The evaluation of small-sided games as a talent identification tool in highly trained prepubertal soccer players

Jonathan S.J. Fenner, John Iga, Viswanath Unnithan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The aim of this study was to evaluate physiological and technical attributes of prepubertal soccer players during multiple small-sided games (SSGs), and determine if SSGs can act as a talent identification tool. Sixteen highly trained U10 soccer players participated and separated into two groups of eight. Each group played six small-sided (4 vs. 4) matches of 5-min duration. Each player was awarded total points for the match result and goals scored. A game technical scoring chart was used to rate each player's performance during each game. Time-motion characteristics were measured using micromechanical devices. Total points had a very large significant relationship with game technical scoring chart (r = 0.758, P < 0.001). High-speed running distance had a significantly large correlation with game technical scoring chart (r = 0.547, P < 0.05). Total distance covered had a significant and moderate correlation with game technical scoring chart (r = 0.545, P < 0.05) and total points (r = 0.438, P < 0.05). The results demonstrated a large agreement between the highest-rated players and success in multiple SSGs, possibly due to higher-rated players covering larger distances in total and at high speed. Consequently, multiple SSG could be used to identify the more talented prepubertal soccer players.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1983-1990
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Sports Sciences
Volume34
Issue number20
Early online date3 Mar 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Aptitude
  • Athletes
  • Athletic Performance
  • Child
  • Competitive Behavior
  • Humans
  • Physical Education and Training
  • Running
  • Soccer
  • Time and Motion Studies
  • Evaluation Studies
  • Journal Article

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