Home > Journals > The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness > Past Issues > The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2018 July-August;58(7-8) > The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2018 July-August;58(7-8):1163-70



To subscribe
Submit an article
Recommend to your librarian


Publication history
Cite this article as



The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2018 July-August;58(7-8):1163-70

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.17.07292-9


language: English

Soccer training: high-intensity interval training is mood disturbing while small sided games ensure mood balance

Okba SELMI 1, 2, Monoem HADDAD 3 , Lina MAJED 3, Wissam BEN KHALIFA 1, Marzougui HAMZA 1, Karim CHAMARI 4

1 Sportive Performance and Physical Rehabilitation, High Institute of Sport and Physical Education, University of Jandouba, Kef, Tunisia; 2 Faculty of Sciences of Bizerte, University of Carthage, Zarzouna, Bizerte, Tunisia; 3 Sport Science Program, College of Arts and Sciences, Qatar University, Doha, Qatar; 4 Athlete Health and Performance Research Center, ASPETAR, Qatar Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Hospital, Doha, Qatar


BACKGROUND: The aim of the study was to compare the effects of high-intensity intermittent training (HIIT) versus small-sided games (SSG) in soccer on both the physiological responses and the mood state of players.
METHODS: Sixteen professional soccer players took part in the study (age: 24.1±0.9 years). Testing of players was conducted on separate days in a randomized and counter-balanced order (each training session: 28 minutes: 4x4 minutes work with 3 minutes of passive recovery in-between). Effort: HIIT: intermittent 15-s runs at 110% maximal aerobic speed with 15 seconds of passive recovery in-between. SSG: 4 versus 4 players on a 25x35 meter pitch size with full-involvement play. Psychological responses before and after each training-session were assessed using the profile of mood-state (POMS: Tension, Depression, Anger, Vigor, Fatigue, and Confusion). The players’ heart rate (HR) was continuously measured, whereas ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) and blood lactate concentration ([La]) were collected ~3-min after each training-session.
RESULTS: HIIT and SSG showed no significant difference in HR, RPE and [La] responses. The HIIT compared with SSG resulted in: an increased total mood disturbance (P<0.001), tension (P<0.05), fatigue (P<0.01) and a decreased vigor (P<0.001).
CONCLUSIONS: Both HIIT and SSG sessions induced similar physiological responses, in contrast, HIIT produced a mood disturbance while SSG ensured mood balance. Practitioners could choose between these two exercises according to the objective of their training, keeping in mind the mood-related advantages of the SSG shown in the present study.

KEY WORDS: Exercise - Soccer - Stress, physiological

top of page