Playing Position: Anthropometric and Fitness Demands in Youth Soccer

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The aim of this study was to examine the anthropometric and fitness characteristics of soccer players with different positional role. Although, players’ skills are not equally distributed in each position, at elite soccer they have to perform each skill at a sufficient level. However, coaches expertise those from an early age in specific positions without giving them an holistic individualized training. In the study participated 312 Greek players aged 6 to 17 (M= 11.89; SD= 2.33) of 5 age groups (group U7-U8; group U9-U10; group U11-U12; group U13-U14; group U15-U16; group U17). Anthropometric (height, weight, body mass index and body fat) and fitness characteristics (flexibility, vertical jump, running speed, agility and VO2max) of participants were measured. The study showed that goalkeepers and central defenders tend to perform worse than players of the other positional groups in most of their fitness characteristics for almost all the age groups. Furthermore, many tendencies were observed in anthropometric and fitness characteristics between players with different positional roles. This study provides suggestions to coaches regarding their practice of positioning players according to their anthropometric and fitness characteristics for a short term success.


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