Factors affecting the training outcomes with football-specific small-sided games

Stephen Victor Hill-Haas

    Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

    440 Downloads (Pure)


    [Truncated abstract] Small-sided games (SSGs) in football are played on reduced pitch dimensions, often using modified rules and involving a smaller number of players, compared with a fullsided game of eleven players per side. Pitch sizes may vary between 10 x 5 m and 60 x 50 m (length x width). Player numbers may also vary from having only one player per side (1 v 1), up to eight players per side (8 v 8). Football SSGs evolved from informal street football, where the rules of play and competition were unstructured. SSGs are now commonly used as part of structured training for players at all levels and ages, and remain a popular recreational activity, especially in South America and Europe. In competitive football, SSGs are now increasingly being used as an alternative conditioning training mode to generic interval running. In fact, SSGs are now widely considered an efficient mode of physical training as the movement patterns, physiological intensity and technical executions are thought to reflect competitive match play, and therefore have the potential to reduce training volume. However, the realisation of these advantages is dependent on game design. This requires a good understanding of the prescriptive variables that influence the training intensity of SSGs. In SSGs, prescriptive variables include pitch dimensions, player number, rule modifications, coach encouragement and player motivation. Despite the increased popularity of SSGs, the current understanding of the influence of how each of these variables affects physiological and perceptual responses and movement characteristics, are not well understood. Therefore, the purpose of this thesis was to investigate the influence of modifying prescriptive variables on measures of exercise intensity and training outcomes in elite youth football players. Variables affecting SSGs training intensity were investigated. These included pitch area, player number, rule modifications and training regime. The internal
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Publication statusUnpublished - 2009


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