The purpose of the present study was to determine whether a battery of anthropometric and lower and upper body strength, speed and power tests predicted selection of young volleyball players for a Junior National Team by expert coaches. Fifty-two male junior volleyball players (14.8±0.5 yrs, height: 1.84±0.05 m, body mass: 72.5±7.1 kg) took part in a training camp and underwent a selection procedure by expert coaches’ of the junior national team. Anthropometric data and fitness tests results were obtained and players were graded on a scale from 0 to 100 on the basis of their performance in a volleyball tournament. Selected players were superior in the majority of measured variables (p≤0.017) and had higher grading scores compared with non-selected players (85.3±4.1 vs. 70.5±5.6, respectively, p<0.01). The combination of spike jump and reach test (SJR) and 3 kg medicine ball throw velocity (MB3) explained 63.5% of the variance in expert coaches’ grading (p<0.001). A multivariate discriminant analysis yielded a significant discriminant function (Wilk’s lambda= 0.55, χ2= 29.324, p<0.001, η2=0.82). SJR and MB3 were the only variables that contributed to the discriminant function (standardized function coefficients: SJR = 0.68, MB3 = 0.67). Cross-validation results showed that selection was correctly predicted in 14 of the 16 selected players (predictive accuracy: 87.5%) and in 32 of the 36 non-selected players (predictive accuracy: 88.9%). The SJR and MB3 fitness tests can predict a large portion of the variance of expert coaches’ grading and successfully discriminate elite young male volleyball players for selection vs. non-selection for a junior national team. This result is very important as performance testing during a selection process may be reduced to only two measurements.
1School of Physical Education and Sports Science, National & Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece,
2Human Performance Laboratory, California State University, Fullerton, Fullerton, CA,
3School of Physical Education and Sport Science, Democritus University of Thrace, Komotini, Greece,
Corresponding author: Athanasios Tsoukos, PhD Postal: School of P.E. and Sports Science, 41 Ethnikis Antistasis Str. Dafne, 172 37 Athens, GREECE Phone number: +30210 7276115 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org