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Maturation Stage Does Not Affect Change of Direction Asymmetries in Young Soccer Players

Updated: Feb 11, 2022


Asimakidis, ND, Dalamitros, AA, Ribeiro, J, Lola, AC, and Manou, V. Μaturation stage does not affect change of direction asymmetries in young soccer players. J Strength Cond Res XX(X): 000–000, 2021—

This study examined whether the stage of biological maturation can affect interlimb asymmetries during a change of direction (COD) test. Seventy-six young soccer players were divided into 2 different groups according to their peak height velocity stage (PHV): pre-PHV (n = 45, age = 11.8 ± 1.2 years, height = 149.8 ± 9.3 cm, body mass = 43.9 ± 11.2 kg) and post-PHV (n = 31, age = 14.4 ± 0.9 years, height = 170.0 ± 4.9 cm, body mass = 61.5 ± 8.9 kg). Subjects performed a 505 test to measure the completion time in both directions and a 20-m maximum sprint test. Change of direction deficit (CODD) was used as a measure for isolating COD ability. An independent sample t-test detected no significant differences between the asymmetry index values for the 505 test completion time when the pre-PHV group and the post-PHV group were compared (−3.49 ± 2.49% vs. −3.45 ± 2.47%, effect size [ES] = 0.02, p = 0.923). Similarly, the CODD asymmetry index indicated no differences between the 2 groups (−8.21 ± 5.95% vs. −7.37 ± 5.12%, ES = 0.15, p = 0.457). A paired sample t-test revealed that the values of the CODD asymmetry index were larger than those of the 505 asymmetry index (−7.88 ± 5.61% vs. −3.49 ± 2.46%, ES = 1.09, p < 0.001). According to these results, maturational status has no influence on the interlimb asymmetries of COD ability.

Furthermore, subjects showed greater asymmetry values in CODD compared with the 505 test completion time, reinforcing that the evaluation of COD asymmetries should be based on CODD. As interlimb asymmetries are not altered during the maturation process, practitioners should address abnormal COD asymmetries early on during athletes' development processes.


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