Purpose: Interval training with small-sided games (SSGs) is effective for improving physical conditioning and technical skills in football. This descriptive study investigated the effect of a high volume of SSGs on physiological and perceptual response [heart rate (HR) and rating of perceived exertion (RPE)] and technical actions in amateur adult football players.
Methods: Twelve male football players (age 22.5 ± 1.8 years, weight 72.6 ± 6.3 kg, height 1.76 ± 0.06 m) completed two indoor SSG formats (3 vs. 3 and 4 vs. 4) (twice each) composed of six sets of 4 min each, with 2 min of passive recovery. RPE and HR were measured to calculate exercise intensity. Each game was filmed to evaluate the technical actions; the recordings were analyzed using a hand notation system.
Conclusions: The decrease in the number of technical actions in both formats as the games progress beyond four sets of 4 min could annul the advantage of SSGs for technical skills training. These findings may help football coaches maximize the benefit of training with SSGs.
Results: Mean HR for the two SSG formats did not differ significantly; RPE scores were higher for the 3 vs. 3 as compared to the 4 vs. 4 games (42.5 ± 3.0 vs. 35.0 ± 10.3, respectively; p
- Exercise training
- Physical performance
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine