Special Issue "Training and Performance in Youth Sports"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Sport and Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 September 2022.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Filipe Manuel Clemente
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Polytechnic Institute of Viana do Castelo, School of Sport and Leisure, 4960-320 Melgaço, Portugal
Interests: football; soccer; match analysis; performance analysis; network analysis
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Daniele Conte
E-Mail
Guest Editor
Institute of Sport Science and Innovation, Lithuanian Sports University, Kaunas, Lithuania
Interests: performance analysis; monitoring training load; match analysis; team sports; sports training

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

A growing body of literature recognizes talent identification as a fundamental component in sport science, with researchers continually attempting to find effective methods to identify the best performers for the future. However, optimal performance in young age does not guarantee an expert athlete in the future. Moreover, the maturational process is an important landmark in performance development.

This Special Issue of the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, “Training and Performance in Youth Sports”, offers an opportunity to publish high-quality experiments, original papers, and opinion letters in the field of training and performance in youth sport and discussion related to achieving higher performances in youth sports. We are particularly interested in the following research topics: talent identification, expertise, growth and maturation, technical and tactical development, sex differences, and training load and performance analysis in both individual and team sports. We would welcome papers related to evidence of successful intervention strategies. All manuscripts will be peer-reviewed by experts in the field by November 2020.

Dr. Ana Filipa Silva
Dr. Filipe Manuel Clemente
Dr. Daniele Conte
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • talent identification
  • youth sports
  • performance
  • testing
  • training
  • expertise
  • skill level
  • maturation
  • training load
  • growth

Published Papers (23 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Jump to: Review

Article
Impact of Prolonged Absence of Organized Training on Body Composition, Neuromuscular Performance, and Aerobic Capacity: A Study in Youth Male Soccer Players Exposed to COVID-19 Lockdown
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(3), 1148; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19031148 - 20 Jan 2022
Viewed by 148
Abstract
The aim of this study is to examine how physical performance has changed after 15 weeks (109 days) long-term absence of organized training in youth soccer players imposed by the stay at home orders. A total of sixty-eight young male soccer players from [...] Read more.
The aim of this study is to examine how physical performance has changed after 15 weeks (109 days) long-term absence of organized training in youth soccer players imposed by the stay at home orders. A total of sixty-eight young male soccer players from different age categories (U15, U16, U17 and U19) voluntarily participated in the prospective cohort study. Body fat percentage (BF%), counter-movement jump (CMJ), 30 m sprint, change-of-direction (COD) and yo-yo intermittent recovery test level-1 (YYIRTL-1) were evaluated twice (before and after the detraining period). Subsequently, 2 × 2 repeated measures ANOVA was used to investigate group and time differences in repeated measurements. A significance level of p < 0.05 was implemented. CV and SWC values were calculated to test the reliability of the tests performed at different times. Statistical analysis was performed using the IBM SPSS statistics software (v.25, IBM, New York, NY, USA). Significant increments in BF%, 30 m sprint, and COD (left and right), and also significant decrements in CMJ and YYIRTL-1, were found after the detraining period. A long-term detraining period due to the stay at home orders has a detrimental effect on body composition, neuromuscular performances, and aerobic capacity in youth soccer players. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Training and Performance in Youth Sports)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Postural Control in Unipedal Quiet Stance in Young Female Gymnasts and the Effects of Training with Consideration of Transient Behavior of Postural Sway
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(2), 982; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19020982 - 16 Jan 2022
Viewed by 151
Abstract
The purpose of this study was twofold: (a) to compare postural control between a group of young female gymnasts (n = 15; age: 11.2 ± 1.9 years) and non-trained peers (n = 15; age: 10.9 ± 2.0 years), and (b) to [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was twofold: (a) to compare postural control between a group of young female gymnasts (n = 15; age: 11.2 ± 1.9 years) and non-trained peers (n = 15; age: 10.9 ± 2.0 years), and (b) to investigate the effect of an 8-week whole body exercise intervention program on postural control in young female gymnasts. Postural control was assessed by recording center of pressure (CoP) movements during unipedal quiet stance. Velocity and amplitude of CoP movement in anterior-posterior (AP) and medial-lateral (ML) directions were considered. In addition to common trial-averaged CoP outcomes, we also considered the transient behavior of CoP movements, by calculating relative differences between the 1st and 2nd, and the 1st and 3rd 10-s intervals within the whole trial (DIF_21 and DIF_31, respectively). The gymnast group had lower total CoP velocity (Cohen’s d = 0.97) and AP amplitude (Cohen’s d = 0.85), compared to their non-trained peers. The gymnasts also had lower CoP AP amplitude DIF21 (Cohen’s d = 0.73), with almost constant values across all intervals. After the training ML CoP velocity was reduced for 13.12% (Cohen’s d = 0.60), while ML CoP amplitude increased (Cohen’s d = −0.89). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Training and Performance in Youth Sports)
Article
Effects of Endurance Training Intensity on Pulmonary Diffusing Capacity at Rest and after Maximal Aerobic Exercise in Young Athletes
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(23), 12359; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182312359 - 24 Nov 2021
Viewed by 646
Abstract
This study compared the effects of varying aerobic training programs on pulmonary diffusing capacity (TLCO), pulmonary diffusing capacity for nitric oxide (TLNO), lung capillary blood volume (Vc) and alveolar–capillary membrane diffusing capacity (DM) of gases at rest and just [...] Read more.
