A Comparison of Athletic Movement Among Talent-Identified Juniors From Different Football Codes in Australia: Implications for Talent Development
Woods, CT, Keller, BS, McKeown, I, and Robertson, S. A comparison of athletic movement among talent-identified juniors from different football codes in Australia: implications for talent development. J Strength Cond Res 30(9): 2440–2445, 2016—This study aimed to compare the athletic movement skill of talent-identified (TID) junior Australian Rules football (ARF) and soccer players. The athletic movement skill of 17 TID junior ARF players (17.5–18.3 years) was compared against 17 TID junior soccer players (17.9–18.7 years). Players in both groups were members of an elite junior talent development program within their respective football codes. All players performed an athletic movement assessment that included an overhead squat, double lunge, single-leg Romanian deadlift (both movements performed on right and left legs), a push-up, and a chin-up. Each movement was scored across 3 essential assessment criteria using a 3-point scale. The total score for each movement (maximum of 9) and the overall total score (maximum of 63) were used as the criterion variables for analysis. A multivariate analysis of variance tested the main effect of football code (2 levels) on the criterion variables, whereas a 1-way analysis of variance identified where differences occurred. A significant effect was noted, with the TID junior ARF players outscoring their soccer counterparts when performing the overhead squat and push-up. No other criterions significantly differed according to the main effect. Practitioners should be aware that specific sporting requirements may incur slight differences in athletic movement skill among TID juniors from different football codes. However, given the low athletic movement skill noted in both football codes, developmental coaches should address the underlying movement skill capabilities of juniors when prescribing physical training in both codes.
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