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Open access

Paulo Henrique Borges, José Guilherme, Leandro Rechenchosky, Luciane Cristina Arantes da Costa and Wilson Rinadi

Abstract

The fundamental tactical principles of the game of soccer represent a set of action rules that guide behaviours related to the management of game space. The aim of this study was to compare the performance of fundamental offensive and defensive tactical principles among youth soccer players from 12 to 17 years old. The sample consisted of 3689 tactical actions performed by 48 soccer players in three age categories: under 13 (U-13), under 15 (U-15), and under 17 (U-17). Tactical performance was measured using the System of Tactical Assessment in Soccer (FUT-SAT). The Kruskal Wallis, Mann-Whitney U, Friedman, Wilcoxon, and Cohen’s Kappa tests were used in the study analysis. The results showed that the principles of “offensive coverage” (p = 0.01) and “concentration” (p = 0.04) were performed more frequently by the U-17 players than the U-13 players. The tactical principles “width and length” (p < 0.05) and “defensive unit” (p < 0.05) were executed more frequently by younger soccer players. It can be concluded that the frequency with which fundamental tactical principles are performed varies between the gaming categories, which implies that there is valuation of defensive security and a progressive increase in “offensive coverage” caused by increased confidence and security in offensive actions.

Open access

Leandro Rechenchosky, Paulo Henrique Borges, Vanessa Menezes Menegassi, Matheus De Oliveira Jaime, José Guilherme, Israel Teoldo and Wilson Rinaldi

Abstract

Purpose. The aim of the study was to analyse the execution efficiency of core tactical principles in young soccer players and compare them among different game positions. Methods. The sample included 54 Brazilian young soccer players. Tactical performance was measured by the System of Tactical Assessment in Soccer with the GR3-3GR test in 3770 tactical actions. Friedman followed by Wilcoxon tests were used to analyse differences between tactical principles. Kruskal-Wallis and Mann-Whitney U tests were performed to compare tactical efficiency between defenders, midfielders, and forwards (p < 0.05). Results. Offensively, the results indicated that young players demonstrated less efficiency in executing the principle ‘depth mobility’ compared with ‘penetration,’ ‘offensive coverage,’ ‘width and length,’ and ‘offensive unity.’ Regarding the defensive aspects, ‘concentration’ was performed more efficiently than other principles. Comparisons between positions proved that midfielders and forwards executed ‘offensive unity’ more efficiently than defenders. Defenders tended to present high ‘defensive coverage’ efficiency when compared with ‘midfielders.’ Conclusions. High efficiency in the execution of ‘concentration’ represents an obstacle to make deep passes and hinders offensive movements between the last defender line and goal, given low efficiency of ‘depth mobility.’ Midfielders and forwards performed ‘offensive unity’ more efficiently than defenders. As for defensive principles, defenders presented better performance in ‘defensive coverage,’ giving support to the first defender. In practical applications, it is suggested that coaches of young regional soccer players carry out activities which allow depth passes to teammates as well as games to promote ‘offensive unity’ for defenders and ‘defensive coverage’ for midfielders.

Open access

Paulo Henrique Borges, Sean Cumming, Enio R.V. Ronque, Felippe Cardoso, Ademar Avelar, Leandro Rechenchosky, Israel Teoldo da Costa and Wilson Rinaldi

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.