maturity status
when prescribing training methods for youth. For
instance, as prepubertal youth are more reliant on
1196 International Journal of Sports Science & Coaching 13(6)
aerobic metabolism, they may need to train at relatively
higher intensities to experience training adaptations.
80
Conclusion
The growth of youth sport and physical training as a
method to improve health has led to a growing interest
in LTAD. Early general models suggest sampling mul-
tiple activities from an early age to develop a variety of
movement patterns, as well as considering the inter-
action of maturation on the training response. These
models provided stages for subsequent guidelines and
conceptual models regarding resistance training modal-
ities such as plyometric training and weightlifting.
Furthermore, subsequent models have used existing
frameworks to provide more detail into developing spe-
cific fitness components throughout childhood and
adolescence. The models and guidelines presented in
this paper should help direct coaches and practitioners
to proper application of LTAD programs.
Declaration of Conflicting Interests
The author(s) declared no potential conflicts of interest with
respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this
article.
Funding
The author(s) received no financial support for the research,
authorship, and/or publication of this article.
ORCID iD
Andrew W Pichardo http://orcid.org/0000-0002-5145-5924
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Pichardo et al. 1199
... Additionally, continuous and intermittent endurance training along with high intensity interval training (HIIT) and repeated sprint ability (RSA) are claimed to be the best methods in order to improve aerobic and anaerobic fitness in basketball [9, 10,30,31]. However, special adaptations should be considered in youth athletes and specially according to their development stage and sex [32][33][34][35][36]. There are critical and sensitive periods for physical capacity development linked to physiological changes due to maturational development with an ongoing chronological age [32,33,[35][36][37][38]. ...
... However, special adaptations should be considered in youth athletes and specially according to their development stage and sex [32][33][34][35][36]. There are critical and sensitive periods for physical capacity development linked to physiological changes due to maturational development with an ongoing chronological age [32,33,[35][36][37][38]. ...
... Multiple interventions (in particular plyometric training) are a wellestablished method to improve speed in different stages from childhood to late maturity of an athlete [23,42,85,[92][93][94][95]. According to the literature, in the early childhood, it seems to be primarily attributed to neural capacity, motor recruitment and coordination [33,42,96]. These changes and the high neural plasticity within the early stages could explain that only significant changes were only evident in the U-12 group. ...
Article
Full-text available
The main aims of this systematic review with meta-analysis and meta-regression were to describe the effect of multidisciplinary neuromuscular and endurance interventions, including plyometric training, mixed strength and conditioning, HIIT basketball programs and repeated sprint training on youth basketball players considering age, competitive level, gender and the type of the intervention performed to explore a predictive model through a meta-regression analysis. A structured search was conducted following PRISMA guidelines and PICOS model in Medline (PubMed), Web of Science (WOS) and Cochrane databases. Groups of experiments were created according to neuromuscular power (vertical; NPV and horizontal; NPH) and endurance (E). Meta-analysis and sub-groups analysis were performed using a random effect model and pooled standardized mean differences (SMD). A random effects meta-regression was performed regressing SMD for the different sub-groups against percentage change for NPV and NPH. There was a significant positive overall effect of the multidisciplinary interventions on NPV, NPH and E. Sub-groups analysis indicate differences in the effects of the interventions on NPV and NPH considering age, gender, competitive level and the type of the intervention used. Considering the current data available, the meta-regression analysis suggests a good predictability of U-16 and plyometric training on jump performance. Besides, male and elite level youth basketball players had a good predictability on multidirectional speed and agility performance.
... Long-term athlete development models provide general frameworks to prepare children and adolescents for sports and a physically active lifestyle [1]. These models aim to align sport practice with growth, maturation, and early sport specialization and consider factors such as injury risk [2,3] and the limitations of the existing training practice schedules [4]. ...
