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Open AccessArticle

Physical and Physiological Responses of U-14, U-16, and U-18 Soccer Players on Different Small-Sided Games

1
Centre for Sport, Exercise and Life Science, Coventry University, Coventry CVI 5FB, UK
2
School of Sport Science, Universidad Europea de Madrid, 28670 Villaviciosa de Odón, Spain
3
IGOID Research Group, University of Castilla-La Mancha, 45071 Toledo, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sports 2020, 8(5), 66; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports8050066
Received: 19 March 2020 / Revised: 12 May 2020 / Accepted: 14 May 2020 / Published: 18 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Performance of Collegiate or College-Aged Athletes)
As most existing studies in youth academies are focused on top players, the objective of this research is to analyze the physical and physiological demands of various small-sided games (SSGs) on different age categories within a sub-elite soccer academy. We evaluated 63 young players from a Spanish sub-elite academy (under 14 = 21; under 16 = 21; under 18 = 21). Players performed four different small-side games focused on possession game (3-a-side; 4-a-side; 5-a-side; 6-a-side). The global indicators of performance and high-intensity actions were recorded through global positioning systems, whereas the heart rate responses were measured using heart rate monitors. Results: Under 16 ran a greater distance at high-intensity velocity than under 14 in the small side games 3v3 and 6v6. Furthermore, under 16 also ran a greater distance at high-intensity velocity than under 18 in the small side game 3v3 (p < 0.01). Under 14 showed greater acceleration at the highest intensity (> 2.75 m/s2) than the other age groups, under 16 and U18 (p < 0.01; ES (effect size) > 1). According to the physiological load, SSG 3v3 presented lower outcomes in Zone 6 (> 95% HRmax) than the small side game 4v4 and the small side game 5v5, in both under 14 and under 16. The workload of SSGs varies depending on the number of players, but also depending on the players’ ages. Therefore, when designing the SSGs it is important to consider both the players’ ages and the workload that want to be achieved. View Full-Text
Keywords: activity profile; football; teenagers; youth activity profile; football; teenagers; youth
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MDPI and ACS Style

López-Fernández, J.; Sánchez-Sánchez, J.; García-Unanue, J.; Hernando, E.; Gallardo, L. Physical and Physiological Responses of U-14, U-16, and U-18 Soccer Players on Different Small-Sided Games. Sports 2020, 8, 66. https://doi.org/10.3390/sports8050066

AMA Style

López-Fernández J, Sánchez-Sánchez J, García-Unanue J, Hernando E, Gallardo L. Physical and Physiological Responses of U-14, U-16, and U-18 Soccer Players on Different Small-Sided Games. Sports. 2020; 8(5):66. https://doi.org/10.3390/sports8050066

Chicago/Turabian Style

López-Fernández, Jorge; Sánchez-Sánchez, Javier; García-Unanue, Jorge; Hernando, Enrique; Gallardo, Leonor. 2020. "Physical and Physiological Responses of U-14, U-16, and U-18 Soccer Players on Different Small-Sided Games" Sports 8, no. 5: 66. https://doi.org/10.3390/sports8050066

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