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Small Side Games (SSG) in Football, Fitness Conditioning PDF

small sided games ssg football

Introduction

“The Trainer’s Corner”: use the Small Side Games

The purpose of this writing is to offer the reader some valuable information on how to make the best use of small sided games.

Small sided games are technical-tactical exercises presented in the form of matches appropriately modified by coaches (or athletic trainers) based on the specific objective.

As the writer is an athletic trainer, I want to talk to you about how important it is to use this operational means to improve the athlete’s physical qualities. The literature suggests that, compared to traditional 11v11 matches, the use of SSGs allows obtaining similar or even higher values ​​in relation to heart rate (HR), blood lactate concentration, as well as distance travelled.

The physiological responses of the internal load parameters, in young footballers as in adult footballers, can be produced differently between the different SSG formats, also and above all, based on the specific variables that can influence the SSGs.

The major small-sided games variables are:

✔️ The dimensions of the playing field
✔️ The number of players involved
-✔️ Changes to the rules of the game
✔️ The presence of goalkeepers during exercises
-✔️ The method of execution
✔️ The encouragement of the technical staff

In organizing the programming of the different exercises with the SSGs in the different microcycles, the first important factor to determine which is the most functional SSG format is to classify and identify the field dimensions of the different formats.

  1vs1 2vs2 3vs3 4vs4 5vs5 6vs6 7vs7 8vs8
Small 4×12 8×16 12×20 16×24 20×28 24×32 28×36 32×40
Medium 5×15 10×20 15×25 20×30 25×35 30×40 35×45 40×50
Great 6×18 12×24 18×30 24×36 30×42 36×48 42×54 48×60

 

In small sided games, the size of the field used and the number of players involved determine the training intensity and consequently the energy expenditure.

Small sided games from 1v1 to 4v4 allow you to reach a peak heart rate equal to 90% of your max HR; in formats that use a greater number of players, intensities between 80% and 90% of max HR are achieved.

small side games football

 

Below is a possible weekly periodization of small sided games.

▶️ Monday: this day is kept free

▶️ Tuesday:

✔️ 4v4, 5v5, 6v6 number of players involved in the exercises

✔️ The field size must be medium

-✔️ C. 60-75% of maximum heart rate

✔️ Blood lactate 3-6 mmol/L

▶️ Wednesday:

✔️ 2v2, 3v3, 4v4 number of players involved in the exercises

✔️ The field size must be small

-✔️ C. 80-90% of maximum heart rate

✔️ Blood lactate 7-10 mmol/L

▶️ Thursday:

✔️ 5v5, 6v6, 7v7 number of players involved in the drills

✔️ The field size must be large

-✔️ C. > 90% of maximum heart rate

✔️ Blood lactate 6-12 mmol/L

▶️ Friday:

✔️ 1v1, 2v2, 3v3, 4v4 number of players involved in the drills

✔️ The field size must be medium

-✔️ C. > 85% of maximum heart rate

✔️ Blood lactate 6-8 mmol/L

▶️ Saturday:

✔️ 4v4, 5v5, 6v6 number of players involved in the exercises

-✔️ The field size must be medium

✔️ C. 60-75% of maximum heart rate

✔️ Blood lactate 3-6 mmol/L

Image Credit: http://new.ebitemp.it/attivita/68

Football Specific Conditioning Drills

Using football drills, small sided games and possession sessions for conditioning has considerable benefits:

  • Passing
  • Dribbling
  • Shooting
  • Movement patterns
  • Technical skills
  • Tactical skills
  • And most importantly……

Motivation 

How often do you see clubs carrying out pre-season sessions, in-season sessions and general fitness sessions without a ball?

You know yourself that doing continuous running, intervals, circuits can and does get a little boring. The sessions in this item have been designed to improve your players endurance (lactate threshold, VO2 max and anaerobic capacity).

Motivating your players by using small sided games is the most effective technique available to improve player’s fitness levels for football.

Motivation of a player is improved when football and competition are involved. Also, more similar movement types and patterns in soccer drills may also lead to a greater transfer to match specific fitness.

Enhanced movement efficiency is particularly a key for unorthodox forms of locomotion, such as side and backwards movements, which are frequently used in football drills.

SSG Fitness Conditioning PDF Below

Happy Coaching 🙂

 

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