The influence of maturation, fitness, and hormonal indices on minutes played in elite youth soccer players: a cross-sectional study

Ebrahim Eskandarifard, Hadi Nobari, Filipe Manuel Clemente, Rui Silva, Cain C. T. Clark, Hugo Sarmento, António José Figueiredo

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    Abstract: Background: The main purpose of this study was to investigate the relationships between minutes played (MP) with maturity status, fitness, and hormonal levels, and to quantify their influence on minutes played. Methods: Twenty-four elite youth soccer players under-16 years participated in this study, over a full-season period. Anthropometric measures, maturity status, hormonal and physical fitness levels were collected. Participants were monitored during the season. After the end-season, players were assessed in 6 different tests over a four-day period. Results: The maximum oxygen consumption (V̇O2max) was strongly correlated with MP (r = 0.75), maturity offset (r = 0.52), and countermovement jump (r = 0.53). Multiple linear regression explained 76% of MP (F (8, 15) = 6.05, p = 0.001), with an R2 of 0.76. Moreover, Growth hormone (GH) and V̇O2max. were the most influential factors in MP (F (2, 21) = 17.92, p ≤ 0.001), with an R2 of 0.63. Conclusion: High levels of GH and V̇O2max have a preponderant role in MP by elite youth soccer players, it appears to be more pragmatic to consider other contextual dimensions, as they can impact selection for competition and minutes of participation in a match.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number89
    Number of pages12
    JournalBMC Sports Science, Medicine and Rehabilitation
    Publication statusPublished - 17 May 2022

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    • Research
    • Football
    • Young
    • Maturation
    • Performance
    • Playing time
    • Talent development
    • V̇O2max


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