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SOCCER DRILLS & FOOTBALL TRAINING

"Development programs and teaching exercises based
  on modern coaching methodology and neuro-science."

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HD VIDEO TUTORIALS & PDFS

500+ TRAINING SESSIONS

"Development programs and teaching exercises based
  on modern coaching methodology and neuro-science."

SOCCER DRILLS

HD VIDEO TUTORIALS & PDFS

500+ TRAINING SESSIONS

Small Sided Games vs. Generic Training in Aerobic Fitness Development


A number of studies have now shown that small sided games are an effective form of aerobic training in soccer opposed to the traditional generic (running) training techniques.   Also objective measures and match analysis also showed an increase in match related activities.

In a study by (Impellizzeri et al) one group performed running interval training sessions (each consisting of 4 x 4 min at 90-95% HRmax with 3 min of rest) twice a week for 12 weeks.  The second group performed the same amount (duration) of training using soccer specific drills and games.

Each group was tested using a soccer specific endurance test (Ekblom’s Circuit Test) along with match analysis.

  • There were significant improvements in aerobic fitness and match performance in both groups of soccer players, especially in response to the first 4 weeks of pre-season training.
  • There was no significant differences between specific and generic aerobic interval training were found in any of the measured variables including soccer specific tests.
  • At the end of the training period of 12 weeks both groups improved VO2-max (7%), lactate threshold (10%), running economy (2%), as well as the amount of high-intensity activities during a soccer game.

A second study showed that the intensities exhibited in small sided games (3-a-side) on 32x20m field were superior to those experienced during a competitive match. Also noted during this study was that the addition of goal keepers reduced the intensity of the games. Concluding that small sided games can replicate (and even surpass) the demands of real match scenarios.

Recommendations and Conclusions

Modern fitness training and in particular aerobic fitness development (paramount to soccer performance) can be improved using soccer specific training activities (i.e. small sided games and ball related exercises). In order to develop efficient and effective practices it seems logical that overall performance benefits would be greater using small sided games/drills where technique and tactical understanding can also be developed in concurrently with fitness. This can be an advantage especially for young soccer players, as the improvement of sport specific motor skills is related to the frequency of practice sessions.

Soccer specific activities also promote the use of specific muscles used in real match scenarios. Psychologically, players also have higher levels of motivation when involved in game related activities in comparison to generic running exercises. It should be noted that the dimensions and durations of active play and rest impact the energy systems being trained in players.

Effects of repeated sprint and speed-endurance training on physiological adaptation and performance in football players


Effects of aerobic high-intensity training performed as small-sided games or soccer ball dribbling on physiological adaptation and performance in football players

Effects of repeated sprint and speed-endurance training on physiological adaptation and performance in football players

F. Marcello Iaia et al,International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, 2009, 4, 291-306, 2009 Human Kinetics, Inc.

Other Examples of Training:

Hoff and Helgerud (2001) achieved success with a specifically designed interval training programme of 4x4 mins at 90-95% HRmax with 3 min jog between. Players performed twice a week for 8 weeks with significant improvements in match distance covered, number of sprints and number of contacts with the ball.

Hoff et al (2002) also developed a specific dribbling track for fitness development (shown below).

Additional Reading:

Impellizzeri FM, Marcora SM, Castagna C, Reilly T, Sassi A, Iaia FM, Rampinini E.
Physiological and performance effects of generic versus specific aerobic training in soccer players.
Int J Sports Med. 2006 Jun;27(6):483-92.

Mallo J, Navarro E.
Physical load imposed on soccer players during small-sided training games.
J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2008 Jun;48(2):166-71.


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Finishing training with combination play followed by rapid finishing in tight central areas. Inside and outside the 18yrd area.

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Develop possession skills in a transitional rondo 5vs2. Possession skills and angles of support are coached as well as quick transitions between the attacking and defending phase of the game.

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