|English Premier League official site (January 7th, 2012)|
Regarding the effect of training with small-sided games on RSA, it seems that little information is available in the literature. In the study of Hill-Haas and colleagues (2009) young football players trained with small-sided games or running drills for 7 weeks. Small-sided games training consisted of 2-6 repetitions of 6-13 min games separated by 1-3 min of rest.
To summarize their results:
- RSA was similarly improved with the two training methods.
- This improvement was not significant compared with the pre-training values.
- Yo-Yo performance was improved with both training modes. This is important since Yo-Yo test result is associated with football-specific performance.
Take home messages
- We know little on the effect of small-sided games in RSA in football players. Questions to be answered are: what is the optimal combination of field dimension, number of players, drill duration, recovery time and number of repetitions?
- Small-sided games may be an alternative to generic training for RSA improvement.
- Could the combination of small-sided games with generic RS training be more effective?
For further reading
Bishop et al (2011). Repeated sprint ability-Part II. Recommendations for training. Sports Medicine 41(9):741-756.
Hill-Haas et al (2009). Generic versus small-sided games training in soccer. International Journal of Sports Medicine 30:636-642.