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ORIGINAL ARTICLE  EXERCISE PHYSIOLOGY AND BIOMECHANICS 

The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2018 April;58(4):385-91

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.16.06708-6

Copyright © 2016 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Small-sided soccer games on sand are more physically demanding but less technically specific compared to games on artificial turf

Vincenzo RAGO 1 , António N. REBELO 1, Federico PIZZUTO 2, Daniel BARREIRA 1

1 Center of Research, Education, Innovation, and Intervention in Sport, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal; 2 Academy Strength and Conditioning Department, Futebol Clube do Porto, Porto, Portugal


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BACKGROUND: The use of sand has been suggested as fitness-enhancing surface in field-based team sports. However, concerns have arisen in regard whether physical responses associated to sand training are sport-specific. We compared physical and technical demands during small-sided soccer games (4 vs. 4 + goalkeeper; SSGs) played on artificial turf and on sand.
METHODS: Movement patterns, rating of perceived exertion (RPE) and technical parameters were obtained from eight adult male soccerers (20.1±1.0 years, 176±4 cm and 70.1±2.0 kg) using Global Positioning Systems, Visual Analogue Scale questionnaires, and notational analysis.
RESULTS: High-intensity actions (high intensity running, high intensity activities), low changes of speed, as well as peak and average speed were higher on artificial turf (P<0.05; effect sizes (ES) 0.41 to 0.82). In contrast, time spent by jogging as well as high and maximum changes of speed was higher on sand (P<0.05; ES: 0.59 to 0.82). Moreover, players perceived more demanding to play on sand (P<0.05; ES=0.72). Rating of successful actions was higher during turf SSGs than sand SSGs (P<0.05; ES: 0.44 to 0.73), whereas actions requiring lifting the ball were higher on sand (P<0.05; ES: 0.47 to 0.50).
CONCLUSIONS: The use of sand can be considered as complemental to on-turf soccer training, when the training goal is to tax lower limb muscle strength or to require high-ball situations. Nonetheless, sand training is not appropriate when the achievement of maximal speed is desired. Further research should clarify the suitability of sand training within soccer conditioning programs.


KEY WORDS: Time and motion studies - Acceleration - Fatigue - Motor skills - Metabolism

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