This study compared the effects of varying aerobic training programs on pulmonary diffusing capacity (TLCO), pulmonary diffusing capacity for nitric oxide (TLNO), lung capillary blood volume (Vc) and alveolar–capillary membrane diffusing capacity (DM) of gases at rest and just after maximal exercise in young athletes. Sixteen healthy young runners (16–18 years) were randomly assigned to an intense endurance training program (IET, n = 8) or to a moderate endurance training program (MET, n = 8). The training volume was similar in IET and MET but with different work intensities, and each lasted for 8 weeks. Participants performed a maximal graded cycle bicycle ergometer test to measure maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max) and maximal aerobic power (MAP) before and after the training programs. Moreover, TLCO, TLNO and Vc were measured during a single breath maneuver. After eight weeks of training, all pulmonary parameters with the exception of alveolar volume (VA) and inspiratory volume (VI) (0.104 < p < 0889; 0.001 < ES < 0.091), measured at rest and at the end of maximal exercise, showed significant group × time interactions (p < 0.05, 0.2 < ES < 4.0). Post hoc analyses revealed significant pre-to-post decreases for maximal heart rates (p < 0.0001, ES = 3.1) and improvements for VO2max (p = 0.006, ES = 2.22) in the IET group. Moreover, post hoc analyses revealed significant pre-to-post improvements in the IET for DM, TLNO, TLCO and Vc (0.001 < p < 0.0022; 2.68 < ES < 6.45). In addition, there were increases in Vc at rest, VO2max, TLNO and DM in the IET but not in the MET participants after eight weeks of training with varying exercise intensities. Our findings suggest that the intensity of training may represent the most important factor in increasing pulmonary vascular function in young athletes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Training and Performance in Youth Sports)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Shot Distribution and Accuracy in Senior and Youth International Basketball Games: Changes over the Decade of the 2010s
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(18), 9900; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18189900 - 20 Sep 2021
Viewed by 794
Abstract
This study aimed to investigate the changes in shot distribution and accuracy in senior and under-17 international basketball tournaments in the 2010s. A retrospective cross-sectional design was employed, and a total of 1055 games from 20 world-level tournaments held between 2010 and 2019 [...] Read more.
This study aimed to investigate the changes in shot distribution and accuracy in senior and under-17 international basketball tournaments in the 2010s. A retrospective cross-sectional design was employed, and a total of 1055 games from 20 world-level tournaments held between 2010 and 2019 were analyzed. The tournaments held in 2010 were played under the old three-point line (6.25 m), and the rest of the tournaments were played under the new three-point line (6.75 m). The numbers of two- and three-point shot attempts in each game were normalized to 100 possessions. Differences in mean values of two- and three-point shot attempts were analyzed by a two-way (category × year) between-subjects analysis of variance (ANOVA). Differences in the success rates of two- and three-point shots were analyzed by Fisher’s exact test. There was no significant category × year interaction for two-point shot attempts. However, there were significant main effects of category and year for two-point shot attempts. The number of two-point shot attempts increased significantly in 2012 and, in 2016, returned to a level not significantly different from that in 2010, independent of categories. There was a significant category × year interaction for three-point shot attempts. The number of three-point shot attempts decreased significantly in 2012 and, by 2016, returned to a level not significantly different from that in 2010 in senior men and under-17 women. There was no significant change in the number of three-point shot attempts in under-17 men. The effect of the extension of the three-point line on shot accuracy was limited. Differences in shot accuracy were prominent between age categories: the accuracy was lower in under-17 games than in senior games for both sexes. Although under-17 men attempted fewer three-point shots than senior men, under-17 women attempted a similar number of or more three-point shots than senior women. These findings can contribute to a better understanding of age and sex differences in recent trends in international basketball. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Training and Performance in Youth Sports)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
The Impact of COVID-19 Lockdown on Agility, Explosive Power, and Speed-Endurance Capacity in Youth Soccer Players
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(18), 9604; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18189604 - 12 Sep 2021
Viewed by 820
Abstract
Our goal was to assess agility, explosive power, and speed-endurance capacity by implementing noninvasive procedures and sport-specific tests. We hypothesized that agility, speed, explosive power, and speed-endurance capacity might be maintained or increased by an individualized home-based training program. Eleven adolescent athletes participated [...] Read more.
