Study aim: To find out whether the ability to accelerate, decelerate and turn may contribute to the performance of young football players during the Yo-Yo Intermittent Endurance Test - Level 2 (YYIEL2).
Material and methods: A group of 239 young male football players from three age categories: under 15 years (U15; n = 102), under 17 years (U17; n = 59) and under 19 years (U19; n = 74) were evaluated in sprint, agility, and intermittent exercise performance. Multiple regression models weighted for maturity status were applied.
Results: Significant (p<0.001) differences were found between the U15 and both other groups in all tests. The YYIEL2 was significantly correlated with 5-m and 30-m sprints and agility (r = 0.361, 0.499 and 0.555, respectively; p<0.001) and the latter 3 variables explained 31% (p<0.001) of the total variance of the YYIEL2 performance, the agility test alone being the strongest predictor (b = 0.56; p<0.001).
Conclusions: Despite the usefulness of the YYIEL2 test used in football to determine aerobic fitness, other factors than O2max, such as peripheral limitations and the ability to accelerate, decelerate and turn, may influence the performance during the test.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.