DIFFERENCES AMONG TENNIS PLAYERS AGED 12, 14 AND 16 YEARS IN CERTAIN MORPHOLOGICAL CHARACTERISTICS: A CROATIAN PROSPECTIVE
Primary objective of this research was to identify quantitative differences among tennis players aged 12, 14 and 16 with regards to the indicators of morphological characteristics. Sixty (60) tennis players ranked on the scale of the Croatian Tennis Association were analysed through differences in morphological characteristics which were identified by a standard laboratory diagnostic procedure in Sports-diagnostic Centre of the Faculty of Kinesiology at the University of Zagreb. Significant differences were reached in most of the monitored measures for the assessment of the morphological characteristics. These differences are particularly reflected in the variables for assessment of longitudinal dimensionality of the skeleton (ALVT, ALDRL and ALDNL), and in the variables for the assessment of body volume and mass (AVTT, AVONDEL and AVOPDL). A bit smaller differences were reached at the variables for the assessment of transversal dimensionality of the skeleton (ATSR and ATSZ). The level of the statistical significance was defined at p<0.05. The results of the research indicate that the phase of the intensive period of the pubertal growth spurt in which the examined participants currently are, results with significant changes of body proportions. The above-mentioned indicates the importance of a quality methodologically formed and governed approach in the conditioning preparation of the young tennis players directed towards the development of the required morphological characteristics. Through the conditioning, but also technical-tactical training, actions should be undertaken for the prompt establishment of the impaired coordination competences with regards to the accelerated growth and development.
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