Paper of the week (October 2019 – III)

 In sports science

THE EFFECTS OF LONG SPRINT ABILITY ORIENTED SMALL-SIDED GAMES USING DIFFERENT PLAYERS-TO-PITCH AREA ON INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL LOAD IN SOCCER PLAYERS

Castagna, C., D’Ottavio, S., Cappelli, S. & Araujo-Povoas, S.C. (2019). The Effects of Long Sprint Ability Oriented Small-Sided Games Using Different Players-to-Pitch Area on Internal and External Load in Soccer Players. Int J Sports Perf & Phys.

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1123/ijspp.2018-0645

Description

Ball drills in the form of small-sided games (SSG) are assumed as functional paradigms useful to train players to cope with the match demands. In fact, SSG can improve the match performance and the aerobic condition of soccer players.

Therefore, the aim of this study was to examine the internal and external load imposed by long sprint ability (LSA) oriented SSG using different densities, in male professional youth soccer players.

19 professional soccer players performed 4x30s (150s recovery) all-out 1v1 SSG considering 300, 200 and 100 m2 per player.

External-load: with GPS technology.
Internal-load: Heart rate, blood lactate concentration (BLc) and rating of perceived exertion.

Internal load was assessed with a 30s all-out test on a non-motorized treadmill (NMT).

The results showed that SSG300 produced higher BLc than SSG200 (moderate) and SSG100 (large). Players covered more distance at high-intensity during the SSG300 than in other SSG conditions (huge to very-large differences) (table 1).

Take Home Messages

  • Long sprint ability (anaerobic capacity) is crucial in soccer. Improving this this means getting better condition to face the match.
  • Specific-task as SSG300 can be used to provide internal/external load closer to individual maximal (not-specific long sprint ability).
  • Player’s density in the SSG is the most studied variable to manage the load during the SSG. Controlling these variables is a key competence for practitioners.

At this time, research aims to find specific tasks, which are ecologically designed, to assess/train the soccer player, in also, coach could manage the load with easy-to-apply variables (i.e., density, app mobile…).

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