... The long-term athlete development model and the youth development model have suggested that middle childhood serves as an important time frame for flexibility development because it incorporates a period that has been termed "critical" for ROM enhancement [4,8]. Although this suggestion may provide coaches and clinicians with a valuable insight into the components of a successful athletic development program, there is still no conclusive evidence to support this suggestion [1]. This is because evidence regarding ROM improvement following stretching training in children and adolescents is limited and inconsistent [71,72], despite the fact that flexibility in young athletes is often associated with a higher performance, at least in sports such as gymnastics, swimming, and dance. ...
... Long-term athlete development models provide general frameworks to prepare children and adolescents for sports and a physically active lifestyle [1]. These models aim to align sport practice with growth, maturation, and early sport specialization and consider factors such as injury risk [2,3] and the limitations of the existing training practice schedules [4]. ...
... The long-term athlete development model and the youth development model have suggested that middle childhood serves as an important time frame for flexibility development because it incorporates a period that has been termed "critical" for ROM enhancement [4,8]. Although this suggestion may provide coaches and clinicians with a valuable insight into the components of a successful athletic development program, there is still no conclusive evidence to support this suggestion [1]. This is because evidence regarding ROM improvement following stretching training in children and adolescents is limited and inconsistent [71,72], despite the fact that flexibility in young athletes is often associated with a higher performance, at least in sports such as gymnastics, swimming, and dance. ...
Article
Full-text available
Background Flexibility is an important component of physical fitness for competitive and recreational athletes. It is generally suggested that flexibility training should start from childhood (6–11 years of age) to optimize joint range of motion (ROM) increases; however, evidence is limited and inconsistent. Objective To examine whether there is a difference in the effect of stretching training on flexibility during childhood (6–11 years of age) and adolescence (12–18 years of age). Design Systematic review and meta-analysis. Methods We searched PubMed Central, Web of Science, Scopus, Embase, and SPORTDiscus, to conduct this systematic review. Randomized controlled trials and non-randomized controlled trials were eligible. No language and date of publication restrictions were applied. Risk of bias was assessed using Cochrane RoB2 and ROBINS-I tools. Meta-analyses were conducted via an inverse variance random-effects model. GRADE analysis was used to assess the methodological quality of the studies. Results From the 2713 records retrieved 28 studies were included in the meta-analysis ( n = 1936 participants). Risk of bias was low in 56.9% of all criteria. Confidence in cumulative evidence was moderate. We found that stretching was effective in increasing ROM in both children (SMD = 1.09; 95% CI = 0.77–1.41; Z = 6.65; p < 0.001; I ² = 79%) and adolescents (SMD = 0.90; 95% CI = 0.70–1.10; Z = 8.88; p < 0.001; I ² = 81%), with no differences between children and adolescents in ROM improvements ( p = 0.32; I ² = 0%). However, when stretching volume load was considered, children exhibited greater increases in ROM with higher than lower stretching volumes (SMD = 1.21; 95% CI = 0.82–1.60; Z = 6.09; p < 0.001; I ² = 82% and SMD = 0.62; 95% CI = 0.29–0.95; Z = 3.65; p < 0.001; I ² = 0%, respectively; subgroup difference: p = 0.02; I ² = 80.5%), while adolescents responded equally to higher and lower stretching volume loads (SMD = 0.90; 95% CI = 0.47–1.33; Z = 4.08; p < 0.001; I ² = 83%, and SMD = 0.90; 95% CI = 0.69–1.12; Z = 8.18; p < 0.001; I ² = 79%, respectively; subgroup difference: p = 0.98; I ² = 0%). Conclusions Systematic stretching training increases ROM during both childhood and adolescence. However, larger ROM gains may be induced in childhood than in adolescence when higher stretching volume loads are applied, while adolescents respond equally to high and low stretching volume loads. Registration: INPLASY, registration number: INPLASY202190032; https://inplasy.com/inplasy-2021-9-0032/
... Through the development of FMS as well as participation in multiple sports-related activities throughout childhood, the premise of the LTAD model is to avoid early specialization and the associated risks relating to injury and burnout Pichardo et al., 2018;Perreault and Gonzalez, 2021). However, despite recognition by sports organizations of the need for an LTAD strategy, the prevalence of injuries in youth sports, such as soccer and basketball, remains high (e.g., Read et al., 2016Read et al., , 2018Owoeye et al., 2020). ...
