The Effects of Exercise Order on the Psychophysiological Responses, Physical and Technical Performances of Young Soccer Players: Combined Small-Sided Games and High-Intensity Interval Training

Arslan E., Kilit B., Clemente F. M. , Soylu Y., Söğüt M. , Badicu G., ...More

BIOLOGY-BASEL, vol.10, no.11, 2021 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 10 Issue: 11
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.3390/biology10111180
  • Title of Journal : BIOLOGY-BASEL
  • Keywords: soccer, high-intensity, small-sided games, psychophysiological responses, combined training, REPEATED-SPRINT ABILITY, INTERMITTENT RECOVERY TEST, AGILITY, FITNESS, SPEED, RELIABILITY, PHYSIOLOGY, FOOTBALL


Simple Summary: Small-sided games are very popular training methods, among other commonly used strategies, for enhancing the functional and sport-specific skills of young soccer players. In addition, high-intensity interval training has the potential to increase the aerobic capacity of youths. No study has compared the order effects of combined small-sided games and high-intensity interval training on the physical performances, psychophysiological responses, and technical skills of young soccer players. The results of this research show practical information that can help to design training programmes for youth soccer players.
This study aimed to compare the order effects of combined small-sided games (SSGs) and high-intensity interval training (HIIT) on the psychophysiological responses and physical and technical performances of young soccer players. Twenty-four soccer players (aged 14.63 & PLUSMN; 0.71 years) were randomly divided into SSGs + HIIT (n = 12) and HIIT + SSGs (n = 12) for 6 weeks. The SSGs consisted of two 4-16 min rounds of 2, 3, and four-a-side games with 2 min of passive resting, whereas the HIIT consisted of 6-10 min of high-intensity runs at varying intensities (from 90 to 100%). Pre-test and post-test elements included a 5-30 m sprint test, countermovement jump test, zigzag agility test with the ball and without the ball, repeated sprint ability test, speed dribbling ability test, three-corner run test, and Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Test level 1. Both combined training interventions produced similar improvements in physical performance and technical responses (p & GE; 0.05, d values ranging from 0.40 to 1.10). However, the combined HIIT + SSGs training produced meaningfully lower perceived exertion (p = 0.00, d = 2.98) and greater physical enjoyment (p = 0.00, d = 4.28) compared with the SSGs + HIIT intervention. Furthermore, the SSGs + HIIT group showed a higher training load than those from the HIIT + SSGs group for all weeks (p & LE; 0.05, d values ranging from 1.36 to 2.05). The present study's results might be used by coaches and practitioners to design training programmes for youth soccer players.