Morphological, Functional, and Fitness-Related Characteristics of Young Female Field Hockey Players

Article excerpt

Abstract

Morphological parameters (stature, weight, segment lengths, diameters, circumferences, body composition), functional characteristics (work capacity, respiratory performance, static strength of hand) and aspects of health-and skill-related fitness (explosive strength, speed, anaerobic and aerobic endurance, agility) of 141 well-trained young female field hockey players (10 to 18 y) were examined and analyzed. The main purpose of the investigation was to study growth trends of these parameters of female field hockey players and to analyze the character and feature of their development.

Standard anthropometric measurements were used for evaluation of morphological characteristics. Matiegka's equations were used for computation of body composition's parameters. Modification of the Harvard step test was used for estimation of physical capacity. Respiratory performance was evaluated using vitalograph. Static strength of the hands was obtained using a handgrip. Characteristics of health- and skill-related fitness were evaluated using the following test battery: standing broad jump, 30 m dash run, flying 30 m test, 210 yards shuttle run, 2000 m run, push-ups and 20 m zig-zag run.

Results of the study were as follows: the functional characteristics have the greatest total increase (about 108-144 %) during the age span considered (from 10 to 18 years). Stature and other length parameters increased about 18-20 %. The periods of the acceleration of increases in morphological parameters precede the periods of the sizable increases in functional parameters.

Based upon the analysis of aspects of health- and skill-related fitness of players training and practicing in hockey has a beneficial effect on this group of characteristics. Based on the results of the study, the optimum periods for speed, strength and endurance training of female hockey players are exposed.

Introduction

It has long been known that successful performance in team games - such as field hockey - is influenced by morphological characteristics such as body size and composition, functional parameters (physical capacity) and fitness (explosive strength, maximum speed, anaerobic and aerobic capacity, agility) (Bril, 1980; Ayrapetyanz & Godik, 1991; Nikitushkin & Guba, 1998; Volkov & Filin, 1983). Therefore, for better sport performance, selection of athletes and their training process can be based upon their morphological and physiological status and fitness parameters.

While the parameters of elite participants in field hockey have already been described in detail (Bale & McNaught-Davis, 1983; Bale, 1986; Fedotova, Bril, & Martirosov, 1990; Mocha & Sidhu, 1987; Seluyanov & Sarsaniya, 1991; Withers & Roberts, 1981), only a few studies (Fedotova, 1993, 1998) have dealt with the young hockey players (both children and adolescents). It is undoubtedly true that effective long-term training systems for young athletes and their coaches are possible only after considering biological influence on their growth and development, unevenness in development of various parameters, and their maturation level in different age groups (Filin, 1987; Fomin & Filin, 1986; Ignatyeva, 1997; Malina, 1983, 1994; Nabatnikova, 1982; Platonov, 1997; Zheleznyak, 1988).

Given the importance that morphological and functional parameters and aspects of health- and skill-related fitness of athletes can play on performance, the purpose of this study is to examine growth trends of morphological and functional parameters of female field hockey players (10 to 18 y) and to analyze the character and feature of their development.

Methods

Subjects

Data for the present study were collected in a cross-sectional investigation from 141 well-trained young female field hockey players aged 10 to 18 years. These athletes trained 12 months a year. Subjects were pupils from the Special Sport Schools and Schools of Olympic Reserve in Moscow and were tested during a 2-week period before each of their actual competitions. …