Gender- and Sport-specific Normative Anthropometric and Physical Values in Talent-Identified High School Athletes

Paul Larkin, Benjamin Sortino, Todd Carlon, Trent Saunders, Calvin Pane
Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 2022 July 8
Larkin, P, Sortino, B, Carlon, T, Saunders, T, and Pane, C. Gender- and sport-specific normative anthropometric and physical values in talent-identified high school athletes. J Strength Cond Res XX(X): 000-000, 2022-Youth sport is associated with the identification and promotion of athletes within talent development pathways, with anthropometric and physical performance measures being key assessment and monitoring tools. To adequately evaluate performance within a population, normative reference data are needed; however, currently, there is limited normative values of talent-identified youth athletes. The aim of the current study is to present normative values of talent-identified youth sport academy athletes in relation to gender, age, and sport. Over a 5-year period, a total of 794 talent-identified youth athletes who attended a specialized school sports academy were assessed using anthropometric (i.e., heigh,; body mass) and physical performance (i.e., vertical jump, 20-m sprint, Yo-Yo intermittent recovery test 1) measures. In total, 451 male and 343 female athletes (grade 7: 12-13 years; grade 8: 13-14 years; grade 9: 14-15 years; grade 10: 15-16 years) were tested annually. The result demonstrates that for each gender, as age increases, there is a general increase in anthropometric measures (i.e., height and body mass). Furthermore, with increasing age, athletes generally have a higher vertical jump, faster sprint performance, and improved physical endurance. The results highlight sport-specific differences for each measure. Overall, the results of the study provides age-, gender-, and sport-specific normative data of talent-identified youth athletes. These findings provide representative performance profiles of talent-identified high school athletes, with the values potentially being used by coaching staff (i.e., head coaches, strength and conditioning coaches, rehabilitation staff) for comparison purposes.

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