The aim of this study was to determine the effect of increasing the duration of the recovery periods separating serial bouts of small sided games (SSG) of football on technical skills (TS). Twelve semi-professional footballers (mean SD; age 21 3 years; VO2peak 64 7 mLminkg-1; playing experience 15 3 years) completed two SSG sessions, consisting of 3 vs. 3 players and 6 bouts of 2 min, separated by either 30 s recovery (REC-30) or 120 s recovery (REC-120). Sixteen TS, including passing, possession, and defensive related variables, and exercise intensity (heart rate, rating of perceived exertion, time motion descriptors) during the bouts were measured. Repeated measures ANOVA were used to determine differences between-conditions, for TS. The number of successful tackles was significantly higher, and the average time each team maintained possession was significantly lower in REC-120 compared to REC-30. There were no significant differences for all other TS variables, or exercise intensity measures between REC-30 and REC-120. Overall, a four-fold increase in the duration of recovery separating SSG bouts did not alter the technical skill execution of players. The experience and skill level of the players, combined with an apparent regulation of effort through pacing, may have assisted in the maintenance of technical skill execution.
McLean, S., Kerhervé, H., Naughton, M., Lovell, G., Gorman, A., & Solomon, C. (2016). The Effect of Recovery Duration on Technical Proficiency during Small Sided Games of Football. Sports, 4(3), 39. https://doi.org/10.3390/sports4030039