... Collectively, this has resulted in the publication of position papers, such as the National Strength and Conditioning Association's LTAD position statement and the British Journal of Sports Medicine's position statement on youth resistance training, both of which recommend the concurrent development of muscular strength and movement skills in children and adolescents (Lloyd et al., 2014. Therefore, the role of S&C within the LTAD strategies of sports organizations should be regarded as highly important in reducing risk factors for injury as well as increasing physical performance capabilities Zwolski et al., 2017;Pichardo et al., 2018). ...
Article
Background: Postural balance represents a fundamental movement skill for the successful performance of everyday and sport-related activities. There is ample evidence on the effectiveness of balance training on balance performance in athletic and non-athletic population. However, less is known on potential transfer effects of other training types, such as plyometric jump training (PJT) on measures of balance. Given that PJT is a highly dynamic exercise mode with various forms of jump-landing tasks, high levels of postural control are needed to successfully perform PJT exercises. Accordingly, PJT has the potential to not only improve measures of muscle strength and power but also balance. Objective: To systematically review and synthetize evidence from randomized and non-randomized controlled trials regarding the effects of PJT on measures of balance in apparently healthy participants. Methods: Systematic literature searches were performed in the electronic databases PubMed, Web of Science, and SCOPUS. A PICOS approach was applied to define inclusion criteria, (i) apparently healthy participants, with no restrictions on their fitness level, sex, or age, (ii) a PJT program, (iii) active controls (any sport-related activity) or specific active controls (a specific exercise type such as balance training), (iv) assessment of dynamic, static balance pre- and post-PJT, (v) randomized controlled trials and controlled trials. The methodological quality of studies was assessed using the Physiotherapy Evidence Database (PEDro) scale. This meta-analysis was computed using the inverse variance random-effects model. The significance level was set at p < 0.05. Results: The initial search retrieved 8,251 plus 23 records identified through other sources. Forty-two articles met our inclusion criteria for qualitative and 38 for quantitative analysis (1,806 participants [990 males, 816 females], age range 9–63 years). PJT interventions lasted between 4 and 36 weeks. The median PEDro score was 6 and no study had low methodological quality (�3). The analysis revealed significant small effects of PJT on overall (dynamic and static) balance (ES = 0.46; 95% CI = 0.32–0.61; p < 0.001), dynamic (e.g., Y-balance test) balance (ES = 0.50; 95% CI = 0.30–0.71; p < 0.001), and static (e.g., flamingo balance test) balance (ES = 0.49; 95% CI = 0.31–0.67; p<0.001). The moderator analyses revealed that sex and/or age did not moderate balance performance outcomes. When PJT was compared to specific active controls (i.e., participants undergoing balance training, whole body vibration training, resistance training), both PJT and alternative training methods showed similar effects on overall (dynamic and static) balance (p = 0.534). Specifically, when PJT was compared to balance training, both training types showed similar effects on overall (dynamic and static) balance (p = 0.514). Conclusion: Compared to active controls, PJT showed small effects on overall balance, dynamic and static balance. Additionally, PJT produced similar balance improvements compared to other training types (i.e., balance training). Although PJT is widely used in athletic and recreational sport settings to improve athletes’ physical fitness (e.g., jumping; sprinting), our systematic review with meta-analysis is novel in as much as it indicates that PJT also improves balance performance. The observed PJT-related balance enhancements were irrespective of sex and participants’ age. Therefore, PJT appears to be an adequate training regime to improve balance in both, athletic and recreational settings.
... Through the development of FMS as well as participation in multiple sports-related activities throughout childhood, the premise of the LTAD model is to avoid early specialization and the associated risks relating to injury and burnout Pichardo et al., 2018;Perreault and Gonzalez, 2021). However, despite recognition by sports organizations of the need for an LTAD strategy, the prevalence of injuries in youth sports, such as soccer and basketball, remains high (e.g., Read et al., 2016Read et al., , 2018Owoeye et al., 2020). ...