Our goal was to assess agility, explosive power, and speed-endurance capacity by implementing noninvasive procedures and sport-specific tests. We hypothesized that agility, speed, explosive power, and speed-endurance capacity might be maintained or increased by an individualized home-based training program. Eleven adolescent athletes participated in our study; they executed three tests before the coronavirus outbreak and 13 weeks later, after the pandemic curfew. We used the SpeedCourt System to assess the sport-specific speed and agility parameters and monitor speed-endurance capacity. We conducted the first measurement at the end of the preparatory period, on 28 February 2020. The second session consisted of 4 weeks of regular training and 9 weeks of individual, home-based activities. Compared to the first (pre-pandemic) testing session, our participants demonstrated a significantly improved capacity of the lower limbs’ explosive strength after completing the home-based exercise routine, compared to the first (pre-pandemic) testing session. We found that agility, speed, and explosive power might be maintained at the same level under home-based conditions. We found that it was challenging for the participants to increase their “pre-pandemic” endurance capacities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Training and Performance in Youth Sports)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Inter-Limb Jump Asymmetries and Their Association with Sport-Specific Performance in Young Male and Female Swimmers
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(14), 7324; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18147324 - 08 Jul 2021
Viewed by 1107
Abstract
This study aimed to examine inter-limb jump asymmetries and their association with sport-specific performance in young swimmers. Thirty-eight (male, n = 19; female, n = 19) regional/national level young swimmers (age: 12.3 ± 1.2 years; height: 159.6 ± 8.2 cm; body mass: 52.5 [...] Read more.
This study aimed to examine inter-limb jump asymmetries and their association with sport-specific performance in young swimmers. Thirty-eight (male, n = 19; female, n = 19) regional/national level young swimmers (age: 12.3 ± 1.2 years; height: 159.6 ± 8.2 cm; body mass: 52.5 ± 9.2 kg) participated in this study. Inter-limb asymmetries were assessed for single-leg countermovement jump (SLCMJ) and single-leg standing long jump (SLSLJ). Sport-specific performance was evaluated using front crawl (i.e., 50 m and 25 m) and front crawl kick (i.e., 50 m and 25 m). The kappa coefficient revealed a “slight” level of agreement (Κ = 0.156, 0.184, and 0.197 for female, male, and all, respectively) between the direction of asymmetry for SLCMJ and SLSLJ, indicating that asymmetries rarely favored the same limb during both tests. A paired sample t-test showed a significant difference (p = 0.025) between asymmetry scores obtained in SLCMJ and SLSLJ. No significant difference was found in asymmetry scores between males and females (p = 0.099 to 0.977). Additionally, no association between asymmetry scores and sport-specific performance was observed (p > 0.05). Our findings highlight the independent nature of inter-limb asymmetries derived from SLCMJ and SLSLJ among young male and female swimmers. Further, our results suggest no association between jumping asymmetries and sport-specific performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Training and Performance in Youth Sports)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Motion Analysis of Match Play in U14 Male Soccer Players and the Influence of Position, Competitive Level and Contextual Variables
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(14), 7287; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18147287 - 07 Jul 2021
Viewed by 980
Abstract
This study aimed to investigate match running performance in U14 male soccer players in Norway, and the influence of position, competitive level and contextual factors on running performance. Locomotion was monitored in 64 different U14 players during 23 official matches. Matches were played [...] Read more.
This study aimed to investigate match running performance in U14 male soccer players in Norway, and the influence of position, competitive level and contextual factors on running performance. Locomotion was monitored in 64 different U14 players during 23 official matches. Matches were played at two different competitive levels: U14 elite level (n = 7) and U14 sub-elite level (n = 16). The inclusion criterion was completed match halves played in the same playing position. The variables’ influence on match running performance was assessed using mixed-effect models, pairwise comparisons with Bonferroni correction, and effect size. The results showed that the U14 players, on average, moved 7645 ± 840 m during a match, of which 1730 ± 681 m (22.6%) included high-intensity running (HIR, 13.5–18.5 km·h−1) and sprinting (>18.5 km·h−1). Wide midfielders (WM) and fullbacks (FB) covered the greatest sprint distance (569 ± 40 m) and, in addition to the centre midfield position (CM), also covered the greatest total distance (TD) (8014 ± 140 m) and HIR distance (1446 ± 64 m). Centre forwards (CF) performed significantly more accelerations (49.5 ± 3.8) compared other positions. TD (7952 ± 120 m vs. 7590 ± 94 m) and HIR (1432 ± 57 m vs. 1236 ± 43 m) were greater in U14 elite-level matches compared with sub-elite matches. Greater TD and sprint distances were performed in home matches, but, on the other hand, more accelerations and decelerations were performed in matches played away or in neutral locations. Significantly higher TD, HIR and sprinting distances were also found in lost or drawn matches. In conclusion, physical performance during matches is highly related to playing position, and wide positions seem to be the most physically demanding. Further, competitive level and contextual match variables are associated with players’ running performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Training and Performance in Youth Sports)
Article
Race Performance Prediction from the Physiological Profile in National Level Youth Cross-Country Cyclists
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(11), 5535; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18115535 - 21 May 2021
Viewed by 1484
Abstract
Cross-country mountain biking is an Olympic sport discipline with high popularity among elite and amateur cyclists. However, there is a scarcity of data regarding the key determinants of performance, particularly in young cross-country cyclists. The aim of this study was to examine the [...] Read more.
