Martin Mikulič, Pavol Gregora, Ľuboš Benkovský and Pavol Peráček
The focus of this research was to determine the relative age effect (RAE) on selection in the Slovakia national football teams. A factor that may have a significant impact on the quality of players chosen for the national teams or may result in a poor selection of players for the elite teams. Anthropometric and cognitive acceleration of players born in the first months of the calendar year concerning the overall context of the competition for placement in the national teams may be considered as a significant advantage. The aim of this research was to examine, determine and verify the presence of relative age effect in the selection of football players for the Slovakia national teams starting with the under 16 age category (U-16) through to the A - senior national football team. We presumed that the elite teams under this review and study consisted predominantly of players born in the first quarter of the calendar year, while also presuming that relative age effect receded with the increasing age category. Our survey sample U16 consisted of 79 players, U17 consisted of 47 players, U18 consisted of 58 players, U19 consisted of 71 players, U21 consisted of 52 players and A - senior national team consisted of 302 Slovakia national football players. The information obtained from the Slovak Football Association has been processed by the application of statistical methods and statistical significance test (T-test). Our research confirmed the presence of relative age effect in the U-16, U-17 and U-18 teams under our investigation (p≤0.01). In the U19 and U21 age categories, statistical significance has not been confirmed. As for the senior national team, statistically significant difference has been found in relation to players born in the last quarter of the year as opposed to players born in the first three months of the year (p≤0.01). Our results have shown that with the increasing age, the relative age effect fades and vanishes in full in the category of senior elite players. In the U-19 and U-21 age categories, statistical significance has not been confirmed. Based on this research results it may be recommended to use the advantage of relative age effect for the selection of players of the particular age category in the particular competition (such as e.g. the European Championship qualification, the European Championship final tournament qualification, or the World Cup qualification in the U-16, U-17, U-18 age categories).
Tatiana Gallová, Ladislava Doležajová, Anton Lednický, Kestutis Matulaitis and Mitja Bračič
The authors compared selected somatic data and test results in 20 m sprint and countermovement jump (CJM) of 14-year-old Lithuanian players from Sabonis Center (LT, n=143; body height: 173.7 ± 8.99 cm; body mass: 59.30 ± 11.40 kg), and Slovenian (SLO, n=84; body height: 172.8 ± 9.96 cm; body mass: 60.10 ± 12.49 kg) and Slovak national team players (SVK, n=42, body height: 177.5 ± 9.07 cm; body mass: 63.32 ± 11.36 kg). The SVK players were divided into the narrow pick (A-team, n=16) and broader roster (B-team, n=26). Within the SVK groups, significant differences between the A-team and B-team have been found in terms of body height (p<0.05) and body mass measurements (p<0.01), and in the test 20 m sprint (p<0.05). In CMJ results, the differences of the A-team and B-team have not been statistically significant. In the international comparison SVK players were taller than SLO and LT players (p <0.05). In the test 20 m sprint SVK players have achieved significantly better results (LT p <0.05, SLO p <0.01). On the contrary, in CMJ test the results (height of the jump) of SVK players were significantly worse than SLO and LT players (p<0.01).
Pavel Šmela, Petra Pačesová, Stanislav Kraček and Dan Hájovský
The aim of the paper is to widen knowledge about motivation of elite, recreational athletes and non-athletes. Participants from the elite athletes group (n = 35, 16.7 ± .70 years old) were football players of the Slovak national team. Recreational athletes (n = 31, 16.8 ± .80 years old) and non-athletes (n = 29, 15.7 ± .60 years old) are visiting Grammar School in Zvolen. D-M-V standardized questionnaire was used to determine performance motivation. The Kolmogorov-Smirnov's test disconfirmed the null hypothesis on the normality of data. We used the non-parametric Kruskal-Wallis and Mann-Whitney U tests to determine the statistical significance of the differences. The results showed that there were significant (p .0.01) differences with large effect size (η2 ≥ .14) in all the three (the performance motives scale, the anxiety inhibiting performance scale and the anxiety supporting performance scale) dimensions among the research groups. The motivation of elite athletes is significantly higher (p = .048; r = .25) compared to the recreational athletes. Also, compared to the non-athletes, the level of performance motivation is significantly higher (p = .002; r = .51) in the elite athletes. Based on the results of the study we can formulate the statement that the level of performance motivation is contingent on the level of sport activity.