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Effects of regular and conditioned small-sided games on young football players’ heart rate responses, technical performance and network structure

González-Víllora, S. G. V. ; Clemente, F.M.C. ; Martins, F. ; Vicedo, J. C. P. V.

Human Movement Vol. 18, Nº 5, pp. 1 - 18, December, 2017.

ISSN (print): 1732-3991
ISSN (online): 1899-1955

Scimago Journal Ranking: 0,19 (in 2017)

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Purpose. The purpose of this original work was to analyse the effects of different formats and task conditions in regular small-sided games (SSG) and small-sided conditioned games (SSCG) on heart rate profile, technical-tactical performance (measure by Network and Teams Sport Assessment Procedure) on young football players. Methods. Sixteen male elite young players (age: 11.6 ± 0.8; years of practice: 3 ± 1.4) were tested. Each player played in six different formats namely three 3-a-side games and three 5-a-side games: i) regular SSG, ii) attacking content-space SSCG, and iii) defensive content-concentration SSCG. Each game lasted 5 minutes and a 3 minutes of passive recovery between games was adopted. Results. The results showed that different formats did not result in statistical differences in heart rate responses. Nevertheless, significant differences were found between formats in technical performance (p-value < 0.05) and collective organization measured by network (p-value < 0.05). It was also found that no statistical differences were found between task conditions with tactical content in technical performance and collective organization. Conclusions. The conditions used on this study may enable coaches/teachers to carry out a more quality and specific training, helping them to understand the real effects of SSG/SSCG: smaller formats increase the technical-tactical participation, time in high intensity heart rate and network density.
Keywords: Network analysis, graph theory, Task conditions, heart rate, youth sport (U12), game performance analysis.