Effect of Verbal Coach Encouragement on Small Sided Games Intensity and Perceived Enjoyment in Youth Soccer Players
Objective: The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of coach encouragement during small-sided games (SSG) on physical enjoyment (PE) and exercise intensity in youth soccer players.
Methods: Fourteen U-16 male soccer players (mean ± SD: age=15.7 ± 0.7 years, height=176.5 ± 6.1 cm, body mass=67.2 ± 4.9 kg, and body fat=10.7 ± 0.7 %) took part in this study. Testing of players was conducted on separate days (each training session: 25-min: 4x4-min work with 3-min of passive recovery in-between) under two conditions with and without verbal encouragement during 4vs. 4 SSG on a 40×30-m pitch size. PE was measured using the Physical 18-item Physical Activity Enjoyment Scale. The players ’heart rate (HR) was continuously measured, whereas ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) were collected after each bouts of SSG.
Results: The comparison between the two forms of SSG (with and without verbal encouragement) resulted in: a main effect for “condition” on RPE was observed (p<0.001), an increase of percent of HRmax (%HRmax) (p<0.001) and PE (p<0.001).
Conclusion: Coach Encouragement improves the SSG intensity and PE. Our findings emphasize the effectiveness of verbal encouragement coach in motor learning, commitment and the smooth running of a training session.