The Effects of Maturation on Measures of Asymmetry During Neuromuscular Control Tests in Elite Male Youth Soccer Players.

Abstract

PURPOSE Asymmetry is a risk factor for male youth soccer players. There is a paucity of data confirming the presence of asymmetry using practically viable screening tasks in players at different stages of maturation. METHODS A cross-sectional sample (N = 347) of elite male youth soccer players who were either pre-, circa-, or post-peak height velocity (PHV) completed the following assessments: single-leg Y-Balance anterior reach, single-leg hop for distance, single-leg 75% hop and stick, and single-leg countermovement jumps. RESULTS Single-leg countermovement jumps landing force asymmetry was higher in both circa- and post-PHV groups (P < .001; d = 0.41-0.43). Single-leg 75% hop and stick landing force asymmetries were also highest in circa-PHV players, but between-group comparisons were not statistically significant and effect sizes were small. Single-leg hop for distance and single-leg Y-Balance anterior reach asymmetries reduced with maturation; however, no group differences were significant, with small to trivial effect sizes (d ≤ 0.25). CONCLUSION Stage of maturation did not have a profound effect on asymmetry. Between-limb differences in functional performance seem to be established in early childhood; thus, targeted interventions to reduce this injury risk factor should commence in pre-PHV athletes and be maintained throughout childhood and adolescence to ensure asymmetry does not increase.

DOI: 10.1123/pes.2017-0081

Cite this paper

@article{Read2017TheEO, title={The Effects of Maturation on Measures of Asymmetry During Neuromuscular Control Tests in Elite Male Youth Soccer Players.}, author={Paul J Read and Jonathan Oliver and Gregory D. Myer and Mark B A de Ste Croix and Rhodri Steffan Lloyd}, journal={Pediatric exercise science}, year={2017}, pages={1-8} }