The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effects of six different area per player (AP) on Exercise Intensity (EI)-measured during SSGs and expressed as percentage of maximal heart rate (%MHR)-and Technical Actions (TAs)-involvement with the ball, crosses, headers, tackles, shots on goal, dribbling, passing, and target passing-in U-12 and U-14 soccer players during Small-Sided Games (SSGs). Seventeen male U-12 soccer players (age 10.0±0.5yrs, body mass 39.3±5.3kg, and height 143.8±4.6cm) and sixteen male U-14 soccer players (age 13.2±0.3yrs, body mass 46.6±11.9kg, and height 154.8±8.5cm) performed SSGs with different AP: 40, 50, 66.7, 90, 112.5 and 150m2. Our results indicate that at larger AP the U-12 group's mean EI values were significantly higher than those at smaller AP (p<0.05); in addition inter-group comparison showed that EI was higher in U-12 than in U-14 players when AP of 112.5 and 150m2 were considered (p<0.05). TA analysis evidenced that, moving from smaller to larger AP, U-14 players adapted better to AP changes. In conclusion, these results suggest that AP influences differently EI and TAs in U-12 and U-14 players. Our results could be taken in to account by conditioning coaches in order to better tailor the physiological and/or technical training in young players through the modulation of AP.
- Journal Article