Research Literature


 Madison Futsal: Study & Train

Our expectation will always be, to strongly focus on an evidence based program, to bring the latest research toward academic player development and a quality game.

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 Research Articles

Dynamics of the game in soccer: detection of T-Patterns:

Traditional approaches to the quantification of team sports have proved to be limited in their ability to identify complex structural regularities that, despite being unobservable, nonetheless underlie the development of the sporting contest between opposing teams. This paper describes a method for detecting the dynamics of play in professional soccer through the analysis of temporal patterns (T-patterns). The observation instrument used was SOF-5, which is especially designed for studying the dynamics of the game in soccer. The recording consisted of within-session monitoring using the MATCH VISION STUDIO 3.0 software, while the THEME software was used to detect and analyse T-patterns. These T-patterns revealed regularities in the playing style of the observed team, FC Barcelona. The structures detected included a ball possession pattern, whereby the ball was first kept in the central zone before being played forward, through several moves, into the zones closest to the opposing team’s goal in order to disrupt the latter’s equilibrium. The results obtained show that it is possible to identify stable temporal structures that provide information about concurrent interaction contexts with respect to lateral position and zone. As such, the proposed methodology appears to be useful in detecting complex structures within the game of soccer, structures which may help coaches to design attacking and defensive strategies


A descriptive-comparative study of performance characteristics in futsal players of different levels.

Despite the increasing popularity of futsal, there is little information on performance characteristics of players. We aimed to determine the validity and reliability of a futsal shooting test and to evaluate and compare performance characteristics of three futsal playing levels. Twenty-four males (n = 8 elite, n = 8 semi-elite, n = 8 social) completed two trials to examine the reliability of the Massey Futsal Shooting Test (MFST) and to compare various fitness characteristics between groups. MFST time taken (P = 0.010), shot speed (P < 0.001) and points scored per shot (P < 0.001) were better for elite relative to social players. Test-retest reliability was acceptable for all groups, but it was most repeatable in elite players. Loughborough Soccer Passing Test performance was better in elite relative to social players (P = 0.004). There were no differences in countermovement-jump height between groups. Elite players ran faster over 5 m than both semi-elite (P = 0.043) and social (P = 0.002) and faster than the social players through 10 m (P = 0.028) and 20 m (P = 0.026). Distance covered in the Futsal Intermittent Endurance Test was higher in elite relative to semi-elite (P = 0.005) and social (P < 0.001) groups. The MFST is a valid and reliable protocol to assess futsal shooting-skill performance; elite players have superior shooting and passing skill and have greater sprinting and intermittent-running ability.


Classifying young soccer players by training performances.

Players within the same age group may present different physical and physiological profiles. This study classified young soccer players according to their physical and physiological profiles obtained during the training sessions and compared classification by age and playing position criteria. 151 male elite Portuguese soccer players (under 15, under 17, and under 19 years old) participated. Time-motion and body acceleration and deceleration data were collected using GPS technology with heart rate monitored continuously across the selected training sessions. The data were grouped using two-step cluster analysis to classify athletes. A repeated-measures factorial ANOVA was performed to identify differences in the variables. Three clusters comprised 15.2%, 37.1%, and 47.7% of the total sample, respectively. Players of the same ages and playing experience had different performance profiles. Grouping players with similar physiological profiles during training sessions may allow coaches to balance oppositions and reduce the variability of the physiological outcomes.


Positional interchanges influence the physical and technical match performance variables of elite soccer players


Positional variation in match performance is well established in elite soccer but no information exists on players switching positions. This study investigated the influence of elite players interchanging from one position to another on physical and technical match performance. Data were collected from multiple English Premier League (EPL) seasons using a computerised tracking system. After adhering to stringent inclusion criteria, players were examined across several interchanges: central-defender to fullback (CD-FB, n = 11, 312 observations), central-midfielder to wide-midfielder (CM-WM, n = 7, 171 observations), wide-midfielder to central-midfielder (WM-CM, n = 7, 197 observations) and attacker to wide-midfielder (AT-WM, n = 4, 81 observations). Players interchanging from CD-FB covered markedly more high-intensity running and sprinting distance (effect size [ES]: −1.56 and −1.26), lost more possessions but made more final third entries (ES: −1.23 and −1.55). Interchanging from CM-WM and WM-CM resulted in trivial to moderate differences in both physical (ES: −0.14–0.59 and −0.21–0.39) and technical performances (ES: −0.48–0.64 and −0.36–0.54). Players interchanging from AT-WM demonstrated a moderate difference in high-intensity running without possession (ES: −0.98) and moderate-to-large differences in the number of clearances, tackles and possessions won (ES: −0.77, −1.16 and −1.41). The data demonstrate that the physical and technical demands vary greatly from one interchange to another but utility players seem able to adapt to these positional switches.