Cross-country mountain biking is an Olympic sport discipline with high popularity among elite and amateur cyclists. However, there is a scarcity of data regarding the key determinants of performance, particularly in young cross-country cyclists. The aim of this study was to examine the physiological profile of youth national-level cross-country cyclists and to determine those variables that were able to best predict the performance in an official race. Ten youth cross-country cyclists of a national team underwent a complete evaluation that included anthropometric assessments, laboratory tests to evaluate the wattage at blood lactate thresholds and at maximal oxygen uptake (POVO2max), and field tests to make an in-depth power profile of the athletes. The data obtained in the above-mentioned tests was analysed along with total and partial race times during a competition belonging to the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) calendar. In the present study, large and statistically significant correlations (r = −0.67 to −0.95, p ≤ 0.05) were found between maximal and submaximal indices of aerobic fitness and cycling performance, especially when they were normalised to body mass. A multiple regression analysis demonstrated that the wattage at 2 mmol/L, 4 mmol/L and POVO2max were able to explain 82% of the variance in total race time. In summary, the results of this study support the use of maximal and submaximal indices of aerobic power as predictors of performance in youth cross-country cyclists. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Training and Performance in Youth Sports)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Assessing Elementary School Students’ Manipulative Skill Competency in China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(6), 3150; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18063150 - 18 Mar 2021
Viewed by 819
Abstract
This study aimed to test the validity and reliability of the Physical Education (PE) Metric Assessment Rubrics for assessing 4th-grade students’ manipulative skill competency and examine how well they demonstrated manipulative skill competency. Participants were 4th-grade students at six elementary schools in China. [...] Read more.
This study aimed to test the validity and reliability of the Physical Education (PE) Metric Assessment Rubrics for assessing 4th-grade students’ manipulative skill competency and examine how well they demonstrated manipulative skill competency. Participants were 4th-grade students at six elementary schools in China. A total of 535 4th-grade students were assessed their soccer skills and 819 4th-grade students were assessed their basketball skills using the PE-Metric Assessment Rubrics. The results found that the soccer and basketball skill assessments had a high degree of internal consistency. And the results showed that the soccer and basketball skill assessment rubrics had a good factor structure. The students’ mean score in soccer and basketball skills assessment was lower than the Overall Competent Level. Further, the t-test indicated that soccer and basketball skill assessments had a significant difference in the mean score of Overall Competent Level between the boys and the girls. The PE-Metric Assessment Rubrics were valid and reliable assessment tools for assessing the manipulative skill competency in soccer and basketball skills among 4th-grade students in China. This study suggested that Chinese elementary school students need to improve basic manipulative skill competency in soccer and basketball skills. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Training and Performance in Youth Sports)
Article
Sleep Indices and Cardiac Autonomic Activity Responses during an International Tournament in a Youth National Soccer Team
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(4), 2076; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18042076 - 20 Feb 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1613
Abstract
This study aimed to describe habitual sleep and nocturnal cardiac autonomic activity (CAA), and their relationship with training/match load in male youth soccer players during an international tournament. Eighteen elite male youth soccer players (aged 14.8 ± 0.3 years; mean ± SD) participated [...] Read more.
This study aimed to describe habitual sleep and nocturnal cardiac autonomic activity (CAA), and their relationship with training/match load in male youth soccer players during an international tournament. Eighteen elite male youth soccer players (aged 14.8 ± 0.3 years; mean ± SD) participated in the study. Sleep indices were measured using wrist actigraphy, and heart rate (HR) monitors were used to measure CAA during night-sleep throughout 5 consecutive days. Training and match loads were characterized using the session-rating of perceived exertion (s-RPE). During the five nights 8 to 17 players slept less than <8 h and only one to two players had a sleep efficiency <75%. Players’ sleep duration coefficient of variation (CV) ranged between 4 and 17%. Nocturnal heart rate variability (HRV) indices for the time-domain analyses ranged from 3.8 (95% confidence interval, 3.6; 4.0) to 4.1 ln[ms] (3.9; 4.3) and for the frequency-domain analyses ranged from 5.9 (5.6; 6.5) to 6.6 (6.3; 7.4). Time-domain HRV CV ranged from 3 to 10% and frequency-domain HRV ranged from 2 to 12%. A moderate within-subjects correlation was found between s-RPE and sleep duration [r = −0.41 (−0.62; −0.14); p = 0.003]. The present findings suggest that youth soccer players slept less than the recommended during the international tournament, and sleep duration was negatively associated with training/match load. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Training and Performance in Youth Sports)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Young Swimmers’ Middle-Distance Performance Variation within a Training Season
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(3), 1010; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18031010 - 24 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1569
Abstract
The current study aimed to longitudinally evaluate anthropometric, physiological, and biomechanical variables related to middle-distance performance during a 45-week swimming training season. Thirty-four swimmers (age: 12.07 ± 1.14 years) performed a maximum of 400 m front crawl at the beginning (T1) and finish [...] Read more.
