Influence of technical instructions on the physiological and physical demands of small-sided soccer games

Alexandre DELLAL, Karim CHAMARI, Adam Lee OWEN, Pui Lam WONG, Carlos LAGO-PENAS, Stephen HILL-HAAS

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Abstract

The aim of the present study was to examine the effects of changes in the number of ball contacts allowed per individual possession on the physiological, technical, and physical demands within small-sided games in elite soccer. Twenty international players (age 27.4±1.5 years, body mass 79.2±4.2 kg, height 1.81±0.02 m, velocity at VO2max 17.4±0.8 km.h⁻¹, percent body fat 12.7±1.2%) performed three different small-sided game formats (i.e. 2 vs. 2; 3 vs. 3; 4 vs. 4) on three different occasions in which the number of ball contacts authorized per possession was fixed (one touch, two touches, and free play). The relative pitch per player ratio was similar for all small-sided games. The small-sided games were performed with four support players (placed around the perimeter of pitch) with instructions to keep possession of the ball. The total duration of the small-sided games was the effective time of play. The physical demands, technical requirements, heart rates, post-exercise blood lactate concentrations, and ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) were assessed. The percentages of successful passes and numbers of duels were significantly lower when the small-sided game was played with one touch (P<0.001), whereas the number of balls lost increased (P<0.001 for 2 vs. 2 and 3 vs. 3; P<0.01 for 4 vs. 4). The small-sided game played with one touch also induced increases in blood lactate concentration and RPE, as well as greater physical demands in the total distance covered in sprinting and high-intensity runs. In conclusion, the main findings of this study are that by altering the number of ball contacts authorized per possession in small-sided games, the coach can manipulate both the physical and technical demands within such games. Copyright © 2011 European College of Sport Science.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)341-346
JournalEuropean Journal of Sport Science
Volume11
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2011

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Soccer
Touch
Lactic Acid
Adipose Tissue
Heart Rate

Citation

Dellal, A., Chamari, K., Owen, A. L., Wong, D. P., Lago-Penas, C., & Hill-Hass, S. (2011). Influence of technical instructions on the physiological and physical demands of small-sided soccer games. European Journal of Sport Science, 11(5), 341-346.

Keywords

  • Elite soccer
  • Fitness training
  • Physical demands
  • Physiological responses
  • Technical actions