Conventional and Genetic Talent Identification in Sports: Will Recent Developments Trace Talent? Sarah Breitbach • Suzan Tug • Perikles Simon

In conclusion: Many deficiencies in the current talent research have gained attention. Alternative solutions include talent development approach. Best practice examples for the model of talent development are the Kids Clubs of the German Football Federation and the American College Athletics System.


How Does Sport Psychology Actually Improve Athletic Performance? A Framework to Facilitate Athletes’ and Coaches’ Understanding

Conclusion: There are a number of psychological factors that have the potential to negatively affect an athlete’s ability to perform optimally (anxiety, poor concentration, self doubt). However, attitudes and believes all effect an athletes ability to execute skills at a level that they are psychologically capable.


Nonverbal intelligence of soccer players according to their age, gender and educational level

The analyses described above suggest that; a) older players (16 and 17 years olds) have higher TONI-2 scores than the younger ones (13, 14 and 15 years olds). In other words, TONI-2 points increased with the age from 13 through 17 in order, b) female soccer players have higher points of TONI-2 then male soccer players, c) high school soccer players have higher TONI-2 points than secondary school soccer players.

In general, positive results indicated, above might be an important contribution to the TONI-2 which included different age groups, gender and educational levels including gifted elementary and secondary school children. There is no doubt that physical education teachers, managers, coaches and club administrators look for intelligent players, educate and give them training to have successful results. Therefore, apart from observations and arbitrary selection procedures, athletes in general and soccer players in particular need sound assessment tools related to different kind of intelligence, especially nonverbal intelligence, which plays an important role in soccer performance.


Testing of tactical performance in youth elite soccer

Tested on highly talented 12-13 year olds. Summarizing the results patterns for convergent thinking, it is evident that targeted and guides tactical gathering of experience in soccer-specific situations is still neglected in many training units.


A multidisciplinary approach to talent identification in soccer

The aim of the present study was to apply a comprehensive test battery to young players with a view to distinguishing between elite and sub-elite groups on the basis of performance on test items.

The most discriminating of the measures were agility, sprint time, ego orientation and anticipation skill. The elite players were also signi® cantly leaner, possessed more aerobic power (9.0 ± 1.7 vs 55.5 ± 3.8 ml´kg- 1 ´min- 1) and were more tolerant of fatigue (P < 0.05). They were also better at dribbling the ball, but not shooting. We conclude that the test battery used may be useful in establishing baseline reference data for young players being selected onto specialized development programmes.


Player Education: Effects of a cognitive specific imagery intervention on the soccer skill performance of young athletes: Age group comparisons.

Objectives: The primary purpose of the present study was to examine the effects of a cognitive specific (CS) imagery intervention on the soccer skill performance of young athletes aged 7e14 years and determine if performance varied with age.

Conclusions: These findings suggest that young athletes who use CS imagery will benefit from a CS imagery intervention, thus implying that mental skills training should begin at a young age if athletes are to maximize the benefits of such training.


Toward Effective Forecast of  Professionally Important Sensorimotor Cognitive Abilities of Young Soccer Players

Summary.—Development of skill in young soccer players relies on progressive improvement in different professionally important sensorimotor cognitive abilities. Development of seven leading abilities was based on the results of 23 tests provided for experimental and control groups. 600 elite young soccer players of both sexes, ages 11 to 19 years, were assessed over a period of 4 years. Experimental groups were given different exercises to aid development of selected abilities. At the end of the monitoring period, the experimental groups demonstrated a significant improvement in contrast to the control groups, and the greatest improvements in different test performances were observed in the 11- to 13-year-olds. The test-retest data show the testing process to be reliable. The study provides standard pedagogical models and data for trainers, coaches, and researchers working with young soccer players. Future research on talent identification and selection should adopt a multidimensional approach.


Activity Profile in Elite Italian Soccer Team

Conclusion: The objective of this study was to analyse the effect of playing position on the effort profile of top-class Italian league players within a team over the course of a season and to study the differences between the two halves on the brief, intense bursts of effort associated with changes in the duration of recovery periods. In terms of the overall analysis, our study shows that in 90 % of cases, the intermittent effort profile is 2.2 s / 18 s. This allows us to calculate a work / recovery ratio of 1 / 8. This observation points to a development of intermittent work at a supramaximal intensity in football such as to approach competition conditions as closely as possible. The establishment of the effort profile according to position allows a more precise analysis of a player ’ s activity and therefore allows to adapt training sessions according to the requirements of the activity. In this study, we note a significant effect of the playing-half and the playing position on the development of fatigue when the variables studied are normalized per minute of playing time.