The current study aimed to longitudinally evaluate anthropometric, physiological, and biomechanical variables related to middle-distance performance during a 45-week swimming training season. Thirty-four swimmers (age: 12.07 ± 1.14 years) performed a maximum of 400 m front crawl at the beginning (T1) and finish of the first macrocycle (T2, 15 weeks) and the finish of the second (T3, 18 weeks) and third macrocycles (T4, 12 weeks). Time-related variables, stroke rate (SR), stroke length (SL), and stroke index (SI) were recorded during the test, and blood lactate ([La]) and glucose ([Glu]) concentrations were measured post-exercise. The time of the 400 m effort decreased after each macrocycle (T2 vs. T1, 7.8 ± 5.6%; T3 vs. T2, 3.7 ± 3.1%; T4 vs. T3, 3.8 ± 3.4%; p < 0.01). Four hundred meter speed changes between T1 and T2 were positively related to variations in [La], [Glu], SL, and SI (r = 0.36–0.60, p < 0.05). Changes between T2 and T3 were related to SI only (r = 0.5, p < 0.05), and modifications between T3 and T4 were associated with SL and SI variations (r = 0.34 and 0.65, p < 0.05). These results indicate that a well-structured year plan including three macrocycles leads to a significant age-group swimming performance improvement, mostly connected with an increase in technical proficiency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Training and Performance in Youth Sports)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Kinematic Analysis of 2-Point and 3-Point Jump Shot of Elite Young Male and Female Basketball Players
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(3), 934; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18030934 - 22 Jan 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1534
Abstract
Basketball shooting is one of the most important offensive skills in basketball. Winning or losing a game mostly depends on the shooting effectiveness. The study aims to compare the selected kinematic variables of 2-point (2-pt) and 3-point (3-pt) jump shots (after making a [...] Read more.
Basketball shooting is one of the most important offensive skills in basketball. Winning or losing a game mostly depends on the shooting effectiveness. The study aims to compare the selected kinematic variables of 2-point (2-pt) and 3-point (3-pt) jump shots (after making a cut and receiving the ball) and ascertain the differences between elite male under 16 and 18 (U16M, U18M) and female under 16 and 18 (U16F, U18F) basketball players. Overall, forty-eight young male and female basketball players participated in the study. 3D motion analysis using an inertial suit with the addition of utilizing a smart ball was performed for assessing the 2-pt and 3-pt shooting techniques. Players in male categories shot for 2-pt with a higher center of mass difference in the vertical direction (U16M 5.7 cm, U18M 3.9 cm vs. U16F 1.4 cm, U18F 0.6 cm), with higher release shoulder angle (U16M 110.9, U18M 113.8 vs. U16F 103, U18F 105), and with a higher entry angle of the ball (U16M 34, U18M 32 vs. U16F 30, U18F 30) when compared to female categories (p < 0.001). In the 3-pt shooting, there were differences between male and female categories in the shoulder angle when releasing the ball (p < 0.001). In the players shooting speed, there were differences between U16M vs. U18F (0.95 ± 0.1 vs. 0.88 ± 0.1; p = 0.03) and U16F vs. U18F (0.96 ± 0.06 vs. 0.88 ± 0.1; p = 0.02) players. Male categories shot 3-pt shots with a smaller center of mass difference in the horizontal direction when compared to 2-pt shots (p < 0.001). The entry angle was higher in successful shooting attempts compared to unsuccessful shooting attempts when shooting for 3-pt (p = 0.02). Player shooting speed was higher in all categories (except U18F) when shooting for 3-pt (p < 0.001). It appears that performers show difference in kinematic variables based on distance from the basket. Basketball coaches and players should work to minimize the kinematic differences between 2-pt and 3-pt shooting and to optimize the shooting technique. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Training and Performance in Youth Sports)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
A Comparative Study on the Performance Profile of Under-17 and Under-19 Handball Players Trained in the Sports School System
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(21), 7979; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17217979 - 30 Oct 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 974
Abstract
This study evaluates the anatomical profiles, jump, sprint, power outputs, endurance, and peak blood lactate levels ([LA]peak) of handball players of two age groups—U17 (n = 77) and U19 (n = 46)—and analyses the role of training in their [...] Read more.
This study evaluates the anatomical profiles, jump, sprint, power outputs, endurance, and peak blood lactate levels ([LA]peak) of handball players of two age groups—U17 (n = 77) and U19 (n = 46)—and analyses the role of training in their physical abilities. Vertical jump performance was determined by counter movement jump (CMJ) and counter movement jump with free arms (CMJFA) tests. A running-based anaerobic sprint test (RAST) determined the relative power output (watts/kg body weight) and absolute power output (watts) of the players. Sprint performance over 5 m, 10 m, and 30 m distances was evaluated. An incremental shuttle run test (40 m) was designed to determine aerobic threshold (AeT), anaerobic threshold (AnT), and [LA]peak. All parameters were measured for pivots, wingers, backs, and goalkeepers of each group. The U19 players were significantly heavier than the U17 group, but both the groups were nearly equal in height. The U19 group jumped higher than the U17 members, although the only significant difference (p = 0.032) was observed between the wingers of the groups in CMJ. Sprint performance varied marginally between the groups and only U19 pivots were found to be significantly (for distances of 5, 10, and 30 m: p = 0.047, p = 0.018, and p = 0.021, respectively) faster than U17 pivots. No difference in relative power output between the groups was noted, although the U19 players recorded higher absolute power outputs. Maximal velocity and velocities at the AeT and AnT were almost similar in the groups. Distance covered by the groups at the intensities of AeT and AnT varied only little. Higher [LA]peak was observed in the U19 players. U19 players failed to convert their superior power into speed and jump. The training pattern of the handball players needs to be revised so that U19 players may develop faster and be more enduring than the U17 group. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Training and Performance in Youth Sports)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Effects of 6 Weeks Direct Instruction and Teaching Games for Understanding Programs on Physical Activity and Tactical Behaviour in U-12 Soccer Players
