Physical fitness profiles of female Australian football players across five competition levels

Jessica B. Farley*, Justin W.L. Keogh, Carl T. Woods, Nikki Milne

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: To examine physical fitness profiles of female Australian football players and investigate differences according to competition level. 

Methods: A testing battery of 28 physical fitness assessments was undertaken with 240 players across five competition levels: elite senior (≥18 years), non-elite senior (≥18 years), high-level junior (<18 years), non-elite junior (14–17 years), and non-elite junior (10–13 years). Physical fitness profiles were examined and competition level differences were investigated using multivariate analyses of variance. 

Results: Significant differences (p<0.001) were observed between competition levels in body composition (η2p=0.225), flexibility (η2p=0.071), muscular strength and endurance (η2p=0.238), balance (η2p=0.093), reaction time (η2p=0.103), and whole-body locomotor performance (η2p=0.200). Elite seniors and high-level juniors were stronger (p<0.001–0.043), faster (p=0.001–0.022), more responsive (p<0.001–0.048), and had better cardiorespiratory fitness (p<0.001) compared to the non-elite groups. Additionally, body composition and muscular strength and endurance differences were common between the senior and non-elite junior groups. 

Conclusions: This is the first study to comprehensively profile physical characteristics of female Australian footballers across a broader development pathway. These preliminary findings may assist sport practitioners to better understand athlete development, provide insight on talent identification and development programs, and injury management in this population.

Original languageEnglish
JournalScience and Medicine in Football
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Apr 2021

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