Giulia My, Lorenzo Giannotta, Santo Marsigliante, Antonella Muscella


Several evidence show that physical activity promotes growth and development in childhood, with multiple psychological, physiological, and cognitive and neural functioning benefits.

To verify these adaptations, we analysed the effects of a football season in young male footballers (n=29; 11.6±1.2 years) and compared with control young’s (n=30; 11.4±0,8 years). Anthropometric, blood (cortisol, testosterone, growth hormone hGH) and physical assessments were measured before the start of season (T0), after training (T1), in the middle (T2), at the end of season (T3). The results showed changes for hormones values (P<0.01), with higher hGH concentration in footballers than in control group (P<0.001). Between the start of the training period and the end of the football season significant differences were observed in the anthropometric characteristics and in the physical form of the football players. In fact, a significant performance improvement, including the lower limb power (squat‐jump [SqJ], the counter‐movement‐jump [CMJ]) and the aerobic performance (Yo–Yo intermittent recovery test level 1 [YYIRT1]) was observed in young players. Finally, significant differences emerged between the young players and the control group in the D2 cognitive performance test: the players returned a higher value of total number of responses and of correct responses minus errors of confusion, on the contrary the number of errors was higher in the control group. The results confirm that physical activity induced physiological adaptations in young players and that these adaptations positively correlated to their physical growth and also to the improvement of attention and concentration.

Parole chiave

sport-physical activity-children-neural function-growth

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