... Collectively, this has resulted in the publication of position papers, such as the National Strength and Conditioning Association's LTAD position statement and the British Journal of Sports Medicine's position statement on youth resistance training, both of which recommend the concurrent development of muscular strength and movement skills in children and adolescents (Lloyd et al., 2014. Therefore, the role of S&C within the LTAD strategies of sports organizations should be regarded as highly important in reducing risk factors for injury as well as increasing physical performance capabilities Zwolski et al., 2017;Pichardo et al., 2018). ...
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Studies comparing children and adolescents from different periods have shown that physical activity and fitness decreased in the last decades, which might have important adverse health consequences such as body fat gain and poor metabolic health. The purpose of the current article is to present the benefits of high-intensity multimodal training (HIMT), such as CrossFit, to young people, with a critical discussion about its potential benefits and concerns. During HIMT, exercise professionals might have an opportunity to promote positive changes in physical function and body composition in children and adolescents, as well as to promote improvements in mental health and psychosocial aspects. Moreover, this might serve as an opportunity to educate them about the benefits of a healthy lifestyle and overcome the perceived barriers for being physically active. In technical terms, the characteristics of HIMT, such as, the simultaneous development of many physical capacities and diversity of movement skills and exercise modalities might be particularly interesting for training young people. Many concerns like an increased risk of injury and insufficient recovery might be easily addressed and not become a relevant problem for this group.
... Physical Literacy is considered an individual's motivation, confidence, physical competence, knowledge and understanding to value and take responsibility for engaging in physical activities for life. 17 While the competence aspect of physical literacy relates to FMS, the physical literacy itself is broader than FMS alone and the two should not be considered as the same thing. 17 Development of FMS are considered building blocks for more sport-specific movements and skills, 18 and represent the foundation for physical activity and sports participation. ...
... 17 While the competence aspect of physical literacy relates to FMS, the physical literacy itself is broader than FMS alone and the two should not be considered as the same thing. 17 Development of FMS are considered building blocks for more sport-specific movements and skills, 18 and represent the foundation for physical activity and sports participation. 19,20 For example, children who do not master FMS are less likely to possess the required confidence and competence to engage in activities needed to develop more complex sport specific skills, such as the dribbling and passing required in soccer. ...
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This study presents the perceptions and practices of fundamental movement skills (FMS) in grassroots soccer coaches. One hundred and twenty-eight coaches (123 males, 5 females) completed an online mixed-method survey comprising 32 questions relating to: participant demographics, education, and qualifications; FMS perceptions, practices, and assessments, and the importance of FMS constructs; and other factors related to FMS. Frequency analysis was used to assess and report responses to fixed response and Likert-scale questions, and thematic analysis used for open-ended questions. Results indicated that grassroots soccer coaches have an awareness of the concept of FMS and value FMS as a contributor to developing general movement and soccer specific skills. However, there was a tendency for the coaches to conflate FMS with fitness. Coaches in the current study reported that developing FMS was useful to improve soccer development. The coaches suggested they assessed FMS but the measures they employed predominantly focused on more general movement outcomes. No coach used a valid or reliable process-oriented FMS assessment. Coaches used resources to inform their practice for FMS development, but the quality of resources accessed lacked an evidence base, with a reliance on social media. While the coaches in the current study reported valuing FMS, there are gaps in coach education and available evidence-based resources which inhibit the effective development of FMS within grassroots soccer practice. Providing training, qualifications and additional support for coaches related to FMS will aid implementation in practice.
... The nature of the data presented diffi culty in reliably quantifying evidence via meta-analysis. [83]. Based on the Downs and Black checklist [60], the overall quality of the studies included in the current review was relatively low. ...