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(14), 5008; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17145008 - 12 Jul 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1309
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of 6 weeks direct instruction and teaching games for understanding (TGfU) programs on the decision-making and execution (post-interventions), as well, as on the physical activity (PA) levels during sessions. Thirty under-12 football players [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of 6 weeks direct instruction and teaching games for understanding (TGfU) programs on the decision-making and execution (post-interventions), as well, as on the physical activity (PA) levels during sessions. Thirty under-12 football players participated in this study (age: 10.3 ± 0.45 years) and were randomly assigned to TGfU (n = 15) or direct instruction (n = 15) group. Two sessions/week were implemented. Results revealed that TGfU promoted higher levels (p = 0.043; d = 2.99) of light PA (28.96%) compared with direct instruction (27.55%). Non-significant higher sedentary PA levels (p = 0.073; d = 2.62) were found in the control group (35.48%). In terms of tactical principles, conservation of the ball increased the percentage of moderate to vigorous physical activity in TGfU (43.60%) compared with direct instruction (38.05%). According to the Game Performance Evaluation Tool (GPET), significant improvements (p = 0.018, d = 3.78) of the attacking player with the ball in the percentage of change between groups in the unsuccessful execution in TGfU (% = −62.2) were observed compared with direct instruction (% = 14.2). TGfU seems to be more appropriate than direct instruction to increase the light PA levels during sessions while no significant differences were found between programs in moderate and vigorous intensities. Regarding the effects of programs in decisions, greater improvements in decisions with the ball were found in TGFU compared to DI. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Training and Performance in Youth Sports)
Article
Repeated Sprint Training vs. Repeated High-Intensity Technique Training in Adolescent Taekwondo Athletes—A Randomized Controlled Trial
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(12), 4506; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17124506 - 23 Jun 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1572
Abstract
This study investigated the effects of 4-weeks repeated sprint (RST) vs. repeated high-intensity-technique training (RTT) on physical performance. Thirty-six adolescent taekwondo athletes (age: 16 ± 1 yrs) were randomly assigned to RST (10 × 35 m sprint, 10 s rest), RTT (10 × [...] Read more.
This study investigated the effects of 4-weeks repeated sprint (RST) vs. repeated high-intensity-technique training (RTT) on physical performance. Thirty-six adolescent taekwondo athletes (age: 16 ± 1 yrs) were randomly assigned to RST (10 × 35 m sprint, 10 s rest), RTT (10 × 6 s Bandal-tchagui, 10 s rest) and control (control group (CG): no additional training) groups. Additionally, to their regular training, RST and RTT trained 2×/week for 4 weeks. Training load (TL), monotony, and strain were calculated using the rating of perceived exertion scale. The progressive specific taekwondo (PSTT), 20 m multistage shuttle run (SRT20m), 5 m shuttle run, agility T-test, taekwondo-specific agility (TSAT) and countermovement jump (CMJ) tests were performed before and after 4 weeks of training. Additionally, taekwondo athletes performed specific taekwondo exercises (i.e., repeated techniques for 10 s and 1 min). From week 1, mean TL increased continuously to week 4 and monotony and strain were higher at weeks 3 and 4 (p < 0.001). VO2max calculated from SRT20m and PSTT increased for RST and RTT in comparison to CG (p < 0.001). Agility performance during T-test and TSAT (p < 0.01) improved in RTT. The number of performed techniques during the 10 s specific exercise increased in RTT and RST (p < 0.01) for the dominant leg and in RTT for the non-dominant leg (p < 0.01). The number of techniques during the 1 min specific exercise was higher in RST and RTT compared to CG for the dominant leg (p < 0.001). Delta lactate at post-training was lower for RTT for both legs compared to RST and CG (p < 0.01). It is important to include a low-volume high-intensity training based on repeated sprint running or repeated technique in the training programs of adolescent taekwondo athletes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Training and Performance in Youth Sports)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
The Importance of Reactive Agility Tests in Differentiating Adolescent Soccer Players
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(11), 3839; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17113839 - 28 May 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1366
Abstract
The ability to differentiate the elite from nonelite athletes is not clearly defined. We investigated level differences in speed, change of direction speed (CODS), and reactive agility in a group of trained adolescent soccer players. A total of 75 adolescent male soccer players [...] Read more.
The ability to differentiate the elite from nonelite athletes is not clearly defined. We investigated level differences in speed, change of direction speed (CODS), and reactive agility in a group of trained adolescent soccer players. A total of 75 adolescent male soccer players (aged 14–19 years) were recruited. The players were grouped based on the level of play to elite, sub-elite, and amateur players. Players were tested for 5-, 10- and 20-m sprints, CODS, and reactive agility tests (RAT). Elite players had faster reaction movement time during RAT with live opponent stimuli (p ≤ 0.01) compared to sub-elite and amateur players. Moreover, elite players showed a faster time during light stimuli (p ≤ 0.01) but only compared to amateur players. The times for 5-m and 10-m sprint groups did not differ (p > 0.05). The results demonstrated that the skilled players (elite and sub-elite) performed better in reactive agility tests, speed, and COD speed compared to amateur players. Additionally, we can conclude that total and reaction time in the agility test with live opponent stimuli can be a significant factor that differentiates between adolescent soccer players considering their level. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Training and Performance in Youth Sports)
Article
Daily Resting Heart Rate Variability in Adolescent Swimmers during 11 Weeks of Training
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(6), 2097; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17062097 - 22 Mar 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1603
Abstract
Adolescent athletes are particularly vulnerable to stress. The current study aimed to monitor one of the most popular and accessible stress markers, heart rate variability (HRV), and its associations with training load and sleep duration in young swimmers during an 11-week training period [...] Read more.
