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Michael C. Rumpf, John B. Cronin, Jonathan Oliver and Michael Hughes

Sprinting is an important physical capacity and the development of sprint ability can take place throughout the athlete’s growth. The purpose of this study therefore was to determine if the kinematics and kinetics associated with maximum sprint velocity differs in male youth participants of different maturity status (pre, mid- and postpeak height velocity (PHV)) and if maximum sprint velocity is determined by age, maturity or individual body size measurement. Participants (n = 74) sprinted over 30 meters on a nonmotorized treadmill and the fastest four consecutive steps were analyzed. Pre-PHV participants were found to differ significantly (p < .05) to mid- and post-PHV participants in speed, step length, step frequency, vertical and horizontal force, and horizontal power (~8-78%). However, only relative vertical force and speed differed significantly between mid and post-PHV groups. The greatest average percent change in kinetics and kinematics was observed from pre- to mid-PHV (37.8%) compared with mid- to post- PHV groups (11.6%). When maturity offset was entered as a covariate, there was no significant difference in velocity between the three groups. However, all groups were significantly different from each other when age was chosen as the covariate. The two best predictors of maximal velocity within each maturity group were power and horizontal force (R 2 = 97−99%) indicating the importance of horizontal force application while sprinting. Finally, maturity explained 83% of maximal velocity across all groups.

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Michael C. Rumpf, John B. Cronin, Jon L. Oliver and Michael Hughes

The primary purpose of this paper was to provide insight into the methodological issues and associated reliability of assessments used to quantify running sprint ability in youth athletes aged 8–18 years. Over-ground sprinting was the most reliable and common used choice of assessment to measure sprint performance of youth. In addition, the performance data of those athletes over distances ranging from 5 to 40 meters was collated from 34 published articles and tabulated with regards to the athlete’s chronological age. Torque or nonmotorized treadmills have been used to quantify sprint performance in youth with acceptable reliability, this technology providing deeper insight into sprint kinetics and kinematics; however there is limited performance data on youth using the torque and the nonmotorized treadmill. It is suggested that future research should use this technology in youth to better understand changes associated with growth, maturation and training.

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Michael C. Rumpf, John B. Cronin, Shane D. Pinder, Jon Oliver and Michael Hughes

The primary purpose of this paper was to provide insight into the effect of different training methods on sprinting time in male youth aged 8–18 years. Specific and nonspecific training methods were identified, the participants of the fiveteen studies chategorized into pre, mid- and postpeak height velocity and effect sizes and percent changes calculated for each training method were appropriate. Plyometric training had the most effect on sprint times in pre- and midpeak height velocity participants, while combined training methods were the most efficient in postpeak height velocity participants. However, it is difficult to quantify the effects of different training methods due to the limited knowledge in this area e.g., resisted training on pre-PHV participants. Furthermore, it may be worthwhile to investigate additional variables (i.e., stride length, stride frequency, horizontal force), to better determine effect of training methods in different maturity statuses, the development of sprinting and possible stages where individual development can be optimized by training.