2014, Volume 10, Issue 1

The similarity of training experience and morphofunctional traits as prediction criteria of the sports level in the subsequent stages of long-term women’s judo training

Władysław Jagiełło1, Beata Wolska1, Stanisław Sawczyn2, Marcin Dornowski1

1Faculty of Physical Education, Department of Sport, University of Physical Education and Sports, Gdansk, Poland
2Faculty of Tourism and Recreation, Department of Sport for All, University of Physical Education and Sports, Gdansk, Poland

Author for correspondence: Władysław Jagiełło; Faculty of Physical Education, Department of Sport, University of Physical Education and Sports, Gdansk, Poland; email: wjagiello1[at]wp.pl

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Background and Study Aim: In every sport in which success is determined by the body type and human physical characteristics, monitoring of morphofunctional traits is an essential element of effective selection of candidates and of management of the training process. However, it has been repeatedly proved that along with longer training experience, especially in combat sports and team games, some athletes achieve excellent results despite the fact that the results of laboratory tests confirm lower values of their morphofunctional indices in comparison to younger athletes. The purpose of the research is knowledge about the possibility of accurate prediction of athletes’ sports level on the basis of their morphofunctional traits in three consecutive stages of women’s long-term judo training.
Material and Methods: Thirty nine Polish female judo athletes were tested (Group A - comprehensive training stage, n = 14, age 13-15 years, training experience 5.5±1.9 years; group B – directed training stage, n = 14, age 16-18 years, experience 7.2 ± 2.5 years; group C - special training stage, n = 11, age 25.2± 3.7 years, experience 14.2 ± 4 years). The athletes’ sports level was established on the basis of ranking lists of the Polish Judo Association from 2006 and 2007as well as on coaches’ opinions. Somatic characteristics were based on the measurement of body height and on indices defining its mass and the composition of its components. To evaluate general physical fitness, the Test of Physical Fitness (TPF) was applied, and to evaluate special fitness - Special Judo Fitness Test (SJFT). Aerobic capacity was measured with a test of increasing load until refusal to continue work. Anaerobic capacity was measured with the Wingate Anaerobic Test (30-second version). The analysis of results was based on multivariate statistical methods.
Results: Five clusters (groups) of athletes were distinguished due to similarity of specific morphofunctional traits. The most numerous cluster (n = 13) comprised six athletes from groups A and B each, ranked in identical positions of sports achievement: 5, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, and only one from group C (ranked 5th in this group). The most homogeneous group (n = 6) comprised 5 seniors from the special training stage (ranking positions in the group 1, 3, 4, 8, 10) and one junior (4th in the ranking). Morphofunctional indices of athletes participating in three different stages of judo training are connected, in a sense discreetly, with their sports level (ranking position in the group). Both leaders of sports performance (within individual groups and generally) and athletes qualified for low ranking positions can be characterised with very similar profiles of body composition, fitness and physical performance.
Conclusions: The results confirm a thesis that it is impossible to accurately predict the future sports performance even on the basis of a number of systematically monitored morphofunctional traits of judo athletes at each stage of training. The applied method allows, however, determining factors which at particular stages of judo training are most strongly associated with efficiency during the most important judo tournaments.

Key words: cluster analysis, multiple regression, ranking of athletic achievement, science of martial arts