Isometric Mid-Thigh Pull Characteristics in Elite Youth Male Soccer Players: Comparisons by Age and Maturity Offset

Rhys Morris, Ben Jones, Tony Myers, Jason Lake, Stacey Emmonds, Neil Clarke, Kevin Till

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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.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Strength and Conditioning Research
Early online date4 Jul 2018
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jul 2018

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