Adolescent athletes are particularly vulnerable to stress. The current study aimed to monitor one of the most popular and accessible stress markers, heart rate variability (HRV), and its associations with training load and sleep duration in young swimmers during an 11-week training period to evaluate its relevance as a tool for monitoring overtraining. National-level swimmers (n = 22, age 14.3 ± 1.0 years) of sprint and middle distance events followed individually structured training programs prescribed by their swimming coach with the main intention of preparing for the national championships. HRV after awakening, during sleep and training were recorded daily. There was a consistent ~4.5% reduction in HRV after 3–5 consecutive days of high (>6 km/day) swimming volume, and an inverse relationship of HRV with large (>7.0 km/day) shifts in total training load (r = −0.35, p < 0.05). Day-to-day HRV did not significantly correlate with training volume or sleep duration. Taken together, these findings suggest that the value of HRV fluctuations in estimating the balance between the magnitude of a young athlete’s physical load and their tolerance is limited on a day-to-day basis, while under sharply increased or extended training load the lower HRV becomes an important indicator of potential overtraining. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Training and Performance in Youth Sports)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Participation and Performance Analysis in Children and Adolescents Competing in Time-Limited Ultra-Endurance Running Events
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(5), 1628; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17051628 - 03 Mar 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1144
Abstract
Ultra-endurance running is of increasing popularity in the adult population, mainly due to master runners older than 35 years of age. However, youth runners younger than 19 years of age are also competing in ultra-endurance events, and an increase has been observed in [...] Read more.
Ultra-endurance running is of increasing popularity in the adult population, mainly due to master runners older than 35 years of age. However, youth runners younger than 19 years of age are also competing in ultra-endurance events, and an increase has been observed in distance-limited events, but no data is available on time-limited ultra-endurance events in this age group. This study investigated participation and performance trends in time-limited ultra-endurance races, including multi-day events, in runners younger than 19 years of age. Between the period 1990 and 2018, the most popular events recorded a total of 214 finishes (from 166 unique finishers (UF)) for 6-h events, 247 (212 UF) for 12-h events, and 805 (582 UF) for 24-h events, respectively. The majority of athletes originated from Europe and North America. Only a minority participated in multi-day events. Overall, speed increased with age, but the overall performance speed decreased across calendar years for 6- and 24-h events as participation numbers grew. In summary, in youth ultra-endurance runners, differences were observed regarding participation and performance across the different time-limited events, the age of the athletes and their country of origin Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Training and Performance in Youth Sports)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Cardiac Troponin T Release after Football 7 in Healthy Children and Adults
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(3), 956; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17030956 - 04 Feb 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1145
Abstract
The objective of this study was to compare the release of cardiac troponin T (cTnT) after a football 7 match between two cohorts of children and adult players. Thirty-six male football players (children = 24, adult = 12) played a football 7 match, [...] Read more.
The objective of this study was to compare the release of cardiac troponin T (cTnT) after a football 7 match between two cohorts of children and adult players. Thirty-six male football players (children = 24, adult = 12) played a football 7 match, and cTnT was measured before, and 3 h after exercise. Concentrations of cTnT were compared between groups and time, and correlated with participants’ characteristics, as well as internal and external exercise load. Cardiac troponin T was elevated in all participants (p < 0.001), and exceeded the upper reference limit for myocardial infarction in 25 (~70%) of them. Baseline concentrations were higher in adults (p < 0.001), but the elevation of cTnT was comparable between the groups (p = 0.37). Age (p < 0.001), body mass (p = 0.001) and height (p < 0.001), and training experience (p = 0.001) were associated to baseline cTnT values, while distance (p < 0.001), mean speed (p < 0.001), and peak (p = 0.013) and mean (p = 0.016) heart rate were associated to the elevation of cTnT. The present study suggests that a football 7 match evoked elevations of cTnT during the subsequent hours in healthy players regardless of their age. However, adults might present higher resting values of cTnT than children. In addition, results suggest that the exercise-induced elevations of cTnT might be mediated by exercise load but not participant characteristics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Training and Performance in Youth Sports)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review

Jump to: Research

Review
The Jump Shot Performance in Youth Basketball: A Systematic Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(6), 3283; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18063283 - 22 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1373
Abstract
Background: The basketball jump shot (JS) is consensually considered as a high-complexity specific motor skill, with a complex teaching and learning processes involved. The aim of this paper was to conduct a systematic review of the literature on the JS performance among youth [...] Read more.
