chapter  71
The Importance of Chronological and Maturational Age on Strength, Resistance and Speed Performance of Soccer Players During Adolescence
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The association between morphological and maturational characteristics and motor performance has been the object of countless research projects. Physical exercise during growth depends on the morphological characteristics and growth stage of the body. Motor skill levels and physical fitness tend to be optimized during adolescence, especially strength which depends on lean body mass (Carter, 1988; Malina and Bouchard, 1991; Vieira et al., 2003). The onset and terminus of adolescence period may vary so much, particularly in boys, that variability can hide the real motor physical value. It is known that during adolescence more mature boys, participating in sports such as baseball, football, soccer, swimming, tennis, and ice hockey, often achieve better results than those less mature (Beunen et al., 1997). However, there are fewer significant motor performance differences between and among maturation groups within specific age groups.