Tactical Analysis According to Age-level Groups during a 4 vs. 4 Plus Goalkeepers Small-sided Game
Clemente, Filipe M.
Castillo Alvira, Daniel
Los Arcos Larumbe, Asier
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International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 17(5) : (2020) // Article ID 1667
This study aimed to compare the collective dynamics of three different age-level groups (i.e., U13, U15 and U18) during a 4 vs. 4 plus goalkeepers small-sided game (SSG). Fifty-four male outfield soccer players aged between 13 and 18 years took part in the study. Team tactical behaviors were assessed by measuring (a) the area occupied by players of each team, (b) the distance between both teams’ centroids, (c) the players’ distance to their own team and d) the stretch index during a 4 vs. 4 plus goalkeepers SSG format. The main results revealed that larger areas were occupied by the older players (p < 0.001; Effect size (ES) = 0.44–0.25, small). Additionally, the mean distance between teams’ centroids was greater in older groups (p < 0.001; ES = 0.44–0.81, large–small). Finally, the distance between players (p < 0.001; ES = 0.75–0.81, moderate–large) and the stretch index (p < 0.001; ES = 0.44–0.47, small) were also greater in older age categories. The evidence provided in the present study might help coaches identify the influence of age on collective dynamics during SSGs and help them find task conditions that could help to improve the behaviors and positioning of younger players.