EFFECT OF SPECIFIC ENDURANCE ON THE PHYSICAL RESPONSES OF YOUNG ATHLETES DURING SOCCER SMALL-SIDED GAMES
This study aimed to compare the physical responses of soccer players with different levels of specific endurance during SSG performed by teams balanced according to athletes’ specific endurance. Eighteen U-17 athletes from a team that participated in national competitions took part in this study. The Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Test Level 2 (YIRT2) was used to measure the athletes’ specific endurance. Then, athletes were allocated to two groups balanced according to their positional status and YIRT2 scores: in Group1 players with the highest results in the YIRT2 and in Group 2 with the lower YIRT2 scores. Athletes played two
four-minute bou ts of 3vs.3 small-sided games with goalkeepers with four minutes of passive rest. Total distance covered, average speed, and accelerations were obtained by GPS devices carried by each player. Group 1 presented higher total distance covered (large effect size), higher average speed (large effect size), and higher total distance covered in accelerations above 1 m·s-2 (moderate effect size), compared to Group 2. We concluded that specific endurance can partially influence physical responses of young soccer athletes during small-sided games. This information is important to appropriately prescribe small-sided games during the training process, possibly by grouping together athletes with similar specific endurance and, therefore, promoting an adequate stimulus to better-conditioned athletes.
Key words: Yo-Yo Test, motor profile, Global Positioning System, acceleration demand
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