Multidimensional performance characteristics and standard of performance in talented youth field hockey players: a longitudinal study

J Sports Sci. 2007 Feb 15;25(4):481-9. doi: 10.1080/02640410600719945.


To identify performance characteristics that could help predict future elite field hockey players, we measured the anthropometric, physiological, technical, tactical, and psychological characteristics of 30 elite and 35 sub-elite youth players at the end of three consecutive seasons. The mean age of the players at the end of the first season was 14.2 years (s = 1.1). Repeated-measures analyses of covariance, with standard of performance and measurement occasion as factors and age as a covariate, showed that the elite players fared better than the sub-elite players on technical and tactical variables. Female elite youth players also scored better on interval endurance capacity, motivation, and confidence. Future elite players appear to have excellent tactical skills by the age of 14. They also have good specific technical skills and develop these together with interval endurance capacity better than sub-elite youth players in the subsequent 2 years. To verify our conclusions, we will be tracking these players into adulthood.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Aptitude*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Hockey / standards*
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Netherlands
  • Task Performance and Analysis*