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J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2017 May;57(5):529-536. doi: 10.23736/S0022-4707.16.06263-0. Epub 2016 Oct 13.

Effects of 5-week pre-season small-sided-game-based training on repeat sprint ability.

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Institute of Biomedicine (IBIOMED), Department of Physical Education and Sports, University of León, León, Spain -
Unit of Sport Training Assessment and Planning, Faculty of Physical Education, Pontifical University of Salamanca, Salamanca, Spain.
Institute of Biomedicine (IBIOMED), Department of Physical Education and Sports, University of León, León, Spain.
Department of Physical Education and Sport, Faculty of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences, University of the Basque Country (UPV-EHU), Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain.



Numerous studies have analyzed during competitive season different conditioning programs to improve soccer players' repeat sprint ability (RSA). However, few studies have focused on analyzing what happens with this ability after small-sided-game- (SSG-) -based training. Thus, the aim of this study was to determine the changes in physical performance after 5 weeks of pre-season training composed of SSGs in amateur soccer players.


Twenty-four male soccer players performed RSA, a sit-and-reach and two vertical jump (squat and countermovement jump) tests before and after 5 weeks of pre-season training mainly consisting of SSGs.


The pre-season training induced a significant improvement (P<0.05) in RSA and flexibility performance. However, no significant improvements were analyzed during the vertical jump tests. Soccer players with worst initial RSA performance, improved significantly (P<0.05) their fastest sprint (~2.5%) and the total time (~3.0%) during the RSA. No changes in soccer players with better initial RSA performance were analyzed.


A pre-season composed of training sessions performed basically through SSGs during 5 week improves the RSA performance in amateur soccer players, especially in those with the worst initial performance level.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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