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  • Author: Israel Teoldo Costa x
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Developing Talented Soccer Players: An Analysis of Socio-Spatial Factors as Possible Key Constraints

Abstract

Most studies on the identification and development of soccer talent have been one-dimensional in nature. Although some multi-dimensional analyses have been conducted, few research studies have assessed in any depth the socio-spatial factors influencing talent development. The aim of this particular study was to analyse variations in the international representation of clubs (n = 821) and countries (n = 59) in the development of players who took part in the 2014 FIFA Soccer World Cup. Clubs and countries were ranked and divided into quartiles according to the number of players developed between the ages of 15 and 21 (clubs and countries that developed players for at least three years between these ages) and the number of official league matches played by these players up to the age of 23. Significant variations were observed between clubs in terms of the number of developed players who took part in the World Cup and the number of official league matches played by these players up to the age of 23 (p < .05), and also between countries (p < .05). The findings reveal the need to carry out more in-depth studies into the type of training and competition engaged in by elite players in the period of development between the ages of 15 and 21. It may be the case that these factors are potentially decisive socio-spatial constraints in the development of soccer talent.

Open access
Variability of Technical Actions During Small‐Sided Games in Young Soccer Players

Abstract

The purpose of this study was three‐fold: (i) to test the between‐sessions variability of 3 vs. 3 and 6 vs. 6 formats in under‐11 players, (ii) to assess the within‐session variability of 3 vs. 3 and 6 vs. 6 formats, and (iii) to investigate the variations of technical actions between formats. Sixteen soccer players (10.1 ± 0.3 years old) participated in this study. Both formats of play were played twice within an interval of one week to test the between‐session variability and the variables of conquered balls (CBs), received balls (RBs), lost balls (LBs), attacking balls/passes (ABs) and shots (Ss) were analyzed using the Performance Assessment in Team Sports instrument in all matches. Moderate variations on the sum of sets during the 3 vs. 3 and 6 vs. 6 formats were observed in all variables. Considering the variations of technical actions made between sets in the 3 vs. 3 format, likely moderate increases were found in set 2 vs. 1 in terms of RB (37.5%, [‐2.7;94.2]), and likely small decreases were found in set 3 vs. 2 for the same variable (‐18.3%, [‐37.8;7.3]). In the 6 vs. 6 format, only possibly small increases were found for set 3 vs. 1 in S (22.5%, [‐7.0;61.3]). Generally (sum of sets), the variables standardized per minute revealed almost certain very large decreases in the 6 vs. 6 vs. the 3 vs. 3 format in the variables of CB (‐67.9%, [‐75.3;‐55.9]), LB (‐66.0%, [‐73.9;‐55.7]), RB (‐65.6%, [‐74.8;‐ 53.1]) and S (‐87.6%, [‐93.1;‐77.7]). The results of this study suggest that both formats of play are too noisy to be reproducible. The 3 vs. 3 format largely increased the number of individual technical actions.

Open access
Relationship Between Tactical Performance, Somatic Maturity and Functional Capabilities in Young Soccer Players

Abstract

The aim of the study was to investigate the relationship between tactical performance, somatic maturity, and functional capabilities in young soccer players. Study participants were 48 soccer players (14.80 ± 1.5 years) belonging to an extension project at the State University of Maringa - Brazil. Anthropometric measurements of body mass, body height, and sitting height were carried out. The number of years to peak height velocity (PHV) was used as an index of maturation. Evaluations of functional fitness included the following tests: sit-and-reach, Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Test Level 1, handgrip test, modified abdominal test, and vertical jumps (Counter Movement Jump and Jump Squat). Tactical performance was assessed through the System of Tactical Assessment in Soccer (FUT-SAT). Multiple Linear Regression models were used to estimate the relative contributions of functional and maturational capacities to tactical performance. The results indicated weak associations between the tactical performance indices and somatic maturity, functional capacity, and anthropometric attributes (r < 0.40). The Yo-Yo Test contributed to 36% of the defensive tactic performance variation in the under 13 category. These results suggest that the level of maturity, growth status, and functional fitness have limited impact on tactical performance of young soccer players.

Open access