Int J Sports Med 2014; 35(09): 762-771
DOI: 10.1055/s-0033-1358469
Training & Testing
© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Allometric Multilevel Modelling of Agility and Dribbling Speed by Skeletal Age and Playing Position in Youth Soccer Players

J. Valente-dos-Santos
1  Faculty of Sport Sciences and Physical Education, University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal
,
M. J. Coelho-e-Silva
1  Faculty of Sport Sciences and Physical Education, University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal
,
J. Duarte
1  Faculty of Sport Sciences and Physical Education, University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal
,
J. Pereira
1  Faculty of Sport Sciences and Physical Education, University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal
,
R. Rebelo-Gonçalves
1  Faculty of Sport Sciences and Physical Education, University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal
,
A. Figueiredo
1  Faculty of Sport Sciences and Physical Education, University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal
,
M. A. Mazzuco
2  Coritiba Football Club, CFC, Paraná, Brazil
,
L. B. Sherar
3  School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, Loughborough University, Loughborough, Leicestershire, United Kingdom
,
M. T. Elferink-Gemser
4  Center for Human Movement Sciences, University Medical Center ­Groningen, University of Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands
5  Institute for Studies in Sports and Exercise, HAN University of Applied ­Sciences, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
,
R. M. Malina
6  Department of Kinesiology and Health Education, University of Texas, Austin, United States
7  Department of Health and Physical Education, Tarleton State University, Stephanvilla, United States
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History



accepted after revision 23 September 2013

Publication Date:
15 April 2014 (eFirst)

Abstract

This study evaluates the contributions of age, skeletal maturation, body size and composition, training and playing position to the development of agility and dribbling speed in young male soccer players (10–18 years) followed longitudinally. 83 players [defenders (n=35), midfielders (n=27), forwards (n=21)] were followed annually over 5 years (average: 4.4 observations per player). Skeletal age (SA), stature, body mass, triceps and subscapular skinfolds, agility and dribbling speed were measured annually. Body composition was estimated from the 2 skinfolds. Annual training volume was estimated from weekly participation forms completed by coaches. The multiplicative allometric models with the best statistical fit showed that statural growth of 1 cm predicts 1.334 s and 1.927 s of improvement in agility and dribbling speed, respectively. Significant independent effects of fat-free mass and annual volume training were found for agility and dribbling speed, respectively (P<0.05). Predicted agility (from 12 to 18 years of SA) and dribbling speed (from 13 to 18 years of SA) differed significantly among players by playing positions (midfielders>forwards>defenders). The present results provide developmental models for the interpretation of intra- and inter-individual variability in agility and dribbling speed among youth soccer players across adolescence, and may provide a framework for trainers and coaches to develop and evaluate individualized training protocols.