The Influence of Somatic Maturity on Match-play Running Performance in Elite Youth Football Players

Lawrence, Luke (2015) The Influence of Somatic Maturity on Match-play Running Performance in Elite Youth Football Players. Masters thesis, St Mary's University.

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Abstract

The study sought to investigate the relationship between maturity and match running performance and quantify differences between players pre-, circa- and post- peak height velocity (PHV). GPS was used to monitor the running activity during five matches in 45 elite youth football players (14.6 ± 1.4 years, 1.67 ± 0.12 m, 57.3 ± 13.8 Kg) spanning four age groups (U13, U14, U15 and U17). Running performance was quantified by analysing distances across six speed zones based on each age group’s averaged top speed whilst maturation was assessed via anthropometrics. Analysis revealed that post-PHV players attained significantly greater (P < 0.01) distance ‘walking’ v pre- and circa-PHV, supported by a positive association between maturity and this zone (r = 0.55, P < 0.05). Conversely, maturity and ‘running’ distance yielded a negative association (r = -0.60, P < 0.01) where pre- and circa-PHV attained significantly greater (P < 0.01) distances v post-PHV. Peak speed demonstrated the strongest association with maturity (r = 0.75, P < 0.01) with circa- and post-PHV being significantly faster (P < 0.01) than pre-PHV. Maturity and high intensity efforts produced a negative association (r = -0.40, P < 0.05) where pre-PHV attained significantly more (P < 0.05) v post-PHV. The findings suggest that less mature players work at a higher intensity than their older counterparts which may heighten their risk of injury if not optimally managed. Whether differences are due to less mature players compensating for a lower top speed or being less tactically astute requires further investigation.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Additional Information: MSc Strength and Conditioning
Subjects: 600 Technology > 612 Human physiology
700 The arts; fine & decorative arts; recreation > 796 Athletic & outdoor sports & games
School/Department: School of Sport, Health and Applied Science
Depositing User: Jonathan Lucas
Date Deposited: 01 Feb 2016 12:05
Last Modified: 01 Feb 2016 12:05
URI: http://research.stmarys.ac.uk/id/eprint/958

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