MOTOR TALENT AND BIOLOGICAL MATURATION IN MILITARY COLLEGE STUDENTS

ABSTRACT Introduction The assessment of motor performance in students has been used to identify sports talents. However, there are few studies on this topic, and none in the Sistema Colégio Militar do Brasil (Brazilian Military College System). Objective To evaluate anthropometric, physical motor and maturational indicators, investigate the proportion of motor talents, analyze the relationship between motor talent diagnosis and maturational stage, and compare the profile of student-athletes and non-athlete students of a military college. Methods We assessed 1490 students of both sexes aged 11 to 17 years. A multidimensional battery of tests was applied to assess body size and composition, flexibility, handgrip strength, upper and lower limb explosive strength, velocity, aerobic endurance, and somatic maturation. Data were analyzed using the Chi-square test and analysis of covariance. Results Students showed greater body size, higher motor performance and slightly advanced biological maturation in comparison to data available in the literature. In addition, cut-off points were created for eight sports-related tests to identify students with significantly above-average results, with 11% of motor talents being found. It was also found that motor talents were more frequent in biologically advanced students, and that student-athletes had significant differences in comparison to non-athletes, mainly in terms of motor performance. Conclusion The military school students are larger, stronger, more resistant and more biologically mature when compared to the reference values in the literature, and these characteristics are accentuated in student-athletes. In addition, approximately 1 in 10 of the military college students can be considered a motor talent, and this diagnosis is more frequent in students with early maturation. Level of Evidence II; Diagnostic Study.