Purpose. The aim of the study was to examine the influence of small-sided and conditioned games (SSG) on the internal load (heart rate [HR] and perceived exertion), external load (Global Positioning System variables), and lower limb power (squat jump [SJ] and countermovement jump [CMJ]).
Methods. Six collegiate male soccer players (age 20.3 ± 4.8 years; maximal oxygen uptake 42.9 ± 2.7 ml/kg/min; maximal HR 184.7 bpm) performed three 2-min bouts of 1 vs. 1 and two 3-min bouts of 3 vs. 3 format with a work-to-rest ratio of 1:1.5. Two-way ANOVA with repeated measures tested the effects of bouts and SSG formats on the internal and external load and on the lower limb power.
Results. The 3rd bout had significantly higher HRaverage and %HRmax values than the 2nd bout (p = 0.027 and p = 0.026, respectively). The 1st SSG bout presented higher total distance than the 2nd bout (p = 0.007). The comparison among bouts revealed higher values of pace and player load intensity in the 1st bout than in the 2nd one (p = 0.015 and p = 0.019, respectively). No differences were found in SJ and CMJ among bouts (p = 0.981 and p = 0.307, respectively). SSG formats differed for total distance (p = 0.001; ES = 0.891; longer distance in 3 vs. 3 format), but not for %HRmax (p = 0.953; ES = 0.001).
Conclusions. Physiological and physical responses varied during bouts. Nevertheless, small differences between SSG formats were found. SSG bouts did not have significant impact on the lower limb power.
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