Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Youth League Trials

That terrible time of the year is about to start Youth League Trials. Players go from trial to trial having a very short time to expose their talents to coaches who have no real structure to how they choose a team. I dont like this time at all and integrity and empathy is required by coaches and selectors to give feedback to players as to why they are not selected. Also to parents you have to let what happens happens and do not get involved in the politics. Talent will always rise to the top and just ensure your child continues to enjoy their sport whatever level they play.

The article below shows that in reality its all about growth and if you are not born in the first part of the year it is difficult. Sad I know and I wish people would just understand that the junior years are about development - particularly athletic development because when size evens out so many big youngsters are shocked to find that they should have worked harder on their movement when they were younger and not just relied on their size

Selection of young soccer players in terms of anthropometric and physiological factors.
Gil S; Ruiz F; Irazusta A; Gil J; Irazusta J
Author's Address:
Department of High Performance, Basque Institute of Physical Education, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain.
The Journal Of Sports Medicine And Physical Fitness [J Sports Med Phys Fitness] 2007 Mar; Vol. 47 (1), pp. 25-32.
Publication Type:
Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
Journal Information:
AIM: The aim of this paper was to describe the anthropometric and physiological characteristics of young soccer players (14-17 years old) which were associated with their being successful or not as soccer players. METHODS: Somatotype and body composition was calculated by measuring skinfolds, limb circumferences and joint diameters. VO(2max) was estimated by the Astrand's Test. Sprint, jump and endurance tests were also performed. RESULTS: The most relevant differences were obtained between selected and non-selected players belonging to the 14-year-old team. Selected players were taller, heavier, leaner and faster and they had higher absolute or relative VO(2max). In addition, a higher % of selected players was found among those born during the first 6 months of the year. In the rest of the teams, the agility was better in selected than in non-selected players. At later ages, there was also a predominance of players born during the first 6 months of the year. CONCLUSIONS: These results indicate that around the time of puberty, parameters associated with physical maturity such as height, size, speed, VO(2max), or chronological age are important to determine the success of a soccer player. At older ages, other factors such as agility seem to be more important. Nevertheless, players born in the 1st semester of the year are also more frequent in the older teams. These findings should be taken into account by trainers and coaches, in order to avoid biasing their selection choices.

Thoughts re above article
  • why use an astrand test to measure aerobic power (soccer is not played on a bike)
  • As we get older movement starts to impact - re agility
  • Interesting to see how many of these big kids make good adult players
  • My own observations suggest very few as their is to much reliance on size when they should be developing movement techniques
  • I see very few superstar 14 year olds but many that are missing out on selection

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