Morfologia e iniciação desportiva: interdependência da idade, experiência desportiva e indicadores maturacionais em jovens nadadores

  • Hugo M. Abade Universidade de Coimbra
  • Manuel J. Coelho e Silva Universidade de Coimbra
  • António J. Figueiredo Universidade de Coimbra
  • Luís M. Rama Universidade de Coimbra
Keywords: Young swimmers, Somatic maturity, Salivary testosterone, Sports performance


The purpose of this study is to evaluate factors that interfere in the process of sports training of young athletes, particularly in the swimming initiation stage. We pretend to study the variation introduced by age, training experience and biological maturity indicators (percentage of predicted adult height and salivary testosterone concentration) in the sports performance of young swimmers, separately for gender and age. The sample was composed of 61 young swimmers, 35 boys and 26 girls, aged between 8.1 to 12.0 years. The following variables were considered: i) morphology; ii) maturation status; iii) measures of strength, aerobic and anaerobic swimming performance; iv) experience and sports training. To analyse the data we used descriptive statistics by age group (cadetes A and cadetes B). T student test was used to deal with the effect of age, separately for boys and girls. The following steps included making simple bivariates correlations between variables of biological maturity, chronological age, training experience, morphology, measures of strength and aerobic and anaerobic swimming performance. Young male (8-12 years) and female swimmers (8-11 years) belonging to this study are pre-pubertal or beginners from a pubertal change point of view. At these ages and in both sex, the testosterone levels seem to remain stable, with no significant differences between age groups. Swimming performance in boys seems to be explained primarily by experience and training volume. In girls, the variable that seems to better explain the performance in swimming is the somatic maturation.


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Science and swimming

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