Activity Level and Nature of Practice and Play in Children’s Football
Peer reviewed, Journal article
MetadataShow full item record
Original versionNybakken, T., & Falco, C. (2022). Activity level and nature of practice and play in children’s football. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19(8). 10.3390/ijerph19084598
This study analyzes the activity level and nature of organized football training (deliberate practice, DPR), compared with when children play football on their own (deliberate play, DPL), in a sample of selected (YT) and non-selected (BT) talents. A total of 29 observations were analyzed over 2650 min, focusing on the kind of activity, variability, and intensity of the training. In DPL, there are more finishing on goal, involvement, and challenges in 1:1 situation, and more ball touches and ball transport in games, compared with DPR. Additionally, DPL has more activity time (68% vs. 56%) and fewer breaks overall (32% vs. 44%). In DPL, children spend more time playing against each other (92% vs. 36%), and most of the time there are games or finishing on goal. In DPR, children spend more time playing together with someone (2% vs. 44%) and in passing and receiving the ball. DPR training contains more standardized exercises and protected situations. DPR-YT training differs from DPR-BT training with less activity time, ball touches, attempts on goal, and 1:1 situations. In conclusion, the results support DPL providing more football-specific activity. More DPR training at the expense of DPL might reduce practice time for skill development.