Effect of different recovery durations between bouts in 3-a-side games on youth soccer players' physiological responses and technical activities

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Journal Article

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The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of the length of recovery durations between bouts in 4x4min 3-a-side small-sided games (SSG) on time-motion analysis, technical actions and physiological responses of players.Twelve young soccer players participated in 4 different 3-a-side games in which the recovery durations between bouts were different (R1: 1 min, R2: 2 min, R3: 3 min, and R4: 4 min). Heart rate (HR), total distance covered in different speed zones, and technical performance were monitored during all SSGs, whereas the rating of perceived exertion (RPE, CR-10) and venous blood lactate were determined at the end of the last bout of each SSG.Results showed that SSGs-R1 induced higher %HRreserve and lower successful passes (vs. R3 and R4 conditions, P<0.05), lower total passes (vs. R4 conditions, P<0.05), and greater distance covered in walking zone (0-6.9 km.h⁻¹) (vs. other 3 conditions, P<0.05). In addition, during the SSG-R3 players covered greater distances in high-intensity running zone (>18 km.h-1), performed more tackles (vs. R1 condition, P<0.05) and had more ball contacts (vs. R1 and R2 conditions, P<0.05).According to these results, it is thought that R1 and R2 are suitable for inducing higher physiological responses, while R3 and R4 are more appropriate for training aim to improve technical skills in 4x4min 3-a-side SSGs among young soccer players. These findings provide evidence for coaches to justify the selection of recovery duration between bouts in 3-a-side SSGs among young soccer players.

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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness

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