The purpose of this study was to: 1) provide comparative isometric mid-thigh pull (IMTP) force-time characteristics for elite youth soccer players and 2) determine the effect of age and maturation on IMTP force-time characteristics. Elite male youth soccer players (U12 n = 51; U13 n = 54; U14 n = 56; U15 n = 45; U16 n = 39; U18 n = 48) across 3 maturity offset groups (Pre n = 117; circa n = 84; Post-PHV n = 92) performed two maximal IMTP trials on a portable force platform (1,000 Hz). Absolute and relative values for peak force (PF) and impulse over 100 ms and 300 ms, were analyzed. A full Bayesian regression model was used to provide probable differences similar to that of a frequentist p value. Advanced age and maturation resulted in superior IMTP force-time characteristics. Peak force demonstrated high probabilities of a difference between all consecutive age groups (p>0.95). For absolute and relative impulse (100, 300 ms) only two consecutive age groups (U14-15’s; U16-18’s) demonstrated high probabilities of a difference (p>0.95) with large effects (d =0.59 to 0.93). There were high probable differences between all maturity offset groups for PF and impulse with medium to large effects (d = 0.56 to 3.80). These were also reduced when expressed relative to body mass (relative PF, relative impulse). This study provides comparative IMTP force-time characteristics of elite male youth soccer players. Practitioners should consider individual maturation status when comparing players given the impact this has on force expression.
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Morris, R., Jones, B., Myers, T., Lake, J., Emmonds, S., Clarke, N., & Till, K. (2018). Isometric Mid-Thigh Pull Characteristics in Elite Youth Male Soccer Players: Comparisons by Age and Maturity Offset. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, (In-Press). https://doi.org/10.1519/JSC.0000000000002673