Biology of Sport
eISSN: 2083-1862
ISSN: 0860-021X
Biology of Sport
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2/2022
vol. 39
 
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abstract:
Original paper

Biological maturation influences selection process in youth elite soccer players

Marcelo Massa
1
,
Alexandre Moreira
2
,
Renato A. Costa
1
,
Marcelo R. Lima
3
,
Carlos R. Thiengo
3, 4
,
Walter Q. Marquez
3
,
Aaron J. Coutts
5
,
Marcelo S. Aoki
1

1.
School of Arts, Sciences and Humanities, University of São Paulo, Brazil
2.
School of Physical Education and Sport, University of São Paulo, Brazil
3.
President Laudo Natel Athlete Development Center – São Paulo Football Club, Brazil
4.
Faculty of Physical Education, University of Campinas, Brazil
5.
Faculty of Health, University of Technology Sydney, Australia
Biol Sport. 2022;39(2):435–441.
Online publish date: 2021/06/01
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This study examined the influence of birth date, salivary testosterone [sT] concentration, sexual maturity status, and general strength on the selection process of an elite Brazilian soccer club during a 12-month period, which was a 2nd phase of a 24-month selection process. The stature, body mass, sT, sexual maturity status [Tanner scale], and hand grip strength were assessed for 143 players during 2 weeks. From these 143 players, 100 players were dismissed [DIS] and 43 players were selected to integrate the club’s under-14 squad. Following 1-year training period, the under-14 team was assembled with 9 players designated as starters [STA], and then, comparisons were conducted taking into account a group of non-starters (selected; SEL = 34 players) and STA (n = 09). The DIS, SEL, STA players, and reference population, were compared for birth distribution. A greater proportion of players was born in the first trimester in the STA [75.0%], SEL [57.1%] and DIS [50.0%] groups compared to the reference population [25.8%]. One-way ANOVA showed a higher sT for STA group [516.0 ± 129.9 pmol·L-1], compared to SEL [415.5 ± 117.9 pmol·L-1] and DIS groups [390.9 ± 84.9 pmol·L-1; p = 0.003), and Kruskall-Wallis test showed a higher gonadal development for STA compared to DIS [p = 0.001]. The current findings suggest a strong influence of birth date and biological maturation on young soccer players selection process. Soccer coaches should consider these influences when making decisions about player selection of elite youth players.
keywords:

Relative age effect, Hormones, Anthropometry, Strength, Sexual maturity

 
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