American Journal of Sports Science and Medicine. 2014, 2(2), 60-64DOI:
Abstract: The aim of this study was to examine the effect of age on leg muscle power in male soccer players and to provide reference data. Male soccer players, all members of competitive soccer clubs and classified into six age groups (younger than 10 yr, U10, n = 17; U12, n = 27; U14, n = 70; U16, n = 92; U18, n = 33; older than 18 yr, Adults, n=36), participated in our study. They were examined for anthropometric characteristics, body composition, and performed the arm-swing countermovement vertical jump (CVJ) as a measure of leg muscle power. A one-way analysis of variance revealed significant differences between age groups with respect to CVJ (F5,269 = 76.46, p < 0.001, η2 = 0.59). Our findings indicated that the older the age group, the higher the CVJ (e.g., 19.8±3.9 cm in U10, 30.0±5.9 cm in U14 and 41.8±6.0 cm in adult group). This result was in agreement with the significant and large correlation coefficient between age and CVJ (r = 0.68, p < 0.001). Although the cross-sectional design of our study did not allow inferring causal relationship between age and CVJ, it is reasonable to support that there are large gains in leg muscle power with development in soccer players. These gains are accompanied by large increase of FFM during the same period. The findings of this study could be useful for coaches and trainers in the context of talent identification and training optimization.