Reliability and stability of anthropometric and performance measures in highly-trained young soccer players: effect of age and maturation

Martin Buchheit, Alberto Mendez-Villanueva
2013 Journal of Sports Sciences  
The purpose of this study was to assess both short-term reliability and long-term stability of anthropometric and physical performance measures in highly-trained young soccer players in relation to age and maturation. Data were collected on 80 players from an academy (U13-U18, pre-(n = 14), circum-(n = 32) and post-(n = 34) estimated peak height velocity, PHV). For the reliability analysis, anthropometric and performance tests were repeated twice within a month. For the stability analysis,
more » ... tests were repeated 12 times over a 4-year period in 10 players. Absolute reliability was assessed with the typical error of measurement, expressed as a coefficient of variation (CV). Relative reliability and long-term stability were assessed using the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC). There was no clear age or maturation effect on either the CVs or ICCs: e.g., Post-PHV vs. Pre-PHV: effect size = -0.37 (90% confidence limits (CL):-1.6;0.9), with chances of greater/similar/lower values of 20/20/60%. For the long-term stability analysis, ICCs varied from 0.66 (0.50;0.80) to 0.96 (0.93;0.98) for 10-m sprint time and body mass, respectively. The short-term reliability of anthropometry and physical performance measures is unlikely to be affected by age or maturation. However, some of these measures are unstable throughout adolescence, which questions their usefulness in a talent identification perspective.
doi:10.1080/02640414.2013.781662 pmid:23656211 fatcat:qfztuxtqjjcudo7fcvhabipvf4