Validity of the Yo-Yo intermittent endurance test in young soccer players
European Journal of Sport Science
The Yo-Yo intermittent endurance test is frequently used to assess aerobic endurance performance in young soccer players but only the logical validity of the test has been shown to date. The main ai m of this study was to assess the criterion (i.e. association with maximal aerobic capacity, [Vdot]O2max) and construct validities of the test in young soccer players. A secondary aim was to examine possible shared variance of the Yo-Yo intermittent endurance test with other physical capacities. Sixty-two soccer players (age 13.7±0.5 years) from an Under-14 team participated. All players performed a battery of fitness tests to assess [Vdot]O2max, aerobic endurance performance (Yo-Yo intermittent endurance test), soccer dribbling endurance performance (Hoff dribbling test), and power performance (maximal vertical jump, 30-m sprint with 10-m split time). Results showed that the Yo-Yo intermittent endurance test was strongly correlated with [Vdot]O2max (r=0.63, P<0.001), thereby showing the test’s criterion validity. Players with the best performance on the Yo-Yo intermittent endurance test had significantly higher [Vdot]O2max (P<0.001, large effect), and significantly better soccer dribbling endurance (P<0.001, large effect) and 30-m sprint times (P<0.05, medium effect). Logistic regression (r=0.79, P=0.0001) showed that Hoff dribbling test performance (explained variance=50.4%),[Vdot]O2max (explained variance=39.7%), and 30-m sprint time (explained variance=14.4%) were significant independent parameters contributing to performance on the Yo-Yo intermittent endurance test. Therefore, the Yo-Yo intermittent endurance test is a valid on-field aerobic endurance performance test for young soccer players, which can also be used to differentiate the maximal aerobic capacity, soccer dribbling endurance, and 30-m sprint performance of these players.