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Small-sided games in PDF | 100 training games and integrated physical preparation

Small-sided games and integrated physical preparation-100 training games PDF

Introduction – Small-sided games and integrated physical preparation | 100 training games PDF

Apart from in top-level football, where the massed ranks of technical staff enable the team coach to rely on a large number of assistants, experts and specialists in their field, most coaches and their assistants are often confronted with the same issues:

– How to maintain and develop the players’ physical qualities, which are so vital to performance;

– How to improve the team at a technical and tactical level, which is key to supporting a particular style of play and to ensuring a permanent balance of the formation by recovering the ball as a unit, keeping it and circulating it efficiently and thus optimize finishing.

Making technical and tactical adjustments is painstaking, repetitive work that requires numerous training sessions focusing on both the players’ technical skills and their football intelligence. How, therefore, can coaches rationally organize their work in a week of training between two competitive matches to achieve their ultimate aim: to win everything by playing good football – and enjoy it at the same time?

Apart from the fact that one session devoted specifically to physical preparation is not sufficient, it represents time that could be spent on tactical adjustments. Add to that the constant need for the coach to keep his players interested by arranging varied and enjoyable sessions, and it is not hard to understand just how challenging it can be to organize training sessions geared towards purely football demands. The great majority of coaches therefore favor “mixed” sessions that integrate a range of performance objectives.

This manual – Small-sided games and integrated physical preparation – is intended to be a tool for coaches everywhere, one that can be considered an essential reference on the pitch. Its aim is to provide coaches with all the information they need to organise mixed training sessions.

The 100 training games contained in the manual will enable coaches to plan and develop training sessions that integrate all performance-related parameters: technical, tactical, physical and mental. Improve or maintain players’ physiological potential in close conjunction with the technical and tactical aspects of football. The central theme of this manual is the concept of integrating motor skills specific to football into a player’s physical training via small-sided games.

After a brief resume of how physical preparation has developed through different systems, the first part of this manual focuses on the theory behind the sessions and covers the basic points, such as the demands of top-level football, the physical qualities of young footballers to be developed and worked on and the problems associated with quantifying the training load, along with a summary on planning the training program.

Small-sided games and integrated physical preparation - 100 training games PDF

The second part contains the practical football-orientated exercises, i.e. a significant number of situations based on small-sided games, outlining the organization of the work, the playing surface and the number of players required.

The balanced development of physical qualities is a constant aim of top fitness coaches today. Fitness coaches must master various methodologies and be highly skilled in implementing training content. They must also bring together the sporting project, the group of players and the environment of the club. It is a position that calls for an ability to adapt quickly to unforeseen circumstances and have an alternative available that will meet everyone’s interests, regardless of the fitness coach’s plans and programs.

Their work consists of presenting a realistic and effective project that dovetails with the main project. The fitness coach is the intermediary between the medical staff and the coach, an assistant to the coach and hands-on scientist rolled into one, and a member of the technical staff.

The fitness coach is a key figure for performance on the pitch. Their relationship with the other members of staff must be based on trust, loyalty and respect. They relay the head coach’s instructions both on and off the pitch, ensuring compatibility with the physiotherapist, the doctor and the technical staff.

Their job is to drive home the arguments of the sporting project through practice and through their interaction with others. They must be neither too friendly nor too authoritative and need to manage conflicts involving hurt feelings.

They are as involved in the players’ performance as they are in their reduced energy levels. As players do not always want to do highly intensive and tiring training, fitness coaches must make difficult work seem pleasant. They must encourage players to get involved for themselves and for the squad, anticipating their concerns regarding the difficulty of the training. They need to motivate the players and be understanding.

Deploying all the available data, they must anticipate players’ questions and provide individual, concrete and constructive answers to protect and energize players, providing explanations where needed and support in moments of doubt and even failure. Their job is to create a sense of relative independence, focusing on the individual for the benefit of the team. They motivate players to improve, to try harder, even to be the best.

This involves identifying players who are more susceptible to tire during a match by analyzing their actual physical capacities in competitive situations or by quantifying the training load and carrying out tests in order to individualize the player’s training.

They prepare the players so that they can perform frequent high-intensity runs and repeat their exertions for the entire match and throughout the season. They need to create a group road map to monitor the performance of the players as a whole.

The data gathered on a regular basis should be used as a basis for building specific physical preparation programs during periods of competition and rest. Fitness coaches must be able to make use of criteria and indicators from the pitch that correlate the physical demands of the match with the quality of physical preparation proposed.

As a matter of course, they must take into account the following in their analysis:

– The style of play (formation, game plan, team tactics, etc.)

– The physical capacity (effective playing time, positions, experience of the players, etc.)

– The season and its different phases (pre-season, competition, breaks and resumptions, frequency of matches, etc.)

– Management of the squad (players, replacements, injuries, suspensions, etc.)

They are also fully involved in the preventative approach with regard to muscle strengthening, core conditioning, recovery, nutrition and healthy living in training and in a match.

Physical preparation now contains multiple objectives, depending on the stage of the season and the characteristics of the players:

– Physical (or general) pre-season training is a period of around five to six weeks, during which the player should reach peak physical condition in terms of explosiveness, endurance, speed strength and proprioception.

The weights room can be open next to the pitch to make it easier to alternate between different forms of training. Integrating physical preparation into football via small-sided games enables a better control of individual exertion and workloads. This phase corresponds to the period when the player’s physical potential is evaluated.

– The second phase, or competition phase, is when the busy match calendar makes it more difficult to accumulate loads. Here, the fitness coach must makes choices in line with the coach’s technical-tactical choices, the aim being to improve the strong points, work on the weak points and ensure preventative strengthening.

– Another of the tasks of the fitness coach is to return to action players who are injured or ill (or out of action for a lengthy period) by means of reconditioning or rehabilitation programs.

A further objective is to remedy weaknesses revealed by physiological and muscly-articular tests and evaluations to promote the physical development of the younger players as they mature and to ensure the physical well-being of players with a long career behind them.

Over time, the fitness coach has therefore become a key member of the technical staff, and it is becoming increasingly common for coaches moving to a new club to insist on bringing their own technical team, including the fitness coach.

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The technical and tactical themes covered and the physical qualities targeted and developed are defined in accordance with the targeted training loads. This tool can therefore be adapted by anyone with experience of football and football training to their own specific needs.

FIFA is constantly striving to improve the range of its programs and information for its member associations to support them in their work. We are therefore delighted to present this manual, which will strengthen the existing documentation available to the technical departments of all of our members.

Physical activity is vital to children’s growth and fitness plays a key role in modern foot- ball, which is why it is essential that footballers have the best tools at their disposal to improve the skills needed for their actions on the pitch. The information and knowledge in this document will enable all coaches to shape the physical development of their players.

Each stage of development in the training exercises has its own physical characteristics, and the extent to which exertion is stimulated depends essentially on the knowledge and experience acquired. Coaches will also find instant solutions that deploy playful situations with a view to guiding their players towards predefined objectives.

This manual aims to apply scientific theory to actual game situations and convey the message that every activity on the pitch involves different physical factors that contribute to the player’s development. Ultimately, the game itself must remain the principle tool with which to attempt to improve a player’s physical potential, and the value of this manual lies in the way that it combines football with the development of the physical capacities that are so important to playing it.

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