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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2021 Jan 20

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.20.11633-5


language: English

Monitoring motor traits of young athletes in Tuscany: a perspective from the first phase of the project "I ragazzi della Toscana 30 anni dopo"

Lorenzo RAUGEI 1, 2, Giacomo CHETONI 1, Francesca LEPRI 1, Virginia LANZINI 1, Fabrizio BALDUCCI 1, 2, Danilo BONDI 1, 3

1 Scuola Regionale dello Sport, CONI Toscana, Firenze, Italy; 2 University of Firenze, Italy; 3 Department of Neuroscience, Imaging and Clinical Sciences, University G. d’Annunzio, Chieti, Italy


BACKGROUND: The current study represents the preliminary report of an Italian regional project aimed to monitor the status of young athletes in modern times and linking it to the monitoring started in the nineties.
METHODS: After the preparatory stage, data were analysed and discussed with coaches and researchers. Next, for the main stage, the coaches performed the tests and the supervisors reported them in a database. A total number of 173 participants (age = 10.64 ± 2.42 years, BMI = 18.43 ± 3.49 Kg/m2) were tested for standing long jump, sit and reach, 10×4 Shuttle Run, 3 Kg-medical ball throw, and Sergeant test. Nine sports disciplines were represented.
RESULTS: 46.5% of the participants trained more than twice a week and 15.8% of the participants played more than 1 discipline. Girls were more flexible than boys, and differences emerged in the Sergeant and Shuttle Run test, with boys outperforming girls in older ages.
CONCLUSIONS: The “sentinel” role of sports societies, in terms of health and developmental risks, should represent valuable accountability. Authors advocate a specific focus shall be directed to the risks of youth sports specialization, gender-related developmental trajectories, long-life physical activity, and sport engagement.

KEY WORDS: Sports participation; Strength; Fitness; Motor tests; Youth athletes

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