Influence of numerical superiority and players’ tactical knowledge on perceived exertion and physical and physiological demands in soccer small-sided games

Gibson M. Praça, Sarah G. T. Bredt, Juliana O. Torres, Igor J. O. Custódio, André G. P. Andrade, Juan C. P. Morales, Mauro H. Chagas, Pablo J. Greco


This study aimed to investigate the influence of numerical superiority and tactical knowledge on players’ physical and physiological demands and RPE during soccer SSGs. Eighteen male soccer players were divided into two groups with 9 athletes (G1 with 3 defenders, 3 forwards and 3 mid-fielders with the highest score in the Procedural Tactical Knowledge Test - PTKT and G2 with 3 athletes of each position with the lowest score in the PTKT). Each group was split into three teams with one athlete of each position. HR, total distance covered (TD), distance covered at different speeds and accelerations were recorded using a HR monitor and a GPS during 3vs.3 and 4vs.3 SSGs with goalkeepers (two 4-minute games with 4-minutes rest). RPE were obtained using Borg 6-20 Scale. Results suggest that soccer SSGs with numerical superiority induce a decrease in variables such as percentage of total distance covered at 7.3-14.4 km/h (p=0.031), mean HR (p=0.001), and RPE (p=0.001) compared to numerical equality. Players with higher PTK presented higher TD and percentage of total distance covered at 14.4-21.5 km/h (p=0.026). These results indicate the influence of different factors on athletes’ RPE and physical and physiological demands during soccer SSGs


Soccer; Small-sided games; Numerical superiority; Tactical knowledge; Time-motion

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