Influence of game format and team strategy on physical and perceptual intensity in soccer small-sided games

Guard, A., McMillan, K. and MacFarlane, N. (2021) Influence of game format and team strategy on physical and perceptual intensity in soccer small-sided games. International Journal of Sports Science and Coaching, (doi: 10.1177/17479541211056399) (Early Online Publication)

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Abstract

The aim of the study was to compare internal and external load responses of different small-sided games, using balanced (5v5 Possession and small-sided games formats) and unbalanced (6v4) teams. Ten elite youth male soccer players were monitored at the start of the in-season period using global positioning system, heart rate and subjective ratings of intensity. Results showed higher physiological stress (>90% HRmax) in Possession and small-sided games formats when compared to the unbalanced teams (ES = 1.3–2.3). Total and high-intensity distance in small-sided games (28 ± 25 m) and Possession (67 ± 35 m) were greater compared to teams of 6 and 4 in the unbalanced scenario. Small-sided games format and team with six players had higher proportion of distance running at sub-maximal velocities (0–5.8 m/s2). Small-sided games format and team with four players saw greater mean acceleration effort (mean acceleration intensity in small-sided games 1.91 ± 0.27 vs. Possession 1.80 ± 0.20 m/s2, ES = 0.4 and Team 4 1.56 ± 0.24 vs. Team 6 1.44 ± .0.19 m/s2, ES = 1.3). Small-sided games format and team with 6 players had lower starting velocities prior to acceleration efforts (small-sided games 0.90 ± 0.08 and Team 6 1.11 ± 0.11 m/s2, ES = 1.5 and ES = 1.8), while velocity at the end of each acceleration effort was greater in the Possession format and Team 4 compared to small-sided games and Team 6 (Possession 3.54 ± 0.23 m/s2 and Team 4 3.13 ± 0.22 m/s2) compared to the small-sided games format (ES = 0.1) and the team with six players (ES = 2.3). These data demonstrate that using unbalanced teams can provide an additional form of training prescription to facilitate player specific training within a squad environment by providing different internal and external training responses within a combined drill.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:The authors thank Celtic Football Club for providing funding for this study.
Status:Early Online Publication
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Guard, Andrew and McMillan, Mr Kenneth and MacFarlane, Professor Niall
Authors: Guard, A., McMillan, K., and MacFarlane, N.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Life Sciences
Journal Name:International Journal of Sports Science and Coaching
Publisher:SAGE Publications
ISSN:1747-9541
ISSN (Online):2048-397X
Published Online:06 December 2021
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2021 The Authors
First Published:First published in International Journal of Sports Science and Coaching 2021
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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