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  • 1.
    Söderström, Tor
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Brusvik, Peter
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Lund, Stefan
    Department of Education and Teachers’ Practice, Linnaeus University, Sweden.
    Factors underlying competitive successin youth football: A study of the Swedish national U15 football talent system2019In: Scandinavian Sport Studies Forum, ISSN 2000-088X, E-ISSN 2000-088X, Vol. 10, p. 139-162Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study of Sweden’s 24 football districts analyses whether contextual factors (number of players, number of elite teams, and number of elite players on each district team) influence the district teams’ relative age effect (RAE) and the way in which contextual factors and RAE correlate with the U15 teams’ competitive success. The analysis is based on register data on district players (4,516 girls and 4,501 boys, all 15 years old) who attended an annual elite football camp: birthdate, the total number of players aged 15, club membership, senior elite clubs, proportion of elite players on the district teams, and match outcomes. Based on the birthdates of the players born between 2001 and 2012, a relative age index was constructed for each district. The results showed a relative age effect (RAE) for the selected district players (boys and girls) compared to the general 15-year-old football population; however, birthdate only affected the competitive success of the boys’ district teams. The analysis points out that contextual factors such as the number of football players and the presence of elite clubs are important to consider in order to understand how RAE is produced and its relationship to the success of winning matches for boys’ district teams.

  • 2.
    Söderström, Tor
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education. Umea School of Sport Science.
    Brusvik, Peter
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education. Umea School of Sport Science.
    Sandlund, Stefan
    Umea School of Sport Science.
    Guerrero, Esteban
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Computing Science. Umea School of Sport Science.
    The meaning and significance of physiological tests from the perspective of elite athletes2018In: World Congress of Sociology of Sport, Lausanne, Switzerland, June 5 - 8, 2018: ISSA 2018 Book of Abstracts, Lausanne, 2018, p. 105-105Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The use of physiological tests has received a lot of attention within high performance sport. One major motive for using physiological tests is to help the athlete enhance their performance (Tanner and Gore, 2013). However, to date, research undertaken in the field has not acknowledged or taken into consideration those that actually use the tests. What do they think about tests and how useful do they find them? Thus, in this paper we aim to explore the meaning and significance of physiological tests from the athletes’ perspective by scrutinizing their experiences of physiological tests and their importance for enhancing performance.

    The material in this study is based on interviews with eight elite athletes between 20-30 years of age in three different individual sports. They were all dual career athlete-university students. The results show that their experiences of using physiological test vary according to which training group they belonged to prior to entering university. The athletes believed that their pre-University coaches generally used tests as a checkpoint or single indicator of fitness. As a consequence, for most athletes, the tests had little or no importance with respect to how they evaluated and planned their training. In other words, physiological tests are not automatically useful for enhancing performance. Drawing on Bourdieu (1990), we argue that the use of tests in high performance sport can be considered as part of a practical logic that counteracts reflexive attention and processing necessary for enhancing the athletes performance (cf. Dewey, 1910).

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