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Talent identification, development and selection in youth handball players: contribution of cross-sectional and longitudinal measures of anthropometry, physical performance and maturation

Stijn Matthys UGent (2012)
abstract
The Ghent Youth Handball Project was a 4-year study with the objective to extend the existing knowledge regarding talent identification, development and selection of youth handball players. Therefore, a total number of 1.147 youth handball players underwent a battery of tests. The purpose of the first study was to determine to what extent the variance in performance might be explained by chronological age, biological maturation, training load and anthropometry in 168 youth handball players, aged 14 years. The results revealed significant differences between early, on-time and late maturity groups for anthropometry, strength and speed (sprint 20 m) in favour of the early maturing players. The results clearly showed that handball players with a different maturity status differ. Furthermore, results revealed that the maturity status had no effect on sport-specific skills. In the second study, differences between handball players from two different levels were examined, taking the maturity status into account. For this cross-sectional study, a multidimensional test battery was assessed in three age groups: U14 (n=186), U16 (n=150), and U18 (n=92). The data suggested that elite and non-elite young handball players possess different physical performance characteristics and that the specific tests that discriminate elite from non-elite handball players vary among age groups. In the third study, longitudinal changes in anthropometric characteristics and physical performance measures in 94 youth handball players were examined over a three-year period. Again, differences between elite and non-elite handball players were studied. The results revealed that, when controlled for maturation, elite players did not exhibit a different anthropometric profile compared with their non-elite counterparts. The elites however, performed better on the endurance, speed and coordination tests. The final study examined differences in maturity, anthropometry and physical performance between 472 youth handball players of different positions divided into three age groups: U14, U15 and U16. Again, the results showed that maturation affected all anthropometric characteristics. Furthermore, significant differences were found between playing positions. The relative early maturing, tall and strong players played as keeper or back, the relative late maturing and small players as wing and the handball players with the highest percentage of fat as pivot. It can be concluded that differences in anthropometry and physical performance between playing positions in youth and adult handball are alike. This position-specific specialization from an early age on might jeopardize the ability to play other positions. Thus, position a-specific and handball-specific development from the age of 13 years on is promoted. In conclusion, the abovementioned studies in this thesis confirm the confounding role of maturity status in talent identification in youth team handball, that sport-specific skill tests should be used for selection-purposes, that among age groups the most discriminating tests can differ between elites and non-elites and that the long-term development of athletes must be encouraged.
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
promoter
UGent and UGent
organization
year
type
dissertation (monograph)
subject
keyword
maturation, physical performance, anthropometry, Talent identification, team handball
pages
V, 181 + annexe pages
publisher
Ghent University. Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
place of publication
Ghent, Belgium
defense location
Gent : Aula Universiteit (Academieraadzaal)
defense date
2012-06-06 18:00
ISBN
9789090267951
language
English
UGent publication?
yes
classification
D1
additional info
dissertation consists of copyrighted material
copyright statement
I have transferred the copyright for this publication to the publisher
id
2137805
handle
http://hdl.handle.net/1854/LU-2137805
date created
2012-06-08 17:42:19
date last changed
2012-06-11 08:49:43
@phdthesis{2137805,
  abstract     = {The Ghent Youth Handball Project was a 4-year study with the objective to extend the existing knowledge regarding talent identification, development and selection of youth handball players. Therefore, a total number of 1.147 youth handball players underwent a battery of tests. The purpose of the first study was to determine to what extent the variance in performance might be explained by chronological age, biological maturation, training load and anthropometry in 168 youth handball players, aged 14 years. The results revealed significant differences between early, on-time and late maturity groups for anthropometry, strength and speed (sprint 20 m) in favour of the early maturing players. The results clearly showed that handball players with a different maturity status differ. Furthermore, results revealed that the maturity status had no effect on sport-specific skills. In the second study, differences between handball players from two different levels were examined, taking the maturity status into account. For this cross-sectional study, a multidimensional test battery was assessed in three age groups: U14 (n=186), U16 (n=150), and U18 (n=92). The data suggested that elite and non-elite young handball players possess different physical performance characteristics and that the specific tests that discriminate elite from non-elite handball players vary among age groups. In the third study, longitudinal changes in anthropometric characteristics and physical performance measures in 94 youth handball players were examined over a three-year period. Again, differences between elite and non-elite handball players were studied. The results revealed that, when controlled for maturation, elite players did not exhibit a different anthropometric profile compared with their non-elite counterparts. The elites however, performed better on the endurance, speed and coordination tests. The final study examined differences in maturity, anthropometry and physical performance between 472 youth handball players of different positions divided into three age groups: U14, U15 and U16. Again, the results showed that maturation affected all anthropometric characteristics. Furthermore, significant differences were found between playing positions. The relative early maturing, tall and strong players played as keeper or back, the relative late maturing and small players as wing and the handball players with the highest percentage of fat as pivot. It can be concluded that differences in anthropometry and physical performance between playing positions in youth and adult handball are alike. This position-specific specialization from an early age on might jeopardize the ability to play other positions. Thus, position a-specific and handball-specific development from the age of 13 years on is promoted. In conclusion, the abovementioned studies in this thesis confirm the confounding role of maturity status in talent identification in youth team handball, that sport-specific skill tests should be used for selection-purposes, that among age groups the most discriminating tests can differ between elites and non-elites and that the long-term development of athletes must be encouraged.},
  author       = {Matthys, Stijn},
  isbn         = {9789090267951},
  keyword      = {maturation,physical performance,anthropometry,Talent identification,team handball},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {V, 181 + annexe},
  publisher    = {Ghent University. Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences},
  school       = {Ghent University},
  title        = {Talent identification, development and selection in youth handball players: contribution of cross-sectional and longitudinal measures of anthropometry, physical performance and maturation},
  year         = {2012},
}

Chicago
Matthys, Stijn. 2012. “Talent Identification, Development and Selection in Youth Handball Players: Contribution of Cross-sectional and Longitudinal Measures of Anthropometry, Physical Performance and Maturation”. Ghent, Belgium: Ghent University. Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
APA
Matthys, S. (2012). Talent identification, development and selection in youth handball players: contribution of cross-sectional and longitudinal measures of anthropometry, physical performance and maturation. Ghent University. Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Ghent, Belgium.
Vancouver
1.
Matthys S. Talent identification, development and selection in youth handball players: contribution of cross-sectional and longitudinal measures of anthropometry, physical performance and maturation. [Ghent, Belgium]: Ghent University. Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences; 2012.
MLA
Matthys, Stijn. “Talent Identification, Development and Selection in Youth Handball Players: Contribution of Cross-sectional and Longitudinal Measures of Anthropometry, Physical Performance and Maturation.” 2012 : n. pag. Print.