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Martin Buchheit, Ben M. Simpson, Esa Peltola, and Alberto Mendez-Villanueva

The aim of the present study was to locate the fastest 10-m split time (Splitbest) over a 40-m sprint in relation to age and maximal sprint speed in highly trained young soccer players. Analyses were performed on 967 independent player sprints collected in 223 highly trained young football players (Under 12 to Under 18). The maximal sprint speed was defined as the average running speed during Splitbest. The distribution of the distance associated with Splitbest was affected by age (X 2 3 = 158.7, P < .001), with the older the players, the greater the proportion of 30-to-40-m Splitbest. There was, however, no between-group difference when data were adjusted for maximal sprint speed. Maximal sprint speed is the main determinant of the distance associated with Splitbest. Given the important disparity in Splitbest location within each age group, three (U12-U13) to two (U14-U18) 10-m intervals are still required to guarantee an accurate evaluation of maximal sprint speed in young players when using timing gates.

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Alberto Mendez-Villanueva, Martin Buchheit, Sami Kuitunen, Tsz Kit Poon, Ben Simpson, and Esa Peltola

The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between maximal sprinting (MSS) and aerobic (MAS) speeds in a cohort of highly-trained young male soccer players with the influence of body mass controlled for using allometric scaling. MSS and MAS were obtained in 14 pre-age at peak height velocity (APHV) players (12.3 ± 0.7 years), 21 circum-APHV players (14.3 ± 0.9 year) and 26 post-APHV players (16.9 ± 0.7 years). The three groups showed similar positive correlations between MSS and MAS (r = 0.73 to 0.52; p < .01). In conclusion, our results suggest that the relationship between MSS and MAS is not affected by maturation.