Childhood football play and practice in relation to self-regulation and national team selection; a study of Norwegian elite youth players

Martin K. Erikstad, Rune Høigaard, Bjørn Tore Johansen, Ngianga-bakwin Kandala, Tommy Haugen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
74 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Childhood sport participation is argued to be important to understand differences in self-regulation and performance level in adolescence. This study sought to investigate if football-specific activities in childhood (6–12 years of age) is related to self-regulatory skills and national under 14- and 15-team selection in Norwegian elite youth football. Data of practice histories and self-regulatory skills of 515 youth football players selected at Norwegian regional level were collected and further analysed using multilevel analyses. The results revealed that high self-regulated players were more likely to be selected for national initiatives, and increased their involvement in peer-led football practice and adult-led football practice during childhood, compared to players with lower levels of self-regulation. While national level players reported higher levels of peer-led football play in childhood, the interaction effect suggest that the regional level players increased their involvement in peer-led play during childhood compared to national level players. In conclusion, the findings indicate that childhood sport participation may contribute to later differences in self-regulation, and highlights the importance of childhood engagement in football-specific play and practice in the development of Norwegian youth football players.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2304-2310
JournalJournal of Sports Sciences
Volume36
Issue number20
Early online date9 Mar 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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