Purpose: The purpose of this experiment was to assess performance during repeated sprints utilising self-selected recovery intervals in youth football players at different stages of maturation. Methods: Quota sampling method was used to recruit 14 pre-peak-height-velocity (PHV) and 14 post-PHV participants for the study (n = 28, age 13 ± 0.9 years; stature 162.5 ± 10.8 cm; mass 50.2 ± 12.7 kg). Players performed repeated sprints comprising 10 x 30 m efforts under two experimental conditions: Using 30 s and self-selected recovery intervals. Magnitude of effects for within- and between-group differences were reported using effect size (ES) statistics ± 90% confidence interval and percentage differences. Results: The decline in sprint performance was likely lower in the pre-PHV compared with the post-PHV group during the standardised recovery trial (37%; ES 0.41 ± 0.51), and likely lower in the post-PHV group during the self-selected recovery trial (50%; ES 0.45 ± 0.54). Total recovery duration was likely shorter in the pre-PHV compared with the post-PHV group during the self-selected recovery trial (26.1%; ES 0.47 ± 0.45). Conclusion: During repeated sprints with self-selected recovery, pre-PHV children have an impaired ability to apportion appropriate rest periods compared with post-PHV adolescents.
Brownstein, C. G., Ball, D., Micklewright, D., & Gibson, N. V. (2018). The effect of maturation on performance during repeated sprints with self-selected versus standardized recovery periods in youth footballers. Pediatric Exercise Science, 30(4), 500-505. https://doi.org/10.1123/pes.2017-0240