Mason Thieu1, Quincy R. Johnson1,Yang Yang1, Dayton Sealey2, Clay Frels2, Dimitrije Cabarkapa1, & Andrew C. Fry1, FACSM

1University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas; 2Department of Kinesiology and Sport Science, University of Nebraska at Kearney, Kearney, Nebraska

Youth sports participation, competitiveness, and training intensity continues to increase. However, more information is needed regarding the anthropometric and physical fitness profile of today’s youth athletes. Common strategies for profiling anthropometric and physical fitness characteristics of athletes across their lifespan include the sit and reach (SR), functional movement screen (FMS), isometric mid-thigh pull (IMTP), and the countermovement jump (CMJ) tests. PURPOSE: This study aimed to assess SR, FMS, IMTP, and CMJ performance of youth athletes. METHODS: Youth athletes participating in a community-based strength and conditioning program (male; n=15, age=10.7±0.9, height=157.7±9.2cm, weight=53.2±14.3kg, female; n=6, age=10.2±0.4, height=146.9±8.7cm, weight=40.4±8.2kg) participated in this study. Each athlete performed a SR test, FMS test, two maximum effort IMTPs, and two maximum effort CMJs. Mann-Whitney U Tests (p<0.05) were performed using sex as the grouping variable. RESULTS: Among the variables analyzed, significant differences were found in SR performance (p=0.026), FMS total score (p=0.018), IMTP peak force (p=0.006), and CMJ peak propulsive power (p=0.016) between sexes. The mean ± SD is reported in Table 1. CONCLUSION: Significant differences in anthropometric and physical fitness were observed between male and female youth athletes. While sex differences in anthropometrics have been well reported, the present study provides novel insights on physical fitness data measuring muscular strength and power for youth athletes. These findings can be utilized by coaches, physical educators, strength and conditioning professionals, and sport scientists to better understand the youth athlete population and contribute to their long-term development of athletic qualities.

Table 1.docx (12 kB)
Table 1

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