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Gazzetta Medica Italiana Archivio per le Scienze Mediche 2013 January-February;172(1-2):35-42

language: English

Predictors of judo performance in female athletes: insights from 27 top-level European coaches

Krstulovic S., Sekulic D.

Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Split, Split, Croatia


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Aim: To identify and rank the predictors of athletic performance for female judo athletes observed in three weight groups.
Methods: In this study we interviewed 27 top-level European judo coaches, and asked them to rank the importance of different general physical fitness and specific strength variables in the success of female judo athletes. Coaches judged the importance of each factor separately for three weight groups: lightweight (< 52 kg), middleweight (53 – 63 kg), and heavyweight (>63 kg) athletes. Additionally, we established coefficients of concordance to assess agreement among respondents (judo coaches) about judo achievement predictors.
Results: The Kendall Tau coefficient showed high agreement among respondents (0.56). Among the general factors, coaches ranked physical fitness as the most important, followed by technical and tactical knowledge, psychic profile, sport-specific intelligence, and body constitution, with no differences in the hierarchical structures among weight categories. Middleweight and heavyweight athletes benefit most from maximal strength, while motor-skill speed and muscular endurance were judged as the most important factors in lightweighters.
Conclusion: It can be concluded that motor-skill speed and muscular endurance are significant predictors of sport success in lightweight judoists, while maximal strength is more closely related to performance in middleweight and heavyweight female judo athletes. It is interesting to note that experts share the opinion that endurance is one of the most important physical fitness factors regardless of weight category.

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