Background: The basketball jump shot (JS) is consensually considered as a high-complexity specific motor skill, with a complex teaching and learning processes involved. The aim of this paper was to conduct a systematic review of the literature on the JS performance among youth basketball players. Methods: The data search was made according to Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) in the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) Web of Knowledge, PubMed, Scopus and Sportdiscus databases until March 2021. Results: The results suggest that JS performance of youth basketball players is influenced by (i) distance to the basket, (ii) fatigue, (iii) presence of a defender and (iv) visual information available. Conclusion: This research emphasizes the crucial need for players and coaches to promote training situations matching the game reality to develop successful shooting performance of youth basketball players. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Training and Performance in Youth Sports)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review
Relationship between Biological Maturation, Physical Fitness, and Kinanthropometric Variables of Young Athletes: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(1), 328; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18010328 - 05 Jan 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1445
Abstract
There is a growing interest in knowing the relationship between biological maturation and sport performance-related variables of young athletes. The objective of this study is to analyze the relationship between biological maturation, physical fitness, and kinanthropometric variables of athletes during their growing period, [...] Read more.
There is a growing interest in knowing the relationship between biological maturation and sport performance-related variables of young athletes. The objective of this study is to analyze the relationship between biological maturation, physical fitness, and kinanthropometric variables of athletes during their growing period, according to their sex. The systematic review and meta-analysis followed the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) statement and the search protocol was registered in PROSPERO, code: CRD42020208397. A search through the PubMed, Web of Sciences, and EBSCO databases was performed. A total of 423 studies were screened and 13 were included in the meta-analysis. The meta-analysis was completed by using the mean and standard deviation of each variable according to each maturation status (early, on time, or late). Differences depending on maturation were found on physical fitness, with better results in the advanced maturational groups in the male population (standard mean difference (SMD) = 0.17–2.31; p < 0.001–0.05). Differences depending on maturation were found for kinanthropometric variables in males (SMD = 0.37–2.31; p < 0.001–0.002) and height and body mass in females (SMD = 0.96–1.19; p < 0.001). In conclusion, the early maturation group showed higher values in kinanthropometric variables and better results in physical fitness, highlighting the importance of the maturational process in the talent selection programs. Despite that, more research is needed to clarify the relationship of maturation with the other variables on female populations and the changes in the muscle and bone variables during the maturation processes of both sexes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Training and Performance in Youth Sports)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review
Decision-Making in Youth Team-Sports Players: A Systematic Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(11), 3803; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17113803 - 27 May 2020
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2014
Abstract
The aim of this systematic review conducted in the topic of youth team-sports players was three-fold: (i) Analyze the variations of decision-making processes between low- and high-level youth players; (ii) analyze the variations of decision-making processes between different age groups; and (iii) analyze [...] Read more.
The aim of this systematic review conducted in the topic of youth team-sports players was three-fold: (i) Analyze the variations of decision-making processes between low- and high-level youth players; (ii) analyze the variations of decision-making processes between different age groups; and (iii) analyze the effects of decision-making training-based programs on youth players. Following the preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses (PRISMA) guidelines, this systematic review searched for studies on PubMed, ScienceDirect, Academic Search Complete, SPORTDiscus, and Taylor & Francis Online. The search returned 6215 papers. After screening the records against set criteria, 26 articles were fully reviewed. From the included studies, 9 were focused on comparing the decision-making process between low- and high-level players, 6 compared the decisions made by players from different age categories, and 11 analyzed the effects of decision-making-based training programs on youth players. Comparisons between high- and low-level players suggested that high-level and most talented players present a greater accuracy in the cognitive and executive answers to the game as well as being more adjustable to more complex situations. Considering the comparisons between age groups, a tendency of older players to execute more accurate decisions in the game and to have better tactical knowledge and behavior was observed. Finally, the effects of decision-making training programs suggest a beneficial effect employing practical scenarios (mainly based on small-sided and conditioned games), primarily improving passing decisions and execution. However, the benefits of interventions using videos are not clear. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Training and Performance in Youth Sports)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review
Are Physical Education Lessons Suitable for Sport Talent Identification? A Systematic Review of the Literature
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(6), 1965; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17061965 - 17 Mar 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1854
Abstract
Objectives: The goal of this study was to shed light on the existent knowledge, internationally published over the last decade (2009–2019), on how to deal with talented children in physical education (PE). Methods: A mixed systematic review (SR) was conducted following Preferred Reporting [...] Read more.
Objectives: The goal of this study was to shed light on the existent knowledge, internationally published over the last decade (2009–2019), on how to deal with talented children in physical education (PE). Methods: A mixed systematic review (SR) was conducted following Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines and registered in the International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews (PROSPERO), registration number: CRD42019117211. Study eligibility criteria: The articles included were selected using the following criteria: (a) studies published in peer-reviewed international journals; (b) studies published from 2009 to 2019 (both inclusive); (c) studies that included quantitative and/or qualitative methods and findings; (d) research conducted within school contexts; (e) articles that focused on both talent/gift and PE, and (f) studies published in English or Spanish. Results: A total of 11 articles were identified. Results showed a gradual change in both methods and instruments used for talent identification (TI) in PE, focused currently on children’s health and involvement in sports. Second, there is consensus on the lack of clarity in schools’ policies and guidelines on how to deal with talented children in PE. Conclusions: Finally, there are alternative programs to elite athlete models that better fit in PE to deal with talented children and to avoid child disengagement in PE and sports. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Training and Performance in Youth Sports)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop