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Three-Year Longitudinal Fitness Tracking in Top-Level Competitive Youth Ice Hockey Players

Cordingley, Dean M.1; Sirant, Luke1; MacDonald, Peter B.1,2; Leiter, Jeff R.1,2

The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: November 2019 - Volume 33 - Issue 11 - p 2909–2912
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000003379
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Cordingley, DM, Sirant, L, MacDonald, PB, and Leiter, JR. Three-year longitudinal fitness tracking in top-level competitive youth ice hockey players. J Strength Cond Res 33(11): 2909–2912, 2019—The purpose of this retrospective review was to report the physical and physiological development of top-level competitive male youth hockey players for 3 consecutive years (13, 14, and 15 years of age). Before each hockey season, the athletes (n = 103) underwent a fitness testing combine to assess aerobic, anaerobic, and musculoskeletal fitness. The tests performed included the height, body mass, body fat percentage determined by skinfolds, push-ups, chin-ups, plank, broad jump, grip strength 20-m shuttle run, Wingate bike test, and 5-10-5 shuttle test. Height and body mass increased with each consecutive year (p < 0.05) with no change in body fat percentage. Chin-ups, broad jump, and grip strength all improved with age (p < 0.001). However, push-ups only improved from 13 to 14 years of age (p < 0.001), whereas maximal plank duration decreased from 14 to 15 years of age (p < 0.05). The total distance covered during the 20-m shuttle run decreased from 14 to 15 years of age (p < 0.05). Absolute peak and average power increased with each age increase (p < 0.001), but relative peak and average power only increased from 13 to 14 years of age (p < 0.05). There was no change in the fatigue index with age. The 5-10-5 shuttle test improved with each age increase (p < 0.05). Over a 3-year period (13–15 years of age), there are many physical and physiological changes that occur in top-level competitive male hockey players. Having a better understanding of how these athletes develop could aid in the implementation of specific on- and off-ice training programs.

1Pan Am Clinic Foundation, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada; and

2Department of Surgery, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Address correspondence to Jeff R. Leiter, jeffleiter@gmail.com.

Copyright © 2019 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.