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Development of the interval endurance capacity in elite and sub-elite youth field hockey players


Objectives: To gain more insight into the mechanisms that underlie the development of interval endurance capacity in talented youth field hockey players in the 12–19 age band.

Methods: A total of 377 measurements were taken over three years. A longitudinal model for interval endurance capacity was developed using the multilevel modelling program MLwiN. With the model, scores on the interval shuttle run test can be predicted for elite and sub-elite male and female field hockey players aged 12–19 years.

Results: A polynomial model of order 2 adequately represents development of the test scores over time. The fixed part of the model contains a different intercept and linear age term for boys and girls, and a common quadratic term; the random part of the model has a common level 2 variance and sex specific level 1 variances. The model was significantly improved by including differential effects of performance level for age and sex. A negative effect was found for percentage body fat, and positive effects for additional training and motivation.

Conclusions: During adolescence, both male and female elite hockey players show a more promising development pattern of interval endurance capacity than sub-elite youth players. Percentage body fat, additional training hours, and motivation influence this development. However, differences between the individual players are still considerable.

  • talent
  • field hockey
  • endurance
  • longitudinal study
  • multilevel model

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