Age-related differences in repeated-sprint ability in highly trained youth football players

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Mujika, I, Spencer, M, Santisteban, J, Goiriena, J and Bishop, David ORCID: 0000-0002-6956-9188 (2009) Age-related differences in repeated-sprint ability in highly trained youth football players. Journal of Sports Sciences, 27 (14). pp. 1581-1590. ISSN 0264-0414 (print) 1466-447X (online)


In this study, we investigated the age-related differences in repeated-sprint ability and blood lactate responses in 134 youth football players. Players from the development programme of a professional club were grouped according to their respective under-age team (U-11 to U-18). Following familiarization, the participants performed a repeated-sprint ability test [6 × 30-m sprints 30 s apart, with active recovery (2.0–2.2 m · s−1) between sprints]. The test variables were total time, percent sprint decrement, and post-test peak lactate concentration. Total time improved from the U-11 to U-15 age groups (range 33.15 ± 1.84 vs. 27.25 ± 0.82 s), whereas no further significant improvements were evident from U-15 to U-18. No significant differences in percent sprint decrement were reported among groups (range 4.0 ± 1.0% to 5.5 ± 2.1%). Post-test peak lactate increased from one age group to the next (range 7.3 ± 1.8 to 12.6 ± 1.6 mmol · l−1), but remained constant when adjusted for age-related difference in body mass. Peak lactate concentration was moderately correlated with sprint time (r = 0.70, P > 0.001). Our results suggest that performance in repeated-sprint ability improves during maturation of highly trained youth football players, although a plateau occurs from 15 years of age. In contrast to expectations based on previous suggestions, percent sprint decrement during repeated sprints did not deteriorate with age.

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Item type Article
DOI 10.1080/02640410903350281
Official URL
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1106 Human Movement and Sports Science
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > Institute of Sport, Exercise and Active Living (ISEAL)
Keywords ResPubID21966, maturation, recovery, blood lactate, team sports, soccer
Citations in Scopus 80 - View on Scopus
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