The effect of aerobic power on elite youth soccer selection
Abstract Soccer is a multifaceted sport requiring game-specific intelligence and particular physiological and physical characteristics for success. Despite the wide variety of contributing factors, it has been reported that youth soccer players who are larger in size, more mature, and have superior aerobic power are favoured during team selection. The current investigation examined aerobic power and anthropometric size differences between selected and not selected elite youth soccer players; values were also compared between playing position and sexes. Twenty-three elite soccer players, 10 males and 13 females, with an average age of 14 years were recruited for the study; participants performed a graded treadmill test to exhaustion and a sport participation questionnaire. Aerobic power results from the treadmill test were expressed in absolute (l/min) and relative terms, to body mass and fat free mass (ml/kg/min & ml/kg FFM/min); values were compared between selection status, playing position and sex. No significant differences were detected for any measure of aerobic power or anthropometric size between selected and not selected athletes when sexes were combined or separated (p>0.05); males had significantly higher aerobic power levels compared to females despite scaling method (p<0.05). In females, goalkeepers had a significantly lower absolute aerobic power (p<0.05), differences were not detected when expressed relative to body mass or fat free mass (p>0.05). Males showed no significant difference between playing positions in any measurement of aerobic power (p>0.05). It appears as though Saskatchewan coaches view attributes, other than physical size and aerobic fitness, as more beneficial for team success at this level. Results are encouraging as they suggest that size and aerobic power may not be the main influencing criteria for achieving success on an elite youth Saskatchewan soccer team.
DegreeMaster of Science (M.Sc.)
SupervisorBaxter-Jones, Dr. Adam
CommitteeErlandson, Dr. Marta; Tomczak, Dr. Corey
Copyright DateJune 2015