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Background: Numerous studies have reported accelerated muscle hypertrophy, strength, and power adaptations following chronic bouts of isoinertial Flywheel Resistance Training (FRT). These factors contribute to Change of Direction (CoD) speed and sprinting performance, which are key determinants of performance in football. Progression through to the senior elite level dictates the necessity to develop these qualities in adolescent populations. Aim: To determine whether ≥ 4 weeks' FRT enhances CoD and sprinting performance in adolescent football players versus traditional strength training. Methods: PubMed and SPORT Discus electronic databases were used in February 2021. The search strategy identified randomised controlled trials, randomised crossover trials, and controlled non-randomised, full-text peer-reviewed publications written in English. Study quality was assessed by conducting a modified Downs and Black checklist. Results: A total of 21 studies were found, and following the removal of duplicates and studies based on title and abstract screening, eight studies remained. Following eligibility screening, three studies were included in the systematic review. A total of 67 subjects participated in the included studies. FRT training provides evidence that sprint performance over distances from 10 to 40-m can be improved (effect sizes: 10m = -1.8 ± 2.4%); 20m (ES = 0.37); 30m (ES = -1.5 ± 1.1%); 40m (ES = -1.1 ± 1.0%); and flying 10m (ES = 0.77) and that FRT induces significant improvements in CoD (different distances and for dominant and non-dominant limbs) compared to a control condition where subjects continued with their football training. Conclusion: Although the included studies suggest that 10-27 weeks' FRT may improve CoD and sprint performance in adolescent football players, paucity in the available literature makes such a conclusion premature. Further research in the area would ideally account for the device, moment of inertia, and transfer mechanism.
... Additionally, the content of structured endurance training is not provided, and could be biased by age and/or maturation. Although various sporting associations and clubs might have different approaches to training, several youth development models advocate a more structured approach to training (i.e. more systematic endurance sessions) during and after adolescence (Balyi et al., 2013;Pichardo et al., 2018). If the post-peak height velocity (PHV) group followed a more systematic approach to endurance training, this could obviously affect the outcomes and be a serious bias to the conclusion that '… cardiovascular adaptations to exercise training is more pronounced post-PHV …' . ...
... A meta-analysis by Viru et al. (1998) revealed that the specific chronological age periods characterized by an annual acceleration in rates of aerobic endurance, explosive speed strength, and strength could be used to identify critical time frames for development. In primary-aged students, there are periods of sensitive and optimal periods for producing desirable changes in muscular power and strength (Myers et al., 2017;Pichardo et al., 2018;Viru et al., 1998). By inference, teachers can deliver RTMA and related strategies to primary-aged students to enhance neuromuscular development and motor performance skills (Freitas et al., 2015). ...
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Physical education (PE) plays a central role in children’s and young people’s holistic development, enabling cognitive, psychomotor, and affective development while boosting healthy lifestyles and socialization. Children equipped with developed motor abilities, such as muscular strength and power, will be better prepared to learn motor performance skills and sustain the demands of learning and playing games and sports. A scientific literature search was conducted in January 2021 to identify all relevant controlled studies from January 2000 to 2021 on PE interventions and strategies based on resistance training to achieve PE outcomes. The review showed that exposure to resistance exercises in PE lessons might be beneficial for primary school students’ general physical fitness, motor performance skills proficiency, and learning diversified sport skills. Interventions that include muscular strength and power development can support adequate muscular fitness and motor performance skill proficiency to achieve primary school PE outcomes.
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Numerous national associations and multiple reviews have documented the safety and efficacy of strength training for children and adolescents. The literature highlights the significant training-induced increases in strength associated with youth strength training. However, the effectiveness of youth strength training programs to improve power measures is not as clear. This discrepancy may be related to training and testing specificity.Most prior youth strength training programs emphasized lower intensity resistance with relatively slow movements. Since power activities typically involve higher intensity, explosive-like contractions with higher angular velocities (e.g., plyometrics), there is a conflict between the training medium and testing measures. This meta-analysis compared strength (e.g., training with resistance or body mass) and power training programs (e.g., plyometric training) on proxies of muscle strength, power, and speed. A systematic literature search using a Boolean Search Strategy was conducted in the electronic databases PubMed, SPORT Discus,Web of Science, and Google Scholar and revealed 652 hits. After perusal of title, abstract, and full text, 107 studies were eligible for inclusion in this systematic review and meta-analysis. The meta-analysis showed small to moderate magnitude changes for training specificity with jump measures. In other words, power training was more effective than strength training for improving youth jump height. For sprint measures, strength training was more effective than power training with youth. Furthermore, strength training exhibited consistently large magnitude changes to lower body strength measures, which contrasted with the generally trivial, small and moderate magnitude training improvements of power training upon lower body strength, sprint and jump measures, respectively. Maturity related inadequacies in eccentric strength and balance might influence the lack of training specificity with the unilateral landings and propulsions associated with sprinting. Based on this meta-analysis, strength training should be incorporated prior to power training in order to establish an adequate foundation of strength for power training activities.
