American Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN (Print): 2333-4592 ISSN (Online): 2333-4606 Website: Editor-in-chief: Ratko Pavlović
Open Access
Journal Browser
American Journal of Sports Science and Medicine. 2015, 3(2), 28-34
DOI: 10.12691/ajssm-3-2-1
Open AccessArticle

VO2max Changes in English Futsal Players after a 6-Week Period of Specific Small-Sided Games Training

D. Berdejo-del-Fresno1, , R. Moore2 and M. W. Laupheimer1, 3

1England Futsal National Squad, The Football Association and The International Futsal Academy (United Kingdom)

2Research Fellow, Sport Industry Research Centre, Sheffield Hallam University (United Kingdom)

3Senior Clinical Lecturer in Sports and Exercise Medicine, Queen Mary University of London (United Kingdom)

Pub. Date: April 16, 2015

Cite this paper:
D. Berdejo-del-Fresno, R. Moore and M. W. Laupheimer. VO2max Changes in English Futsal Players after a 6-Week Period of Specific Small-Sided Games Training. American Journal of Sports Science and Medicine. 2015; 3(2):28-34. doi: 10.12691/ajssm-3-2-1


Futsal is a high-intensity, intermittent sport where accelerations and short sprints are performed at maximal or sub-maximal intensity. These efforts are interspersed by brief recovery periods, during 2 halves of 20 minutes stopping clock. Aerobic endurance inevitably plays a key role in the players’ performance. The aim of this study was to analyse the VO2 max progression and the agility (with and without ball) of English futsal players during a 6-week period of small-sided games practice. Two teams volunteered to participate in this study; an experimental group (EG), which performed a specialised small-sided training regime and a control group (CG) (normal training regime). VO2max was estimated from the results of the 20-metre Multi-Stage Fitness Test. The VO2max of the futsal players in the EG improved significantly (58.73±2.41 ml/kg/min vs. 60.11 ± 2.99 ml/kg/min, p=0.04). The same player's agility and agility with ball performance did not report any significant changes in either group. The results showed that periodisation, training sessions and methods based on small-sided games, which implied a change in the number of players, the size of the pitch and the task constraints, were adequate to increase aerobic endurance.

team sports intermittent exercise indoor soccer aerobic endurance physical condition

