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Original Research

Open Access

Small-sided game-related physical performance is not influenced by the sprint and power performance of youth male soccer players

  • Daniel Castillo1,†
  • Diego Marqués-Jiménez1,*,†,
  • Silvia Sánchez-Díaz2,†
  • Javier Raya-González3,†

1Valoración del Rendimiento Deportivo, Actividad Física y Salud y Lesiones Deportivas (REDAFLED), Faculty of Education, University of Valladolid, 42004 Soria, Spain

2Department of Education and Humanities, European University of Madrid, 28670 Madrid, Spain

3Faculty of Sport Sciences, University of Extremadura, 10003 Cáceres, Spain

DOI: 10.22514/jomh.2023.074 Vol.19,Issue 8,August 2023 pp.76-83

Submitted: 27 March 2023 Accepted: 25 April 2023

Published: 30 August 2023

*Corresponding Author(s): Diego Marqués-Jiménez E-mail:

† These authors contributed equally.


The aim of this study was to analyse the effects of sprint and power performance on physical fitness and small-sided game-related physical performance in youth male soccer players, using a median split analysis to separate faster and slower players, and powerful and weaker ones. Thirty youth male soccer players (age = 16.9 ± 1.4 years; height = 174.1 ± 7.1 cm; body mass = 63.1 ± 7.9 kg; % body fat = 15.5 ± 3.2) completed the following physical tests: 40 m linear sprint test, repeated sprint ability (RSA) test, countermovement jump (CMJ), horizontal jump (HJ) and a half-squat (HS) power test. In addition, players completed a 4 vs. 4 with goalkeepers small-sided game while external loads were recorded. According to their sprint and HS power performance, players were divided into fast and slow, and powerful and weak. Faster players performed better in 5 m sprint (p = 0.004, Effect Size (ES) = −1.158), 10 m sprint (p < 0.001, ES =−1.722), 40 m sprint (p < 0.001, ES = −3.268), RSAbest (p < 0.001, ES = −2.415), RSAtotal (p < 0.001, ES = −2.785), CMJ height (p = 0.032, ES = 0.823) and HJ distance (p < 0.001, ES = 1.589), but no significant differences (p > 0.05) were found in external loads during small-side games (SSG). In addition, no significant differences (p > 0.05) were observed between powerful and weaker players in the fitness tests and SSG-related physical performance. These results highlight the importance of grouping youth soccer players by their sprinting capacity to design specific and individualized training strategies and suggest that SSG-related physical performance is not influenced by their sprint or power performance.


Demands; Football; Strength; Velocity; Youth

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Daniel Castillo,Diego Marqués-Jiménez,Silvia Sánchez-Díaz,Javier Raya-González. Small-sided game-related physical performance is not influenced by the sprint and power performance of youth male soccer players. Journal of Men's Health. 2023. 19(8);76-83.


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