eCite Digital Repository

Developmental trajectories of soccer-specific dribbling and passing skills in young soccer players


Grasten, A and Forsman, H and Mainsbridge, C, Developmental trajectories of soccer-specific dribbling and passing skills in young soccer players, Journal of Physical Education Research,, 5, (1) pp. 64-75. ISSN 2394-4048 (2018) [Refereed Article]

Restricted - Request a copy

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2018 JOPER

Official URL:


The purpose of this study was to examine developmental trajectories of soccer-specific dribbling and passing skills including birth cohort, birth month, and sex differences in young soccer players. A total of 3108 (860 girls, 2248 boys) Finnish competitive soccer players were followed through six measurement phases from the age of 10 years continuing until turning 14. The present findings showed that dribbling and passing skills appeared to improve over time. Girls achieved similar dribbling and passing skill scores as boys at the baseline more than two years later. The relative age effect was evident, as younger players (born in Jul-Dec) achieved the same dribbling and passing scores as older players (Jan-Jun) at the baseline a half year later. An unexpected finding was that a difference between older and younger players existed in changes of dribbling, not in passing test scores. Current findings indicated that skill development in soccer is a slow process with a great variation between individuals. It would be beneficial to all players but especially to girls and younger players to practice a wide range of soccer-related skills outside organized events, as practicing a variety of soccer skills may help to learn other specific skills.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:skill acquisition, development, longitudinal, latent growth curve modelling
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Sports science and exercise
Research Field:Sports science and exercise not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Education and Training
Objective Group:Other education and training
Objective Field:Other education and training not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Grasten, A (Dr Arto Grasten)
UTAS Author:Mainsbridge, C (Mr Casey Mainsbridge)
ID Code:125215
Year Published:2018
Deposited By:Education
Deposited On:2018-04-09
Last Modified:2018-12-06

Repository Staff Only: item control page