Nenad Zugaj1, Hrvoje Karnincic2, Mario Baic1
1Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia
2Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Split, Split, Croatia
Differences in Motor, Functional, and Sport- Specific Skills in Gifted Wrestlers with Different Acceleration of Biological Development
Sport Mont 2023, 21(1), 117-121 | DOI: 10.26773/smj.230219
It is assumed that the selection of gifted children aged 13-14 years old is dominated by those with accelerated biological development. A better understanding of this problem can greatly improve the selection process for gifted children. The paper aimed to determine the differences in motor, functional, and sport-specific skills between children with different levels of biological acceleration. The study was conducted on a sample of 26 wrestlers aged 13.8±0.74 years old selected from the city of Zagreb. The participants were divided into three groups according to the acceleration of biological development (early maturers, n=9; normal, n=10; late maturers, n=7) and tested with a battery of 10 tests (6 motor, 1 functional, and 3 sport-specific). As was expected, even though there were no differences in experience and placement, the groups differed in all physical characteristics (Kruskal–Wallis ANOVA: age p=0.01; body mass, p<0.01; body height, p<0.01; sitting body height, p<0.01; body mass index, p=0.02). The groups differed significantly in two sport-specific tests and one motor test (Kruskal–Wallis ANOVA: wrestling bridge flexibility p=0.02; flipover p=0.04; medicine ball throw p<0.01). Although these were selected wrestlers, not all of them were classified as early maturers; rather, they were evenly distributed in different groups. We can assume that late maturers had technical–tactical advantages that compensated for the early maturers’ advantage in explosive power. Early maturers were better in terms of explosive power, but the late maturers were better at sport-specific flexibility, as expected.
wrestling, biological age, talented athletes
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