Creative CommonsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit


[1]  Álvarez Medina, J., Serrano, E., Giménez, L., Manonelles, P. & Corona, P. (2001a) Perfil cardiovascular en el fútbol-sala: adaptaciones al esfuerzo. Archivos de Medicina del Deporte XVIII (82): 143-148.
[2]  Álvarez Medina, J., Serrano, E., Giménez, L., Manonelles, P. & Corona, P. (2001b) Perfil cardiovascular en el fútbol-sala: respuesta inmediata al esfuerzo. Archivos de Medicina del Deporte XVIII (83):199-204.
[3]  Álvarez Medina, J., Serrano, E., Giménez, L., Manonelles, P. & Corona, P. (2002) Necesidades cardiovasculares y metabólicas del fútbol sala: análisis de la competición. Apunts: Educación física y deportes 67: 45-53.
[4]  Álvarez Medina, J., Manonelles, P., Giménez, L. & Corona, P. (2004) Entrenamiento, rendimiento y control de la vía anaeróbica aláctica y de la fuerza en el fútbol sala. Archivos de Medicina del Deporte XXI (102):307-314.
[5]  Barbero Álvarez, J. C., Soto, V., & Granda, J. (2003) Temporary analysis during match play in futsal (indoor soccer) with photogrametric system. Book of abstracts: Science and Football 5, 266.
[6]  Barbero Álvarez, J. C., Soto, V. & Granda, J. (2004a) Análisis de la frecuencia cardiaca durante la competición en jugadores profesionales de fútbol sala. Apunts de educación física 77:71-78.
[7]  Barbero Álvarez, J. C., Soto, V. & Granda, J. (2004b) Effort profiling during indoor soccer competition. Journal of Sports Sciences 22:500-501.
[8]  Berdejo-del-Fresno, D. (2012) Fitness seasonal changes in a first division English futsal team. African Journal of Basic & Applied Sciences 4(2): 49-54.
[9]  Borg, G. (1970) Perceived exertion as an indicator of somatic stress. Scandinavian Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine 2, No. 2-3, 92-98.
[10]  Casamichana, D. & Castellano, J. (2009) Análisis de los diferentes espacios individuales de interacción y los efectos en las conductas motrices de los jugadores: aplicaciones al entrenamiento en fútbol. Motricidad. European Journal of Human Movement 23:143-167.
[11]  Casamichana, D. & Castellano, J. (2010) Time-motion, heart rate, perceptual and motor behaviour demands in small-sides soccer games: effects of pitch size. Journal of Sports Sciences 28(14):1615-1623.
[12]  Casamichana, D., Castellano, J., González-Morán, A., García-Cueto, H. & García-López, J. (2011) Physiological demand in small-sided games on soccer with different orientation of space. International Journal of Sport Science 23(7):141-154.
[13]  Castagna, C., & Barbero Álvarez, J. C. (2010) Physiological demands of an intermittent futsal-oriented high-intensity test. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 24(9):2322-2329.
[14]  Coutts, A.J., & Aoki, M.S. (2009) Monitoring training in team sports. Olympic Laboratory: Technical Scientific Bulletin of the Brazilian Olympic Committee 9(2):1-3.
[15]  Duarte, R., Batalha, N., Folgado, H. & Sampaio, J. (2009) Effects of exercise duration and Lumber of players in heart rate responses and technical skills during futsal small-sided games. The Open Sports Sciences Journal 2:37-41.
[16]  Duarte, R., Araújo, D., Fernandes, O., Travassos, B., Folgado, H., Diniz, A. & Davids, K. (2010) Effects of different practice task constraints on fluctuations of player heart rate in small-sided football games. The Open Sports Sciences Journal 3:13-15.
[17]  Gamble, P., (2006) Periodization of training for team sports athletes. Strength and Conditioning Journal 28(5):56-66.
[18]  Graham-Smith, P. & Pearson, G. (2005) An investigation into the determinants of agility performance. Proceeding of the 3rd International Biomechanics of the lower limb in health, disease and rehabilitation; 2005 Sept 5-7; Manchester, United Kingdom.
[19]  Graham-Smith, P., Atkinson, L., Barlow, R. & Jones, P. (2009) Braking characteristics and load distribution in 180 degree turns. (Abstract) In: The Proceedings of the 5th annual UKSCA conference, 6-7 June 2009, Wybosotn Lakes, Bedforshire, United Kingdom.
[20]  Hill-Hass, S., Coutts, A., Rowsell, G. & Dawson, B. (2009a) Generic versus small-sided game training in soccer. International Journal of Sports Medicine 30:636-642.
[21]  Hill-Hass, S., Dawson, B., Coutts, A., & Rowsell, G. (2009b) Physiological responses and time-motion characteristics of various small-sided soccer games in youth players. Journal of Sports Science 27:1-8.
[22]  Impellizzeri, F.M., Marcora, S.M., Castagna, C., Reilly, T., Sassi, A., Iaia, F.M. & Rampini, E. (2006) Physiological and performance effects of generic versus specific aerobic training in soccer players. International Journal od Sports Medicine 27(6):483-492.
[23]  Jones, P., Bampouras, T. & Marrin, K. (2009) An investigation into the physical determinants of change of direction speed. The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 49(1):97-104.
[24]  Jones, S. & Drust, B. (2007) Physiological and technical demands of 4v4 and 8v8 games in elite youth soccer players. Kinesiology 39:150-156.
[25]  Léger, L.A. &Gadoury, C. (1989) Validity of the shuttle run test with 1 min stages to predict VO2max in adults. Canadian Journal of Applied Sport Sciences 14(1):21-26.
[26]  Little, T. (2009) Optimizing the use of soccer drills for physiological development. Strength Conditioning Journal 31: 67-74.
[27]  Lohmann, T.G., Roche, A.F. & Martorell, R. (1988) Anthropometric standardization reference manual. Champaign, IL: Ed. Human Kinetics.
[28]  Owen, A., Twist, C. & Ford, F. (2004) Small-sided games: The physiological and technical effect of altering pitch size and player numbers. Insight 7: 50-53.
[29]  Ruiz, J.R., Ortega, F.B., Gutierrez, A., Meusel, D., Sjöström, M. & Castillo, M.J. (2006) Health-related fitness assessment in childhood and adolescence: a European approach based on the AVENA, EYHS and HELENA studies. Journal of Public Health 14: 269-277.
[30]  Tessitore, A., Perroni, F., Cortis, C., Meeusen, R., Lupo, C. & Capranica, L. (2011) Coordination of soccer players during preseason training. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 25(11): 3059-3069.