TACTICAL PERFORMANCE, ANTHROPOMETRY AND PHYSICAL FITNESS IN YOUNG SOCCER PLAYERS: A COMPARISON BETWEEN DIFFERENT MATURATIONAL GROUPS
ABSTRACT The aim of the study was to compare the tactical performance, anthropometric indicators, and physical capabilities between different maturational groups in young soccer players. Study participants were 48 soccer players (14.80±1.52 years). Anthropometric measurements of weight, height, and trunk-cephalic height were carried out. Peak height velocity (PHV) was used as a relative indicator of somatic maturity. For evaluation of physical capabilities, the sit-and-reach test, Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Test Level 1, handgrip test, modified abdominal test, and vertical jumps (Counter Movement Jump and Squat Jump) were performed. Tactical performance was achieved through the System of Tactical Assessment in Soccer (FUT-SAT). For statistical analysis, non-hierarchical k-means Cluster Analysis, One-Way ANOVA, and the Pearson correlation coefficient were used. The results indicated that early players in the maturational process presented higher values in the performance of physical capabilities such as aerobic endurance and lower limb muscle strength (P<0.01). Tactical principles "offensive coverage", "offensive unity", and "concentration" were executed more frequently by the Post-PHV group than the Pre-PHV (P<0.05). Significant correlations were observed between PHV and the principles "offensive coverage" (r=0.32), "offensive unity" (r=0.39), and "concentration" (r=0.38). These results suggest that advancement in maturational classification has little influence on the management of gaming space.