Motion tracking in young male football players: a preliminary study of within-session movement reliability

Mihkel-Madis Laas, Matthew Wright, Shaun McLaren, Daniel Eaves, Guy Parkin, Matthew Portas

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Purpose: We assessed the reliability of fundamental movement skills in young male footballers within one session. Methods: 197 players from 5 English category 3 football academies across U9–U18 age groups volunteered (mean: age = 12.6 ± 2.8 years; stature = 156 ± 17 cm; weight = 47 ± 15 kg; years from peak height velocity (PHV) =–1.1 ± 2.3). Motion tracking of squat depth and anterior Y-balance test maximum reach was recorded. Reliability was assessed (trial 1 vs. 2; trial 2 vs. 3) via mean change, intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC), and typical error. Results: The overall mean change was trivial (−1.8–2.9%), while Y-balance left showed a small negative change (trial 2 vs. 3; −3.2%). All ICCs across the tests ranged from moderate to high (0.71–0.79). Typical errors for Y-balance tests ranged from 8.3–10.8% and squats from 19.3–21.8%. Pre-PHV vs. post-PHV players had similar typical errors for Y-balance left and right (9.0 vs. 11.5%; 9.0 vs. 7.1%, respectively), and the squat (21.1 vs. 20%). Conclusions: The high within-player typical error scores obtained over three trials suggest that, contrary to some movement screening guidelines, prior habituation is needed to increase both the stability and reliability of these tests.

Original languageEnglish
JournalScience and Medicine in Football
Early online date2 Mar 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2 Mar 2020


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