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Rugby league is a collision team sport played at junior and senior levels worldwide, whereby players require highly developed anthropometric and physical qualities (i.e. speed, change-of-direction speed, aerobic capacity, muscular strength and power). Within junior levels, professional clubs and national governing bodies implement talent identification and development programmes to support the development of youth (i.e. 13-20 years) rugby league players into professional athletes. This review presents and critically appraises the anthropometric and physical qualities of elite male youth rugby league players aged between 13 and 20 years, by age category, playing standard and playing position. Height, body mass, body composition, linear speed, change-of-direction speed, aerobic capacity, muscular strength and power characteristics are presented and demonstrate that qualities develop with age and differentiate between playing standard and playing position. This highlights the importance of anthropometric and physical qualities for the identification and development of youth rugby league players. However, factors such as maturity status, variability in development, longitudinal monitoring and career attainment should be considered to help understand, identify and develop the physical qualities of youth players. Further extensive research is required into the anthropometric and physical qualities of youth rugby league players, specifically considering national standardised testing batteries, links between physical qualities and match performance, together with intervention studies, to inform the physical development of youth rugby league players for talent identification and development purposes.
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Although plyometric training (PT) improves change of direction (COD) ability, the influence of age on COD gains after PT is unclear. Therefore, the aim of this systematic review was to identify the age-related pattern of improvement in COD ability after PT in youths. A computerized search within six databases was performed, selecting studied based on specific inclusion criteria: experimental trials published in English-language journals, PT focused on the lower body, COD ability measurements reported before and after training, and male participants aged 10-to-18 years old. Sixteen articles with a total of 30 effect sizes (ESs) in the experimental groups and 13 ESs in the control groups were included. For the analyses, subjects were catagorized into three age groups: 10 to 12.9 years of age (PRE), 13 to 15.9 years of age (MID) and 16 to 18 years of age (POST). Independent of age, PT improved COD ability in youths (ES = 0.86, time gains [TG = -0.61]). However, a tendency toward greater COD ability gains was observed in older subjects (MID, ES = 0.95; POST, ES = 0.99) compared to younger subjects (PRE, ES = 0.68). Pearson product-moment correlation (r) indicated that 2-weekly sessions of PT induced meaningful COD ability gains (for ES, r = 0.436; for time gains, r = -0.624). A positive relationship was found between training intensity and ES (r = 0.493). In conclusion, PT improves COD ability in youths, with meaningfully greater effects in older youths. Two PT sessions per week, with 1400 moderate-intensity jumps for 7 weeks, seems to be an adequate dose.
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Single-sport specialized training has led to an emerging risk of overuse injury and burnout. However, much of the attentionon this topichas focused on young male athletes with limited data available on females. The purpose of this article is tooutline the potential risks and sportsspecific trends in the adolescent athletes, with an emphasis on sports specialization in females. There is emerging evidence of an increase in injuries and overuse injuries related to the degree of sports specialization in female athletes. Adolescent female athletes who specialize in a single sport and participate in individual sports should be monitored for potential increased risk of overuse injuries.
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Speed is a key aspect of youth physical development programs and commonly assessed during talent identification testing protocols, yet, little is understood about the factors that underpin the natural development of maximal speed throughout childhood and adolescence. This article reviews the anthropometric, kinematic, kinetic, and asymmetry variables that contribute to sprint performance, while examining the impact that growth and maturation may have on all facets of maximal sprint performance in boys. Clear guidance is provided on the practical applications for the strength and conditioning coach that should help in design of effective speed development programs for male youth.
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