Reflections on the Changes Observed in the Structure of Motor Skills in Young Athletes
Purpose. The main objective of the study was to discern what trends are present in the structure of motor skills in young athletes by analyzing a group of basketball players within a context of their sports-specific training. Methods. Data were collected over a five-year period between 2006-2010 from 82 young Polish basketball players aged 15-16 years. In order to determine their motor skill level, the International Physical Fitness Test (IPFT) was administered. Basic somatic parameters, such as height, weight, and body mass index, were also recorded. Results. Analysis of the significant differences between the mean IPFT scores for each year found relatively few statistically significant changes. No statistically significant changes were noted for somatic build. For motor skill level, an upward trend was found for speed, lower limb strength, arm strength, hand strength, abdominal endurance, and agility. Total IPFT scores for each subsequent year indicated a systematic improvement of the participants’ general physical fitness levels. Conclusions. Despite only few of the results being statistically significant, the general trend of the changes in physical fitness levels is easily observed. Apart from the issue around the selection of surrounding selecting individuals to play in competitive sports, and in particular in which specific sports discipline, it was found that the training loads (such as the one used in boys basketball) have in most cases a positive impact on general physical fitness.
young athletes, basketball, structure of motor skills
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