Acute physiological responses and performance profiles of two different small-sided game training regimes in youth soccer players

National Strength and Conditioning Association
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Journal Article
Journal Of Strength and Conditioning Research, 2009, 23 (1), pp. 111 - 115
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The purpose of this study was to examine the acute physiological responses and time-motion characteristics associated with continuous and intermittent small-sided games (SSGs). The continuous (SSG^sup C^) regime involved 24 minutes' playing duration (no planned rest intervals), whereas the intermittent regime (SSG^sup I^) involved 4 × 6-minute bouts with 1.5 minutes of passive planned rest (work:rest ratio 4:1). Both training regimes were implemented across 3 SSG formats, which included games with 2 vs. 2, 4 vs. 4, and 6 vs. 6 players. Sixteen men's soccer players (mean ± SE: age = 16.2 ± 0.2 years, height = 173.7 ± 2.1 cm, body mass = 65.0 ± 2.5 kg, estimated ... = 4.8 ± 0.7 participated in the study. Heart rate (HR) was measured every 5 seconds during all SSGs. Global ratings of perceived exertion (RPEs) were recorded immediately after the SSGs using the Borg scale (RPEs, 6-20). Capillary blood samples were drawn at rest and within 5 minutes after the end of each SSG. Time-motion characteristics were measured using portable global positioning system units. There were no significant differences between SSG^sup C^ and SSG^sup I^ for total distance covered or for distance traveled while walking, jogging, or running at moderate speed. However, players covered a significantly greater distance at 13.0-17.9 km*h^sup -1^, a greater total distance at higher running speed, and a greater total number of sprints (>18 km*h^sup -1^) with SSG^sup I^ compared with SSG^sup C^. In contrast, global RPE and %HRmax were significantly higher in SSG^sup C^ than in SSG^sup I^. Both intermittent and continuous SSG training regimes could be used during the season for match-specific aerobic conditioning. However, both training regimes used in this study seem unlikely to provide a sufficient stimulus overload for fully developing....
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