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  1. Marcio Domingues
  1. Faculty of Sport Sciences, University of Coimbra, Portugal


Sport and more specifically football is an important asset in youth lives. Much has been written regarding functional capacities and dimensions in pre-adolescence and adolescence but there's a consistent lack of information concerning the ages of 6–10 years of age. Biological factors, such as body size and maturity status, have been documented as predictors of athlete selection and performance in several sports (Malina, Bouchard, & Bar-Or, 2004). As some authors contest, advanced biological maturity status constitutes an asset positively associated with selection process and success in several sports in early adolescence (Malina, Pena Reyes, Eisenmann, Horta, Rodrigues, & Miller, 2000), as chronological age and sport specialization increase. Children are very responsive to systematic instructional and training programs for the development of motor skills. Moreover, studies of youth football players start to consider the potential influence of variation in growth and biological maturity status upon sport-specific football skills. Attention is given to functional capacities and performance outcomes in young athletes at relatively young age as they relate to growth and maturation. The multilateral development emphasis should be placed ahead when elaborating youth programs as coaches should be careful in using body size as cut-points in sport and should be aware of individual differences (Malina, 2004). Care should therefore be taken in developing football skills regarding performance with full respect to youth development.

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