The Effects of Maturation on Measures of Asymmetry during Neuromuscular Control Tests in Elite Male Youth Soccer Players
De Ste Croix, Mark
Lloyd, Rhodri S.
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Purpose = Asymmetry is a risk factor for male youth soccer players. There is a paucity of data confirming the presence of asymmetry using practically viable screening tasks in players at different stages of maturation. Method = A cross-sectional sample (N = 347) of elite male youth soccer players who were either (pre-, circa- or post-peak height velocity (PHV)) completed the following single leg assessments: Y-Balance anterior reach (Y-Bal); hop for distance (SLHD); 75% hop and stick (75%Hop) and countermovement jumps (SLCMJ). Results = SLCMJ landing force asymmetry was higher in both circa and post-PHV groups, (p < 0.001; d = 0.41 – 0.43). 75%Hop landing force asymmetries were also highest in circa PHV players but between group comparisons were not statistically significant and effect sizes were small. SLHD and Y-Bal asymmetries reduced with maturation; however, no group differences were significant, with small to trivial effect sizes (d = ≤ 0.25). Conclusion = Stage of maturation did not have a profound effect on asymmetry. Between-limb differences in functional performance seem to be established in early childhood; thus, targeted interventions to reduce this injury risk factor should commence in pre-PHV athletes and be maintained throughout childhood and adolescence to ensure asymmetry does not increase.
Pediatric Exercise Science;
Read, P., Oliver, J.L., Myer, G.D., De Ste Croix, M.B.A. and Lloyd, R.S. (2018) 'The Effects of Maturation on Measures of Asymmetry During Neuromuscular Control Tests in Elite Male Youth Soccer Players', Pediatric Exercise Science, 30 (1), pp.168-175
This article was published in Pediatric Exercise Science (Online - in press) in 2017, available at https://doi.org/10.1123/pes.2017-0081
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