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Age-Related Differences in the Physical and Physiological Demands during Small-Sided Games with Floaters

1
Football Science Institute, Granada 18001, Spain
2
Physical Performance Sports Research Center (PPSRC), Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Sevilla 41013, Spain
3
Department of Sport sciences, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Sevilla 41013, Spain
4
The Celtic Football Club Performance Department, Glasgow G11 6BZ, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sports 2019, 7(4), 79; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports7040079
Received: 9 March 2019 / Revised: 25 March 2019 / Accepted: 29 March 2019 / Published: 2 April 2019
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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to compare the physical and physiological demands of a small-sided game (SSG) in three different age groups (senior, under-19 [U-19] and under-17 [U-17]) belonging to the same academy. A further aim was to contrast the physical and physiological profiles of normal and floater players during this task. Thirty male football players performed a 4 vs. 4 + 2 floaters on a playing field of 40 by 30m for four bouts of 4 min with 2 min of passive recovery. In addition to heart rate (mean and maximal), a GPS (Global Positioning System) system was used to record the distances covered at different speeds, the number of accelerations and decelerations, and the work/rest ratio (W:R Ratio). Analysis of the data showed that the demands of the SSGs are determined by the age of the players and that the regular players have greater demands than floater players in the SSGs utilized. These results suggest that the coaches should pay attention to the promotion of players to superior teams because there are physical differences between them (especially the U-17 to U-19 teams). Likewise, coaches should understand that floaters are a useful tool for regulating the training load of players and programming the return-to-play process, as floater players experience lower demands than normal players. View Full-Text
Keywords: football; soccer; training; movement patterns; GPS; time-motion; youth players football; soccer; training; movement patterns; GPS; time-motion; youth players
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Rábano-Muñoz, A.; Asian-Clemente, J.; Sáez de Villarreal, E.; Nayler, J.; Requena, B. Age-Related Differences in the Physical and Physiological Demands during Small-Sided Games with Floaters. Sports 2019, 7, 79.

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