The Association between Multidirectional Speed Performance, Dynamic Balance and Chronological Age in Young Soccer Players

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The ability to maintain a stable single-leg balance stance during a fast change of direction movement is a fundamental aspect both for improving sport-specific skills and for prevention strategies. The aim of this cross-sectional study was to investigate the associations between multidirectional speed performance (MDS), dynamic balance performance (DBP), and chronological age in young and uninjured soccer players. In addition, it was examined whether chronological age
and balance can predict variance in speed performance. One-hundred forty-six young male soccer players (age range 11–19) performed the y-balance test (YBT) and the lower extremity functional test (LEFT). Descriptive statistics, Pearson correlation, and multiple regression analysis were executed. The analyses were carried out on the further variables: for the DBP, the YBT composite score % (CS
dominant leg/CS non-dominant leg) and limb symmetry index % (LSI) were used; for the MDS, the LEFT time in seconds (s) was used. Findings revealed LEFT scores to have a significant association with chronological age (p = 0.000), CS dominant (p = 0.019) and LSI (p = 0.044) of the YBT. In addition, CS dominant and chronological age explained the variance of the LEFT by 44%, regardless of LSI. To conclude, MDS revealed a strong association with DBP of the dominant side but a small association with LSI. In addition, a small association was found between quick LEFT times and older players. Finally, MDS variance can be predicted from DBP of the dominant side and chronological age in young soccer players. The tests used in this study could be useful screening tools for the detection of performance deficits, the implementation of prevention training programs, and the optimization of selection strategies in soccer academies.
Original languageEnglish
Article number41
JournalJournal of Functional Morphology and Kinesiology
Volume7
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
ISSN2411-5142
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24.05.2022

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© 2022 by the authors.

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