Journal of Human Sport and Exercise

Development of physical fitness under consideration of talent-specific aspects

Andreas Roth, Steffen CE Schmidt, Sina Hartmann, Swantje Scharenberg, Ilka Seidel, Stefan Altmann, Darko Jekauc, Klaus Bös



Purpose: To measure the initial level and development of physical fitness (PF) in pupils from grade 4 to grade 7 in sport schools with respect to the discipline, training volume and training years. Methods: A total of 1590 (1074 female, 516 male) pupils from sport schools in North Rhine-Westphalia (Germany) were tested in grade 4 and re-tested in grade 7 using the German Motor Test. Additionally, the discipline, training volume and training years were captured in grade 7 via questionnaire. Results: The initial level of PF of boys and girls lies above the German average and was influenced by discipline and training volume. The track and field athletes showed the best results compared to other sport disciplines. In relation to the normal population, boys showed a slight decrease in PF from grade 4 to 7 (F = 8.3; p = .004; η2 = .009) whereas the PF of girls remained stable (F = 1.1; p = .290; η2 = .003). The development of PF is influenced by sport discipline, training volume and the interaction between training volume and time. In total, the effect sizes were low. Conclusions: There is still potential to improve training and physical education at sport schools to raise the level of PF. Training years did not influence the initial level of PF or the development of PF. In further studies, more information on the type of training would be useful.


Motor tests; Talent identification; Training; Motor performance


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